first attempt

Neville Mars, Jessica Noyes, Sai Bond Chong

Previous research pages for Cloud City

summation of ecocity technologies and concepts

Outline First Draft 2013/03/07

MOM Stage 0 - problematic and premise

The Chinese Dream
First book concluded with the finding of the megapolis that was in the guise of the 400 cities. Distinctions of the 400 cities to the megapolis (Jing-Hu greater region).
Recap Issues: of sprawl to sprawl derivatives; building new cities to a flexible framework, Dynamic Density.

Core premise: Instead of designing a new city, we will need to design processes that city develops.??
Goal of 400 cities diverting to 100 eco-cities (why?)
Seeding of cities, (basis/ maps of development of cities)
Eco-cities, let's look at its (context, definition, and success)

  • Context: why the change?

  • Definition: is it really a sustainable model or is it just new-towns in disguise? (is it really change?)
  • Success: based on its definition, how does it compare to various other manifestos (how successful is it?)

MoM Stage 1

Five inherent contradictions

1.Energy (Eco-city to power grid)
Intrinsic problem of having a 'smart grid' connected to a brown-coal powered grid
Energy Crisis and conundrum averted by have a new UHV grid that allows reselling to the national network, being fully renewable by 2030! (examples/ data)

2. No new cities
Uncontrollable design due to Market Unintentional Development. This issue is relates to SPEED, SCALE, and SPRAWL. (Recap)

Current system causes intrinsic obstacles in being to Engineering driven
Green on the computer model but outdate when implemented, realized, used by society (i.e. Dong-tan), via.

  • Green Edge (include feasibility study)

4.Accountability / pollution / remediation and de-urbanization
Set/ Research the premise that the whole of china is a brown-field. (basis for statement?) via:

  • Resources Inventory/Sharing of responsibilities through a water-shed pollution detection system.
  • Growing backwards/ Remediating brown-field,suitable to the scale of China.

5. Accomodating Change/ Static City / Diversity relating of speed relating to policy
The current system prevents a sustainable outcome (Policies?) Encouraging resiliency to change via :

  • Time-oriented planning/ development
  • Micro plots
  • Micro-zoning

MoM Stage 2

Definitions of a successful Eco-City

Discussions 2012/ 03/ 06

First book concluded with the finding of the megapolis that was in the guise of the 400 cities being built. Distinctions of the 400 cities to the megapolis.

Step 0
Conclude findings of 400 cities to the new declaration of 100 new Eco-cities, see M.U.D.

Step 1
Questions to ask

  • " who formulated the policies?"
  • The whole notion of the redefinition of Eco-cities
  • Intrinsic obstacles of ecocities make it impossible to achieve such goals?
  • If China likes best practices so much, why not give them a best practice?
  • What does the project have to offer? see SHELL

  • Structure*

5issues 5 Problems?

  1. Policies
  2. Energy (a clean city connected to a brown-coal powered grid?)
  3. Accountability (Rivers)
  4. Impossibility of New Towns
  5. Speed/ Diversity

Initial talk MOM

Linear story about planning – 4 projects offer parallel story
Fundamentals – need to figure out fundamentals of planning they touch upon
Idea – Is the city man’s greatest invention or a by-product of civilisation
Foundation of bookwe need to regain control over the city in light of growing environmental problems.
This book shows us what has gone wrong in the past and approaches to planning able to address these problems


Keywords: Seeding of City, ''copy and paste'', duplication of redevelopment, urban centers, volumetric redevelopment.
Fundamentals Values of the city: Intro into: Basic services/ Healthy Conditions, Adequate building/ infrastructure, Secure tenure, Societal Inclusion, Political Will.
Quote ??Planning is dead, long live planning – Planning exists within a milieu where not everything is up to planners??

Issues with planning

  • The main problem as seen in that it is organism that is too complex and systemically layered for a organisation to control. See PUC.
    • Paradox: There exists some inherent organic force [for city organisation] when you let go, you’ll be much closer to what you’re intending Purely capitalist cities are more spatially compact and efficient. However, I’d say that “purely capitalist cities” don’t exist. Rather the point of difference is if individuals are able to exert some control over the city at a local scale (?). This ties into the “bottom-up” theme which we could possibly tie in as a fundamental of eco-city planning (?) –just a thought. In a compact way we have to build upon the storyline of the last book (NO NEW CITIES!) see the new book as a follow-up with a more practical focus than the last book (THEN WHAT? WHERE TO GO FROM THIS POINT)This book is about praxis from the last book – The Chinese Dream supplies the context and starting point of MOM – we are talking about the same issues as the last book but we are now talking about how to move forward.
  • Further excaberated with the issue of fleeting and sustained migration to cities, (Using the examples of new cities and under-utilized cities ie inner-mongolia to form the politcal, economic, social backdrop at which we can start our narrative. Not a summary but more of the issues/ ongoing trends of future cities.
  • Perhaps the distinctions of the organic and the purpose built city is worth mentioning ( ie factory towns of South China, Shen-zhen, Zhuhai Delta (FoxConn,China) compared to historical examples ( Saline de Choux, Arc-et-senans)
  • Must keep in mind focus on fundamentals concept – in following chapters we need to identify and discuss specific fundamentals  the unique/distinguishing features for planning and how urban life takes shape

Misc thoughts Modern TImes (movie)


Keywords: Evolutionary, Relay, Duplication, MUD
Fundamentals Values: Societal Inclusion, Adequate building/ infrastructure
Central Statement “no new cities” then becomes “no new expansion.” This is the essence of the CLOUD CITY PROJECT
Scale of Change: city-wide level; in essence a organism that feeds of interaction, decisions, and change from various agents in the city. A beast to steer another uncontrollable beast of the city.

  • Set context with previous theme in the dangers of duplication of plans/ theory that might have worked else-where you can’t expand/plan a city from scratch on greenfields and expand it to work.
    • Perhaps the distinction of organic cities and imposed/ duplicated cities could be explored, in essence the cities that have developed over extended periods of time and developed at an imposed accerated pace. Priming the audience to the theory of seeding cities.
  • The satellite city/Garden City idea is flawed (for two reasons):
    • We introduce the notion that we can’t plan whole cities from scratch because we don’t believe it’s possible to achieve successful holistic social/urban engineering.
      • CLOUD CITY we don’t want to engineer artificial environment but even if you do you create more points for urban fragmentation/sprawl  satellite towns attract MUD (market-driven, unintentional development)MUD is the result of different actors responding to their environment. In this way, the foundations of MUD are organic.
    • New cities just offer another starting point for sprawl.
      • However, we must re-think the concept of sprawl because the original intent/meaning of the word has been lost. The term has become “diluted” to the point that within planning it’s used to describe and development viewed as bad.Speedsprawl; monosprawl; infrasprawl; policysprawl; transsprawl and one other ?
      • The development of new suburbs outside Beijing which were initially identified as deplorable but were actually very dense and within 2-3 years became vibrant new places
  • We have to deal with the implications of DUPLICATION. Neville has found that every city in China (big and small) has duplicated itself over the last 15-20 years with the creation of Industrial Development Zones.
    • The infrastructure is there (paid for by Beijing with money for ground work to attract foreign investment)
    • The trend of duplication had delivered underutilized urban spaces next to each centre
    • These spaces offer a great opportunity for eco-city development – avoids dealing with theoretical conundrum that despite “no new cities” being the solution – we need new cities (area?) to deal with current trends of urbanisation
    • Empty Industrial Development Zones (IDZ) offer underutilized but already utilized space we might need in the future. They are the starting point for design-manual that explains the step-by-step process of transforming these industrial zones into eco-cities which are mixed-use residential zones.
  • The cloud city as a enabler to allow for various social and infrastructure utilization of these IDZ.
    • 1. some form of sensory or smart urban network (SUN?); smart grids; 3. cloud computing; 4. virtual services / internet of things; open-source

STEP 2: De-urbanisation? The SINO-DUTCH PROJECT –Shenzhen/ Longgang


Fundamentals Values : .

The question here is how to build an eco-city on top of an existing town - one that is already occupied.
It’s nice to introduce the idea of de-urbanisation within the context of China which is urbanising and growing rapidly. In this way, de-urbanisation is a model to protect against negative effects of MUD
In this chapter we rollout steps/concepts from the eco-city manual which offers a spatial framework for action based on carefully mapped locations
Method of mapping context and working within that framework
Introduce time-based approach for new city to overtake old city
FUNDAMENTAL: much future urbanisation will be about urban upgrading (which can involve de-urbanization)
We must carefully map the existing context and make sure we don’t destroy what’s valuable
In Shenzhen/ Longgang conditions ahve become so aggressive that the Pearl River Delta has become completely grown over with settlements which are now encroaching on the greenfields of the mountains

  • We must reverse this trend of sprawl and let green spaces back into the city
  • Un-urbanizing involves tearing down the most polluting areas and letting nature regenerate
  • We must have in mind some kind of post-industrial or dematerialised society while understanding that these processes are non-linear and unpredictable
    • The task is to enable these processes to take shape (organically??)

STEP 3: Evolutionary Planning - CAOFEIDIAN

Keywords: Relay-based, Evolutionary Planning
Fundamentals Values : .
Problems/ Issues:
But wait, a fundamental question should be asked, are they working? needs more research agressive development and temporal issues (temporaral roll-over migration) of such sattellite towns causing depletion of resources and under-utilization of such programs. As mentioned in the People's Urbanity of China; the distinction between urban and rural conditions is steadily lost as China moves towards a hyper-suburban road dependent landscape?.

Site-specific, micro-mapped
Following universal values – roadmap to implementing values and let design happen as freely and diversely as possible but also quickly with relay-style planning
Important: Back to beginning point of step 0: The crux of evolutionary planning is that planning occurs in a context that planners are not in control of. The copy and paste approach is creating static environments that are not capable of dealing with change (or reality). We need a new approach to planning that is more flexible and capable of encouraging dynamism in the city
The key problem is one of speed – we must think long-term but this only works in slow moving contexts like Europe
People want cities that have developed organically because they are more capable of responding to change (changing environmental issues; social needs etc.)
Back to the initial paradox: There exists some inherent organic force [for city organisation] when you let go, you’ll be much closer to what you’re intending
Questions raised here include – can we short-cut this slow evolution of cities
Evolutionary planning offers one way to do this

STEP 4: MUMBAI – micro-level responses?

Fundamentals Values : .

Product scale: Giving individuals the tools to develop their own environment

If from MUD to MID (market-driven, intentional development??) the question is how to spur social investment in these– tax breaks, regulations, zoning etc

China doesn’t officially have slums – it’s too controlled. Or if it does have slums, they are temporary and better built – these slums are less a physical entity than reflection of social status?

ANECDOTE FROM INDIAN DEVELOPERS: What we saw in India was that developers were the only proactive people  they were the right partners for social entrepreneurship BUT they need to make profits and so they want to adopt the top-down “copy and paste” methods of China’s approach to urbanisation

Mumbai Manifesto

Focusing on the micro-scaled intervention, where ''trickle-up'' effect of bottom up strategies will be used as a starting point for a sustainable vision. Such as

  • water wall installation
  • Groove building component

Although there is a need to balance it with a comfort level in the implementation of this development. Issues of private space and Floor Space Index. Where the intervention and support on the bottom rungs of day-to-day interventions.

How can we contrast this to various other cities that are also in the volumetric cities, such as Hong Kong and Singapore? Perhaps the issues of time/ space scarcity in the context of serviced needs can be used in relations to of urban centers.

Step 05: Definition of a successfull Eco-City:

In this proposed chapter, Neville made the distiinction of the definition of a successfull eco-city.
Less DUPLICATION and more UTILIZATION, using the unique ubiquity of the brown-field nature of industrial cities as a backdrop in the development of these these eco-cities (brown to green?)
Thus with the values distilled from the above research prongs, the values will be of: Micro-Planning,... (add to list

Title IDEAS :
Manifesto of Mistakes : Urban Solutions for a New World
Needs to be about approaches to regain control/exercise an influence over the shape of city development to address current problems
Incorporate “bottom-up”

Incorporate “fundamentals” in line with biennale
A Manifesto of Mistakes: ???
Personal notes for a more conceptual structure:
Also, If we’re calling the book ‘a manifesto of mistakes’ then we need to structure it around the mistakes that are being made e.g. satellite cities; types of sprawl; low density; “copy and paste” trend of duplication development [monosprawl?] etc.

A more conceptual version could go:
ANECDOTE FROM INDIAN DEVELOPERS: What we saw in India was that developers were the only proactive people  they were the right partners for social entrepreneurship BUT they need to make profits and so they want to adopt the top-down “copy and paste” methods of China’s approach to urbanisation
This gives us a starting point to discuss the current context of Chinese cities and the approaches of planning
Then from there we can structure chapters around a kind of thesis-antithesis-synthesis formula (if that makes sense)
i.e. Current practice (mistake) – case study illustrating problems – possible solution

Posted by neville mars / 10.1 years ago / 6704 hits