Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC), 2019 ULI Global Awards for Excellence Winner

© Shui On Land

Location: Shanghai, China
Developer: Shui On Land
Designers: Skidmore Owings & Merrill, LLP; Palmer & Turner; Atkins; Charpentier Architecture Design; Terry Farrell & Partners; Tongji Design Institute; BWSS; Gensler; Tianhua; Leigh & Orange; Hassell; 3XN; AECOM; EMBT
Site Size: 121 acres (49 ha)

Jury Statement: Knowledge & Innovation Community illustrates how focusing on long-term success, leveraging education and technology institutions, integrating transit, perseverance, and civic partnership can spur growth and create a complete community.

The Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) is a live/work/play/learn neighborhood developed in Shanghai’s Yangpu district. Before KIC, the district was a dilapidated industrial district with a historic stadium. KIC turned the district into a thriving knowledge-based economy at the confluence of the tech industry, universities, residential, and retail.

Knowledge and Innovation Community Site Plan. © Shui On Land
Events like this Night Market are popular and draw visitors to KIC. © AECOM









KIC has been flourishing for years, attracting more than 1 million visitors and spurring growth and investment in the entire district through innovative long-term management and tenant curation. As part of its long-term growth strategy, KIC hosts events year-round for residents and visitors, including early childhood education events, lifestyle of health and sustainability events, and entrepreneurship events. In addition to teaching others about sustainability, the development has striven for sustainability through Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or Chinese Green Building Design certification of all its buildings, as well as achieving LEED Gold for Neighborhood Design.

University Avenue is one of China’s most popular retail corridors. © Shui On Land
KIC hosts many events encouraging entrepreneurship and engagement with the thriving tech sector. © Shui On Land








Innospace, an incubator program based at KIC, has fostered over 400 new companies since 2012, eight of which have gone on to be startups with valuations exceeding 100 million RMB. The development has succeeded in meshing neighborhood, universities, and industry, since it has one of China’s popular retail corridors, several universities, and over 50 knowledge-based multinational corporations as well as over 600 small businesses and startups. KIC’s success has brought it global recognition as an example of a thriving mixed-use knowledge-based community, including being highlighted by a ULI case study in 2015.



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