BARC old concepts Blurb

Beyond Architectural Regulations in China
Dynamic City Foundation

Introduction: China’s Code Conundrum
For the future of green cities the world looks at China with anxiety and anticipation. Urbanization is a central component of global sustainability and at the scale of China its planned urbanization of the coming decades will - for better or for worse - have a profound global impact. However, it is precisely China’s impressive ambition that painfully reveals the lack of sustainable planning models currently available. Though eager to copy and paste the best green solutions available, China is in reality limited to an approach of technological window-dressing. One the one hand because no relevant holistic models of sustainable planning exist for China’s booming market, on the other hand because China’s own planning codes, aimed to streamline the construction of its hundreds of new cities, effectively prevent any real sustainable design from occurring.

BARC (Beyond Architectural Regulations in China) is an ambitious collaborative design project to produce a holistic and tangible case study for sustainable planning in China. The outcome, a large model and an interactive video-wall, aim to inspire what a progressive green city could ultimately look like. The design process is fully documented to provide a clear presentation of how to achieve an integrated system through a long-term collaborative effort. New guidelines are deducted that shed light on how to manage sprawling regions around the world.

Problem / Solution

In three decades China has radically reconfigured itself spatially, economically and socially, with urbanization as one of the two main engines of growth. The mesmerizing speed of construction has supported double-digit economic development while facilitating the emergence of a vast home-grown consumer market. But such speed comes at a price. With no time to consider the future, China’s aggressive real-estate market has reduced urban planning to a single formula of sealed-off mega-block neighborhoods connected by highways - a fail-safe method to plot by plot privatize China’s once communal land. In a wave of modernization dozens of megacities are reconstructed from center to deep into the suburbs, while entirely new cities mushroom around them. The sense of control to design the cityscape (and indeed society itself) seems infinite. But exactly thirty years after the open door reforms and after thirty years of top-down planning (with the Olympics as its climax) the limits of instant urbanization are harshly revealing themselves. All generic problems of modernity, from congestion to alienation can be found on an enlarged scale. Seemingly in control, the mega-compounds are micro-planned, yet the sum of the countless real-estate projects grow together into organic urban patterns. The urban research of the DCF has mapped and analyses a process of increasing Market-driven Unintentional Development or MUD.

Bigger city, Better life
After thirty years China is half-way done. This simple fact makes its relentless top-down planning approach redundant. Modern China has a context, and its urban environments, however new, are affecting the direction of its ongoing development. In response to this MUD formation the DCF has produced the planning model Dynamic Density (DD) that adheres to China’s speed and works with the market-trends to streamline the natural direction of growth. It assumes a city has an inherent optimum proportion between urban footprint and population density. Counterintuitively that means China’s cities can grow much bigger while gaining efficiency and living comfort - a crucial notion for a green future in China.

Super Satellites (OUT as such )
The fundamental deduction of DD is that no new cities are needed. In reality, defined by Chinese planning culture and politics, hundreds of new cities will inevitably be build over the next few decades. Each potential new growth centers of more sprawl, of more MUD. This is where our design challenge begins. How can we make the omnipresent Chinese satellite city into a Super Satellite: A healthy fully integrated expansion of the mother city; a settlement that is not just ecologically, but socially and economically sustainable.

Accepting the contradiction the satellite city represents draws this project far beyond the suburbs into the countryside. The traditional distinction between urban and rural areas is in China all but lost. Complex production networks run from the CBD to the villages where the products are manufactured. This has made the rural periphery into an integral part of the urban economy, and as such essential to any sustainable urban prototype. The Super Satellite will carefully embed the Chinese city within its rural environment.

Equally important, it accepts the farmer turned migrant/factory worker into the equation of the modern Chinese city.

codes ... walking ...
bottom up ...

Book / Tianjin .......................... extend beyond ...

Posted by neville mars / 13.6 years ago / 36490 hits