Supersatellites outline

Bigger City, Better Life
Dynamic City Foundation

Why is it so difficult to make green cities, in general?
- no preexisting, overarching models (which is as it should be?); some theories

China is forcing us to rethink green models
- the conditions in China are such that no previous existing model can be applied
- Not only do foreign teams, with their theories not know what to do, China doesn’t either

Companies like Ove Arup/Foster are trying to build them
- Dongtan Eco-City is not really sustainable at all

  • Exception to the rule
  • 400,000 residents of island will commute to Shanghai; talk of creating 50,000 jobs, but a) how, b) that wouldn’t really solve the problem

Social approach: no new cities at a time when the satellite city is a fact of life
- it is possible to engineer cities, but not society
- Haven’t yet figured out the political context

Supersatellites defined
- new investment structure
- Dynamic Density model: building satellites; elevate to supersatellites
- eliminate 7 hour commutes
- examines immediate urban-rural network on the periphery of this Chinese city
- network established just outside field of urban gravity
- a button factory in a Beijing suburb transports its goods to a packaging facility in another; these goods may be shipped from central Beijing to the rest of the world.
- reflection of speed

Supersatellites executed

- dynamic project invoking 4 Chinese and 4 Dutch teams
- each assumes a successive five-year period over the next 40 years (2010-2050)
- designed with developer and mayor of that city
- each team will work for one week in their own office on a charrette, based on a simple brief
- each team will work for one week at DCF’s location, on an unseen 3m x 3m model. There will also be unforeseen changes
- each team’s work will build on the team that came before it

Urbanization in Holland v. China
- Every inch in Holland is connected, because it is the result of a slow process
- however, the whole country was built in 50 years
- Dutch cities: slow-growing, meticulously-designed; Chinese cities growing insanely quickly, little planning
- villages are a central part of both village and global economies
- ability to streamline rapid, unpredictable change
- few immediate threats in Holland, as things grow slowly. Less rhetoric of fear than in China; higher value of density
- contrast between Dutch culture and a different one [Dutch tendency towards bluntness, lightheartedness, pragmatism, obsessive organization, and to break rules and start afresh vs. Chinese...]

Anticipating growth
- Universal framework to manage growth
- Fostering sustainable development
- Exaggeration of what happens in Northern Europe?
- considering density as a physical substance and therefore allowing it to become an effective tool
- production of dynamic urban systems

New City Lounge
- area in which visitors can view the results of the exhibition, as well as artifacts from it
- interactive display of city allows viewer to scroll between years 2010-50
- large model
- films of process
-bridges theoretical models with organic

- china nearly doubled sustainable energy budget from 4 to 7 trillion RMB
- investigating a number of new interventions, but difficult to think sustainably in the long term
- planners, by thinking of new Chinese economy and culture, may be able to encourage dynamic urban development


Eight teams of architects, academics, and planners – four each from Holland and China –will participate in the charrette, which will take place at DCF’s studio in Beijing. Chosen for…[?] the teams will be given only the simplest of briefs and one week to prepare a conceptual design before arriving at DCF’s studio to work with the actual model. DCF will also present the teams with additional diversions from the previous brief.


Modeling phase

Architect teams will be presented with a 3x3 foam core model, other design supplies, and a brief. They will work in DCF’s Beijing space for one week each, for a total of eight weeks.

Exhibition space

New City Lounge will feature:

• a 3m x 3m model of the selected Chinese city in the year 2050
• an interactive exhibition detailing the evolution of the model from the year 2010 to 2050
• documentary film of the process
• visual presentation of DCF background research, as well as analysis of the process
• mock-ups of model/project
• artifacts from process: drawings, sketches, scrapped items?
• a comfortable seating and observation area for patrons


Phase 0: Planning building exercise
Phase 1: Building exercise
Phase 2: Synthesis, creation, revision
Phase 3: Exhibition design
Phase 4: Shipment to and exhibition in Shanghai


Setting up the model

- Technical specifications
- Installation instructions
- How the model will be made
- How the film will be made
- How the interactive display will be made
- How the installation will be sent to Shanghai

How much:

- Cost of building materials

  • Foam

-Cost of shipping to Shanghai
- Cost of hosting eight teams; transportation, per diem


Phase 1: Construction exercise at DCF, Beijing

- Foam building material
- Cutting tools
- Etc.
Process costs
- Printing
- Other production costs
Lodging etc. for 8 architect teams
- Lodging
- Food
- Transportation
- Per diem

Phase 2: Installation construction

Mounting and display of complete model

Interactive display

Documentary film

Display of DCF research

1. Urbanization in Holland v. China
2. Why is so difficult to make green cities? - Sustainability
3. The conditions in China are such that no previous existing model can be applied
- Nobody knows what to do about it
4. Not only do we not know what to do, China doesn’t either
5. No preexisting planning model has come before
6. China forces us to rethink green models
7. Context that forces us to reconsider, and to start defining, integrated/holistic planning
8. The world doesn’t have a sustainable planning model, but it has some ideas/studies, still nevertheless no school of thought, no overarching theory on green cities
9. Companies like Ove Arup/Foster are trying to build them
10. Mention ecocities; Dongtan. Can’t become too difficult. It is both the exception to the rule. Built on an island, 1.5 hours away from China, whilst aiming for upper-middle class residents. All going to be working in Shanghai; building a city and forcing 400,000 people to commute. Not sustainable. How would one create that many jobs?
11. can engineer cities but not society
12. Haven’t yet figured out political context of China
13. We’ve been saying, ‘no new cities.’ Expand on the new ones. But the satellite city is just a fact of life. This is the political reality. Investment structure; building these new cities. Supersatellites; something conceivable that, using our dynamic density model, can somehow reinterpret this reality of building satellites. And to elevate them to supersatellites. Are they viable in China, but don’t expand on the city so that there are 7 hour commutes.

Every inch in Holland is connected. Holistic because it is the result of a slow process. The whole of the country was built in fifty years.

Posted by Monica Datta / 13.7 years ago / 30859 hits