Euthanasia of the Dilapidating Urban Machine

Yue Shen
Education degree
School of Architecture
Study programme
Urbanism & Societal Change

Sustainable degeneration of post-industrial towns in Northeast China

The Northeast has long been the industrial base of China. As the process of liberalization, privatization, and the third wave of industrialization continuing, the Northeast is facing severe challenges, including the invariable shrinkage and degradation. Therefore, instead of expecting the city to be a machine of development that generates infinite prosperousness, the urban establishment should be an organic system with the natural attribute of growing, dying and decomposing. The euthanasia of the industrial machines - a sustainable degeneration plan would be the best solution under the dilapidating process of the city.

Tutor: Jan Loerakker

Degenerating future: memory, monument, nature, serenity, idyll

The Northeast is the world's best example of a Soviet-style economy, because its central-planning mentality has persisted for so long.

— Liang Qidong

 The structure of the north-east's economy, however, has worsened in a more important respect. It has become ever more reliant on investment and manufacturing, both geared to the now-slowing property market. 

— <The Economist>


The soviet mode
Heavy Industry as the backbone of economy
Classical planning of grid industrial city


Believing building to be the primary constructive activity, the discipline has not institutionalized special studies of subtraction.

If subtraction is part of a system of ex-change, a function of an active organization of construction and destruction, it is also a positive tool of space making. 

— Keller Easterling, <Subtraction>, 2003

Masterplan 2066
urban pocket
Degeneration Process

Thesis project

Model of the planning process

Special thanks to Jan Loeraker, Deane Simpson, Jens Kvorning, Gerard Reinmuth, Charles Bessard, Jonna Majgaard Krarup, Morten Kjer Jeppesen and everyone who helped me with this project.

Thank you for your attention.