Since the beginning of the 21st century, Beijing has made huge strides to solidify its position as one of the world’s great cities. It is a city that is modernizing rapidly— skyscrapers are rising out of fallow fields, a new transportation system is extending the reach of the city, and environmental initiatives are improving air and water quality. Fresh ideas are also emerging, while still embracing the rich traditions of the past. Near Songzhuang, a quiet village on the outskirts of Beijing, a unique opportunity exists to create a new urban district dedicated entirely to the cultivation of new ideas. The National Creative Cluster (NCC) is envisioned as the country’s preeminent knowledge hub, making the district a center for China’s innovative home-grown talent, and a destination for the world’s most creative thinkers. Sasaki’s master plan for NCC – selected in May 2012 for implementation – focuses on five structuring principles that underscore and support the overarching philosophy of the district: to bring industries with shared values and complementary skills and technologies together to help spark new ideas.