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thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
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The Next Giant Chinese City Could Float In The Ocean

The Next Giant Chinese City Could Float In The Ocean | green streets | Scoop.it

China is running out of room for its growing urban population. This amazing design--an entire prefab city that floats on water--could magically create more space.

As China prepares to squeeze in 350 million new urban residents over the new decade, the government will pave 5 billion square meters of new roads and build hundreds of new cities and towns. And as available land space gets smaller and smaller--especially near the bigger metropolitan regions where people really want to live--China may also start building cities on water.

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A (Thought) Bubble to Help China Tackle Pollution

A (Thought) Bubble to Help China Tackle Pollution | green streets | Scoop.it

We all know about the shocking statistics regarding the Mainland's pollution, as well as some of the drastic measures it has experimented with to battle it. London-based practice Orproject has come up with a temporary solution for this crowd, one that would transport the Bucky Ball and its biosphere into the contemporary situation in China.

The idea behind the “Bubbles” concept is to encapsulate a park or a garden under a transparent shell to provide an urban oasis of clean air for the citizens to enjoy. Made from ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), the structure would maintain a visual delicacy while providing a secure barrier to allow for the control of heat and humidity within. Mimicking the function of a leaf, the form will be covered with translucent solar cells (for conceptual "photosynthesis") and riddled with a series of veins that would function as the circulatory system of the park.

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Rural Urban Framework: Designing Projects that Help Communities Come Together

Rural Urban Framework: Designing Projects that Help Communities Come Together | green streets | Scoop.it

Often lost among the headlines about China's astonishing development has been a growing interest in the corresponding transformation of the Chinese countryside. At the forefront of architectural research and experimentation in this area is Rural Urban Framework (RUF), a studio headed by University of Hong Kong professors Joshua Bolchover and John Lin.


Since 2006, Bolchover and Lin, who originally hail from England and Taiwan, respectively, have been working with nonprofit organizations, private donors, and local governments on projects in villages throughout China. In Qinmo, in southern Guangdong province, they converted a disused school building into a community center, complete with a demonstration farm. In northern Shaanxi province, their Lingzidi bridge spans a small river to better connect local residents with agricultural fields, while accommodating washing, fishing, and small-truck access.

“Nowadays, 50 percent of the world lives in cities,” says Lin. “But we're interested in the other 50 percent—especially in China, one of the most intensively urban and intensively rural places in the world.”

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Sinuous structure by NEXT architects wins Chinese bridge competition

Sinuous structure by NEXT architects wins Chinese bridge competition | green streets | Scoop.it

NEXT architects has won a competition to design a pedestrian bridge for Changsha, China, with plans for a wavy structure based on a Möbius strip.

The structure will comprise a sequence of undulating steel ribbons that combine to create a never-ending surface, with intersecting connections, based on the principal of the Möbius ringThe form is also intended to reference traditional Chinese crafts.

The bridge will create three different routes across the water, including one that reaches a height of 24 metres to offer views of the harbour, the city and the surrounding mountains. Lighting fixtures will highlight the profile of the structure after dark.

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ADEPT Selected to Construct “Green Loops City” in China

ADEPT Selected to Construct “Green Loops City” in China | green streets | Scoop.it

Danish practice ADEPT has won an international, invited competition to master plan the 17KM2 site of Laiyan New Town and Binjian District in Hengyang, China. Their winning proposal, “Green Loops City” was lauded for developing an innovative and sustainable way to accommodate rapid urban growth while preserving Hengyang’s cultural heritage and lush surrounding landscape.

Aidi Su from ADEPT stated: “Much of Hengyang’s cultural and natural resources are still very much intact when compared to other Chinese cities facing rapid urban development. This is an incredible opportunity for us to make a difference in Chinese cities.”

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“Great City” Plan Puts Pedestrians First

“Great City” Plan Puts Pedestrians First | green streets | Scoop.it

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, dedicated to sustainable architecture, has imagined and designed city so compact that nothing is more than a 15-minute walk away.


Dubbed “Great City,” the prototype suggests a Chinese city that might be built in 2021 on the outskirts of Chengdu, a city in the southwest of Asia.

Taking up just 1.3 square miles and 320 acres, Great City could be home to 80,000 people. The project proposes that 15 per cent of the total acreage would be devoted to urban parks and green areas, 60 per cent to buildings and 25 per cent to roads and walkways.

To design the world’s first pedestrian-only city, the architects considered a massive transit centre where public transport would be concentrated...

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Steven Holl Completes “Micro-City” Complex In Chengdu, China

Steven Holl Completes “Micro-City” Complex In Chengdu, China | green streets | Scoop.it

Steven Holl has completed his latest, and some might say, most significant project in China. The Sliced Porosity Block, or “CapitaLand Raffles City Chengdu” was recently opened, ushering in a new type of architecture for one of China’s fastest growing cities.


Located in the heart of Chengdu, the dense three million square-foot complex creates a completely novel public space that’s hemmed in by five residential/office towers. The scheme, which flips the generic tower-and-podium typology on its head, differentiates itself from other nearby urban projects by privileging public space over exuberant form and material-wasting showmanship...

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ParadigmGallery's curator insight, January 18, 2013 3:56 PM

Steven Holl is an architect who's work we greatly admire. We appreciate our friend Lauren Moss for bringing this project to our attention.

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Is China's lakeside city the future of urban planning?

Is China's lakeside city the future of urban planning? | green streets | Scoop.it

China's next new city will be designed by US firm KPF, next to Hunan's regional capital, around a 40-hectare lake.


Adjacent to Changsha, the ancient capital city of Hunan, the design implements the sort of urban innovation that creates a sustainable and truly habitable environment.

"We can introduce integrated urban innovation," von Klemperer says, "we can combine water transport with localised energy production, cluster neighbourhood centres, advanced flood prevention and water management, and urban agriculture. Meixi is an experiment in future city planning and building. It will serve Changsha as a new CBD, but it will also serve as a paradigm for other Chinese city planners. It's a kind of live test case."


The firm seeks to achieve these goals through its dense, mixed-use urban, plan, with integration with surrounding mountains, lakes, parks and canals. Meixi Lake will eventually be home to 180,000 inhabitants, living in "villages" of 10,000 people, clustered around the canals...


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Sustainable Urbanism: a high-density, car-free vertical city in Chengdu, China

Sustainable Urbanism: a high-density, car-free vertical city in Chengdu, China | green streets | Scoop.it
Work is about to start on a high-density, car-free "satellite city" for 80,000 people close to Chengdu in China.


Designed by Chicago firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the 1.3 square km 'Great City' will feature a high-rise core surrounded by a buffer landscape of open space (60% of the total area). Residents will be able to walk from the city center to its edge in just 10 minutes.

“The design is attempting to address some of the most pressing urban issues of our time,” said architect Gordon Gill. “We’ve designed this project as a dense vertical city that acknowledges and in fact embraces the surrounding landscape.”

“The sustainability framework for Great City, custom-designed based on the principles of LEED-ND and BREEAM, follows an integrated approach toward meeting the overall objectives of environmental, economic and social sustainability,” notes Peter J. Kindel, AIA, ASLA, AS+GG’s Director of Urban Design. “Great City will incorporate innovative technologies and infrastructure systems to achieve 48% energy savings of a conventional urban development.”


The architects also note that the city will use 48% less energy and 58% less water than conventional developments of this size, producing 89% less landfill waste and generating 60% less carbon dioxide...

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EU Summit maps out the future for cities

EU Summit maps out the future for cities | green streets | Scoop.it
What is a sustainable city? What kind of pressure do our urban spaces have to face? What examples can small and medium cities set and how can their successes be reproduced around Europe? Some of the lessons are being learned at the 5th European Summit of Regions and Cities, in Copenhagen.

Approximately half of the world’s total population lives in urban areas. By 2030 80% of Europeans are expected to live in cities. This is why sustainable urban development is acquiring a crucial dimension in the debate over future European policies. Often local and regional areas manage to stand out for their eco-friendly practices, becoming open laboratories of sustainability, as the title of the summit suggests, “The European urban fabric in the 21st century”.

“Historically cities have always been innovation centres, but it is especially from the typical medium-sized European city that innovation starts. Now even the Chinese have discovered that small is beautiful, or better, middle-sized is beautiful. They have found that cities of 500,000 to 600,000 residents are much more sustainable, and they are building medium-sized urban areas to avoid their cities turning into megalopoli,” says President of the Committee of Regions Mercedes Bresso...

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Less express: China's Railways

Less express: China's Railways | green streets | Scoop.it

China's love affair with fast trains is gathering steam again. Undaunted by horrendous accidents and massive cost overruns, officials are planning further expansion of the country’s high-speed rail network. A new service has begun between the southern cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, nearly halving the travel time to 35 minutes. With trains capable of travelling up to 380kph (236mph), the service will eventually be extended to nearby Hong Kong. For those craving even faster speeds, CSR Corp, China’s biggest trainmaker, has unveiled a supertrain (pictured above) said to be inspired by the shape of an ancient Chinese sword. It should slice through the air at 500kph.

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Eco Villa Concepts in Flavors Orchard, China by Vincent Callebaut Architecture

Eco Villa Concepts in Flavors Orchard, China by Vincent Callebaut Architecture | green streets | Scoop.it

Vincent Callebaut Architecture have designed a series of plus-energy villas for a self contained eco community in China. The Flavors Orchard project aims to encourage sustainable developments in China by showcasing the economic and environmental advantages of self sufficient buildings with efficient automated energy systems...

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KSP Designs Floating ‘Urban Helix’ for Changsha

KSP Designs Floating ‘Urban Helix’ for Changsha | green streets | Scoop.it

KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten International has been awarded first prize for their proposal of a new “urban helix” in Changsha, China, that extends public space from the city center into Lake Meixi. The concept serves as a catalyst, marking a termination point on a new street axis that culminates into a pedestrian ramp symbolically spiraling 30 meters above a 20,000 square meter artificial island.

Considered as a “city built from scratch,” Changsha has been host to a slew of architectural and urbanist projects in recent years. From Zaha Hadid’s ambitious Culture and Arts Centre to KPF’s 120 million square foot master plan, the city has been an experimental hot bed, expecting to grow to 180,000 inhabitants within the coming years...

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Aubri Shauger-Haley's curator insight, January 27, 2014 10:19 AM

Will be interesting to see how this is accepted. A "Pedestrian ramp" sprialing 30 meters above an artifical island... I wish them well...

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MAD Envisions More ‘Natural’ Chinese Cities in the Future

MAD Envisions More ‘Natural’ Chinese Cities in the Future | green streets | Scoop.it

Ma Yansong of MAD recently presented a 600,000 square meter urban design proposal for the city of Nanjing titled, “Shanshui Experiment Complex,” at the 2013 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism / Architecture in Shenzhen, China. The concept takes into account the culture, nature and history of Nanjing while reconsidering the methodology in which Chinese cities are built.

Yasong’s vision of a natural urban environment calls upon traditional Chinese values, veering away from a purely functionalist approach to city-making. Thus, the rigidness of the “box” is replaced with flowing lines that rhythmically rise to create a series of smooth spaces and volumes resulting in a more natural (looking) skyline.

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How to Bring China's Ghost Towns Back to Life

How to Bring China's Ghost Towns Back to Life | green streets | Scoop.it

We’ve all seen the reports on “ghost town” developments in China, showing acres of empty high-rise apartments and vacant shopping malls-Flawed financial incentives for cities, along with the poor phasing of services, amenities, and jobs create most of the problems. 

An all-too-typical example is Chenggong, the new town planned for 1.5 million that boasts the growing Yunnan University, a new government center; and an emerging light industrial area.

Fortunately, Chenggong is experimenting with a new model of urban planning. With support from the national government and planning by the China Sustainable Transportation Center.

More at the article link.

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Philippa Rose's curator insight, September 10, 2013 12:10 PM

Peter Calthrope explains the economic, environmental and social problems created by China's "ghost town" developments and considers a sustainable alternative currently being considered in the city of Chenggong.

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A Skyscraping, Vertical Farm Tower Concept

A Skyscraping, Vertical Farm Tower Concept | green streets | Scoop.it

Although China has the largest agricultural output in the world, supporting more than 20% of the world’s population, only 15% of its land can be cultivated, of which only 1.2% permanently supports crops. The total land area used for farming is also set to fall as more and more land is used for development, though Spanish architectural firm Javier Ponce Architects has come up with an innovative solution. 

Its design concept, titled ‘Dynamic Vertical Networks’, consists of 615-foot tall structures to be used as farms located in close proximity to urban areas like Hong Kong, in order to keep food distribution costs low. The structures will be made of lightweight, recycled metallic materials, in a shifting floorplate design inspired by “traditional shifting terrace concepts in Chinese rice farming”. Crops would be grown hydroponically, to create a soil-free environment. The plants will benefit from high levels of natural sunlight from the unobstructed, open design. 

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Sky-high horticulture: Shenzhen's 'farmscraper' plan

Sky-high horticulture:  Shenzhen's 'farmscraper' plan | green streets | Scoop.it

Conceived in response to a densely populated Chinese city's unchecked growth, Asian Cairns is an ambitious take on vertical farming.


A Belgian architect recently unveiled the 79-acre masterplan for Asian Cairns, a dizzying new vision of urban vertical farming in China. 
Consisting of a sextet of “sustainable monoliths for rural urbanity” — stacked, pebble-esque, steel-ringed transparent pods that are powered by both vertical wind turbines and photovoltaics — Vincent Callebaut Architects’ Asian Cairns is planned for the rapidly swelling, skyscraper-heavy port city of Shenzhen in the southern province of Guangdong north of Hong Kong.
Beyond agricultural concerns, Asian Cairns is envisioned as a mixed-use development that also incorporates residential, retail, and recreational areas. Imagined as being completely emissions-free and producing more energy than they consume, the Cairns were conceived in direct response to Shenzhen’s unchecked urban development and the population growth and increased pollution levels that have accompanied it...
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Duane Craig's curator insight, March 15, 2013 12:00 PM

Really cool, but I bet it will be a real challenge and expense to build it. Look at all the curved glass.

ParadigmGallery's curator insight, March 19, 2013 1:08 PM

TY Lauren Moss...

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Smart Cities + Green Megaprojects of the Future

Smart Cities + Green Megaprojects of the Future | green streets | Scoop.it

For many years, architects and city planners from around the world have been trying to create the green ideal: an entire city built to strict environmental standards- highly functional while still retaining aesthetic value.


Here’s a look at some green building and community design that caught our attention in recent months and may (or may not) become reality in the next several years. Their physical footprints may be large, but by using features such as wind power, solar, rainwater recycling and advanced air quality controls, their carbon footprints don't have to be...

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Mercor's curator insight, January 2, 2013 6:33 AM

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Norm Miller's curator insight, January 2, 2013 4:32 PM

This is going beyond Mazdar in Dubai.  The reality is that we need to transform existing cities since starting from scratch is rare.  We need to retrofit cities more than build new ones, but still it is interesting.

Alexandre Pépin's curator insight, March 4, 2013 6:31 AM

 

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Green Space + Pedestrian-Oriented Development: Futian District masterplan in Shenzhen by SWA Group

Green Space + Pedestrian-Oriented Development: Futian District masterplan in Shenzhen by SWA Group | green streets | Scoop.it
SWA Group has been selected to redesign Futian District in Shenzhen, China.

The landscape architecture and urban planning firm hopes to transform the congested and car-dominated district of central Shenzhen into a calmer, greener space where pedestrians are welcome.

As part of SWA’s masterplan, titled Garden City of Tomorrow, residential streets will be made over with exercise areas for all age groups as well as quieter green spaces. Office streets will incorporate gardens with seating areas, while retail streets will encourage pedestrian traffic with public art and better lighting. A botanical garden in the shape of a circuit board, representing the Chinese city’s electronics industry, has been proposed for a space alongside the Civic Center.

“Our landscape and urban design strategies will rebalance Futian from a car-dominated city with a challenging street system to offer a more beautiful, more functional environment, from landscaped boulevards and greenspaces to plazas and large gathering spaces,” said Sean O’Malley, the principal leading the masterplan from SWA Group...


See more renderings and learn more about the Garden City of Tomorrow at the complete article.

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China Looks to Future with Tianjin Eco-city...

China Looks to Future with Tianjin Eco-city... | green streets | Scoop.it

With a cityscape that is all cranes and thrusting new towerblocks, Tianjin Eco-city could at first glance be any of the hundreds of urban areas in China expanding at a breathless pace.

But this joint Chinese-Singaporean project, which was started in 2008 and will be finished in 2020, aims to be something very different from the norm: a model for more sustainable development in a country urbanising at a pace unprecedented in history.

"With rapid urbanization, there will be new cities being built. When you're building new cities you start by going for principles of sustainability," says the project's chief executive, Ho Tong Yen, a Singaporean diplomat and government official...

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Can China Support Its New Urban Majority?

Can China Support Its New Urban Majority? | green streets | Scoop.it

By the end of 2011, the population in China was about 1.35 billion. Roughly 51.27 percent of that, 690 million people, are considered urban, according to a recent announcement from China’s National Bureau of Statistics. It’s an interesting landmark, but also slightly troubling in light of another official report that warns of "grim" threats from climate change...

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