Seed talks response 28th April

Interplay between micro and macro levels in seeding cities:

How building typology defines street morphology, not always clear which comes first
Many archetypes are not possible in certain typologies- Archetype has seed law/force
Building codes impact planning codes

The relation between Top-down and Bottom-up Initiatives Build cities from seeds

Top down rules people impose, organise self-organising principles of cities? NO PURE TOPDOWN FORCE - always a dialectic of forces but most influential is top-down??
e.g. slums are ultimate organic growth, but they slums follow rigorous guidelines and every square inch is fought over, with power brokers or neighbours – unwritten rules or guidelines on primitive level can distinguish different guidelines of organisational complexity that can be traced back to the home
- trace morphology back to customs/way of life traced back to the smallest unit –
Principles can be very simple – cities as complex systems – come across as undefinable b/c we can trace back to small units

Commercial system:

Amsterdam  e.g. for bridging top-down and bottom-up  early form PPP necessary to overcome obstacles to building/general living posed by soft soil
- Also, in Amsterdam canals were required to be built and maintained by the public for use by private people
- Can draw a parallel to current problems: climate, water and air pollution cannot be mitigated by private citizens in an effective way there must be action carried out at different levels -
Context is important, morphology depends on a number of factors - customs; system of ownership;
Components versus nodes
Components more like small units of hierarchies
Original urban block – public front, shop front, private green space in the back – discuss 19th Century Shantou, Hong Kong and Kowloon walled city?
History of a western seed back to china –show how Shantou has a strong influence from the intellectual transportation from the west and adaptation
Not about comparing individual seeds but the transmutation and adaptation of the seed itself It’s about ongoing adaptation/evolution of seeds to become resilient
==The aim of planning?==: The morphologies we’re trying to create are the ones that adapt to their unique circumstances and challenges as quickly and easily as possible, no matter where we’re going to build these eco-hubs/urban expansions
Seeds respond to their environment – seeds grow best in the best environmental conditions
Limitations of strip city – how long can it be? Project on the city: Shenzen- high-speed evolution of generational of urban planning theory

Issues defining industrial/commercial/post-industrial cities: New York

- The transition from agricultural to industrial to commercial
- The same grid has facilitated all types of economic activity in NYC
I think you got a bit off track in this part of the discussion – previously you were talking about seeds in general rather than the specific morphology of particular cities. One of you said something about the new function showing (in becoming commercial city) that nyc had become a new seed but this is confusing the metaphor a bit I think.
You discussed that it’s not about one seed’s evolution but the whole evolution of the seed and identified the same morphology has allowed all these functions and allowed all the different functions.
It was asked what is the seed and then answered it’s the grid but not only the grid.

Is the seed the city or the plans for the city or the morphology of the city or the ideas/theory behind it? It’s really none of these and all of these, if that makes sense.

The way I understand it, the seed is the potential for growth.

All cities are the same and all cities are different for exactly the same reasons –they’re the same because cities have all been developed/built to facilitate interactions between people for economic prosperity or safety or administrative/political reasons. They’re all different because of the specific context that those cities have grown into whether that be climate, topography, cultural/customary norms, religious reasons, historical flows of immigrants, spatial factors, proximity to other cities etc.
In the case of nyc, the grid was what allowed the seed to take root and facilitated its growth. Similarly, in Shenzen, being identified as a Special Economic Zone was what spurred the growth of the city. Its’ form and function flowed from that. I hope this is making sense to all of you.

If we start the seeding chapter from this understanding of seeds, we can discuss the historical evolution of different seeds – the egg diagram, discuss PPPs in Amsterdam, discuss NYC’s grid, Shenzen special economic zone, the morphology of the dragon/strip city etc.
Then we can go directly into the discovery of duplication and the “copy-and-paste” planning and building of new cities in China and the evolution of Chinese urban policy and the problems with “seeding satellites”
This could lead to our conclusion of no new cities and lead us into evolutionary planning chapter?
This is very rough but I think the chapter structure could look something like this and would pretty much conform to what we’ve already discussed:


We could discuss:
Concept of the seed as potential for growth
Factors affecting the evolution of the seed – geographical context, historical factors, spatial factors, cultural, customary etc
Genetics of the seed: building codes? Archetypes etc and the relationship between micro and macro aspects of city-building
Effective seeds are adaptable


China’s policy/development
The importation/transportation of seeds (ideas and practice) from the west to china  Shantou?


Conclusions: It’s impossible to build an eco-city from scratch?
We need a new process/approach to eco-cities (evolutionary planning)

Posted by Jessica Noyes / 9.8 years ago / 7925 hits