Many Chinese cities have witnessed the introduction of Western town-planning ideas, modernity, and new townscapes. Dalian in Liaoning Province, North of China, is one of the earliest cases. International urban planning and design were transplanted and imposed by the Russians and the Japanese during the late 19th-century colonial period, which shaped Dalian’s unique urban forms and are still visible today. At the same time, Dalian was advertised as a tourist city because of its naturally endowed scenery and strategic position, while it took time before proper tourism planning was developed for the city. With the global trend of sustainable development and collaborative planning, various stakeholders including regulators, producers, and users of the urban space, are gaining increasing attention in urban planning and design. However, the conflict among stakeholders brings new challenges to the city. This paper reviews and reflects on the urban planning and design history of Dalian. Through the analysis of Dalian’s planning and design at different development stages, it reveals how the city’s distinctive urban features were shaped, evolved, and formed under the influence of national and international theories.
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