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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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New London Architecture: 100 Ideas for Solving London's Housing Crisis

New London Architecture: 100 Ideas for Solving London's Housing Crisis | green streets |

With ideas ranging from floating homes to new mega-cities, New London Architecture has revealed 100 proposals to address the housing crisis in London. The ideas will be on display as part of the New Ideas for Housing exhibition at the NLA Galleries in the Building Centre in London. After an open ideas competition announced June 2015, over 200 entries were received with 10 finalists to be selected for the opportunity to work with the Greater London Authority to implement their ideas.

With so many entries, certain trends in thinking emerged. The retro-fitting of London suburbs, and the idea of giving homeowners greater responsibility was popular: Alastair Parvin and Adam Towle in partnership with the WikiHouse Foundation proposed the “Right to Replace,” which allows homeowners to replace their existing property with their dream home, if they use half their space, incentivizing density. Other ideas include apps that locate future development sites, and a ‘build-to-own’ financing and ownership model by Savills.

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Floating cities: Is the ocean humanity’s next frontier?

Floating cities: Is the ocean humanity’s next frontier? | green streets |

Floating cities are nothing new. In the early 1960s, Buckminster Fuller designed a city – Triton – that was intended to float off the coast of Tokyo Bay. It was later considered but never commissioned by the US government.

“Three-quarters of our planet Earth is covered with water, most of which may float organic cities,” Fuller explains in his book Critical Path. “Floating cities pay no rent to landlords. They are situated on the water, which they desalinate and recirculate in many useful and non-polluting ways.”

Fifty years on, with heavy pollution causing climate change and rising sea levels, Fuller’s floating city concept is being seriously considered as an antidote to those problems.

Maricarmen Husson's curator insight, August 7, 2014 11:18 PM

Ciudades flotantes....será la humanidad del océano la próxima frontera?....

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's curator insight, August 12, 2014 4:42 AM

With the advent of climate change and sea level rise, such cities may be necessary in the near future.


China has may build a floating city. Chinese Construction Company has already has already commissioned plans to test this ambitious project from a smaller scale, beginning in 2015.


The eco-friendly project is expected to be self-sufficient, with on-island food production, power generation, and waste management systems. However, there is little information about how food security would be achieved out in the ocean.


More scoops on climate change and food security here:

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What if we could rebuild New York City?

What if we could rebuild New York City? | green streets |
New York has become one of the world’s most populous, densely packed cities. What if you could redraw the city’s map – and build it from scratch?

If we were designing New York today, how different would it look?

The new New York City would balance the relationship between the information networks that the metropolis depends on and Earth’s finite resources.

All vital components of life would be monitored and attuned to the needs of every organism, not just humans. Supplies of food and water, our energy and waste and even our air would be sensibly scrutinised. Thanks to masses of miniaturised low-cost electronic components deployed across the city, communication becomes far easier. New York will grow and adapt to millions of new minds entering it everyday.

The city would make sure every need is provided for within its borders. How we provide nutrients, transports, and shelter would be updated. Dilapidated buildings would be replaced with vertical agriculture and new kinds of housing would join cleaner, greener ways to get around the city. What were once streets become snaking arteries of livable spaces, embedded with renewable energy sources, low-tech, green vehicles for mobility and productive nutrient zones. The former street grid could provide the foundation for new flexible networks. By reengineering the obsolete streets, we can create robust and ecologically active pathways.

While all this may sound optimistic, some of this city of tomorrow is already taking shape...

Norm Miller's curator insight, April 18, 2014 2:36 PM

What a great academic exercise!  The question is really applicable to all new cities and city undergoing renovation.  More mixed use, greener, better transport systems, more shared everything and more self-sufficient describe the plan.

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Designing The Innovation Economy: Using Technology To Shape The Future City

Designing The Innovation Economy: Using Technology To Shape The Future City | green streets |
With technological change marching forward at a rapid clip, city environments are being reshaped and the urban experience is being reimagined.

Nearly ubiquitous mobile access has provided visitors and residents with the ability to unlock the “secrets” of the city, opening the door to new experiences and improving livability and user-friendliness. However, in order to make the best of these changes, policy must welcome and support innovation and the urban transformation that accompanies it—and there’s no one-size-fits-all formula...

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7 Ways Our Cities Will Change According to TED's Urban Experts

7 Ways Our Cities Will Change According to TED's Urban Experts | green streets |
Silent parks. Designing for disabilities. Human-powered data. Garbage anthropology. World-class sidewalks. Floating favelas. Paint as infrastructure.

These are the keys to the cities of the future, according to the most recent TED conference, City 2.0. Last year, for the first time, the TED Prize went to an idea—the future of the city—and a million dollars was divvied up among ten grantees all over the world.

Last week was the first-ever TED City 2.0 conference, featuring several of those grantees plus many other urban leaders discussing their ideas for the future of the city.

Raymond Versteegh's curator insight, October 6, 2013 3:36 PM

Simple ideas wrapped in big dreams. GET INSPIRED! 

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The City of 2050: An Interactive Graphic

The City of 2050: An Interactive Graphic | green streets |

Experts predict that by 2050, three-quarters of the world's population will live in cities.

For part of its Tomorrow's Cities season the BBC takes a look through the crystal ball to imagine what city life might be like in 40 years' time.

Find more details at the interactive graphic at the link.

Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, August 23, 2013 4:15 PM

Here's some ideas on how we might live in the future. What do you think?

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The Cities We Want: Resilient, Sustainable, and Livable

The Cities We Want: Resilient, Sustainable, and Livable | green streets |

Resilience is the word of the decade, as sustainability was in previous decades. No doubt, our view of the kind and quality of cities we as societies want to build will continue to evolve and inspire a new goal. Surely we have not lost our desire for sustainable cities, with footprints we can globally and locally afford, even though our focus has rightly been on resilience.

It speaks to the question: what is the city we want to create in the future? What is the city in which we want to live? Certainly that city is sustainable and resilient, so our cities are still in existence after the next 100-year storm, now apparently due every few years...

And yet: as we build this vision we know that cities must also be livable. Indeed, we must view livability as the third indispensible—and arguably most important—leg supporting the cities of our dreams: resilient + sustainable + livable.

ParadigmGallery's curator insight, May 13, 2013 2:31 PM

We thank you, Lauren Moss, for the interesting post. The post speaks to the three buzz words for our cities now and in the future...livable, resilient, sustainable....


New Yorkers exhibited a lot of personal and psychological resilience after Hurricane Sandy—they picked themselves up and started again, often rebuilding their lives in the same spot. This is true all over: people are resilient in the face of hard times..learn more

ParadigmGallery's comment, May 13, 2013 2:32 PM
interesting post....TY
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Could Earth's Population Peak in 2050?

Could Earth's Population Peak in 2050? | green streets |

For the past two decades, demographers have generally agreed that global population growth will continue to inch steadily higher in the coming century, raising concerns about everything from pollution to housing to the world's water supply.

But a new study out of Spain suggests those estimates may be way off—several billion people off—and that the earth's population could instead peak as soon as 2050. Applying a mathematical model to global population trends, these researchers believe that there will be fewer people living on earth in 2100 than there are today.

In 2011, the United Nations population division predicted a global population of 10.1 billion by 2100, an increase of nearly 50 percent from the earth's current population of 7 billion.

But scientists at the Autonomous University of Madrid and CEU-San Pablo University say their estimates, developed by using techniques from high-level physics to analyze UN population data between 1950 and the present, match that low-fertility curve. That path shows global population peaking in 2050 slightly above eight billion, and then falling back to 6.2 billion by the end of the century, the same as the total world population back in 2000...

Read the complete article for more details and related diagrams.

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Reinventing the Payphone: Designs for NYC's Future Public Smartphones...

Reinventing the Payphone: Designs for NYC's Future Public Smartphones... | green streets |

When Mayor Bloomberg announced New York City’s Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge last winter, it was an opportunity to see how designers would reimagine these idle relics of last century’s infrastructure into something other than a shading device for smartphone-browsing in sunny weather.

From the looks of the finalists, which Bloomberg announced Tuesday, tomorrow’s payphone could have a lot of app-style features, from weather reports and wayfinding to voice and gesture control.

A handful of New York’s roughly 11,000 payphones already serve as wifi hotspots thanks to a pilot program launched by the city last summer, so the leap to hyperconnectivity isn’t as far-fetched as it may seem. A few years down the line, we could all be using a shiny new network of payphones to call taxis by voice command, charge our devices, check the weather for our urban farms, and, inevitably, look at ads.

The six finalists are chosen in five categories—creativity, connectivity, functionality, community impact, and visual design.

Visit the article link to view the proposals and learn more about what may be the payphone of the future...

Florence Rollin's curator insight, March 10, 2013 5:26 AM

Nouveaux styles, nouvelles fonctions pour des cabines téléphoniques du futur 

kaja jacobs's curator insight, March 11, 2013 11:20 AM

looks so cool but people can do what you are doing not so cool

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ARUP's Urban Skyscraper: A Design Proposal for the Year 2050

ARUP's Urban Skyscraper: A Design Proposal for the Year 2050 | green streets |

In the article entitled “It’s Alive,” the design team at engineering firm ARUP envision a city building in the year 2050 that includes flexible modular pods, urban agriculture, climate-conscious facades and intelligent building systems. ARUP hopes the proposal will ultimately answer the question, "As city living takes center stage, what will we come to expect from the design and function of urban structures and buildings?".

ARUP’s futuristic skyscraper will be a “smart” building that will plug into a smart urban infrastructure, and cater to an expanding and technological society. By 2050, the global population will reach nine billion, 75% of which will live in cities. Significantly, this date will also mark a generation of adults that have lived their entire lives engaging with smart devices and materials. The design theory is that the population of 2050 is likely to be in constant flux, and therefore buildings and materials that surround this urban lifestyle must also be capable of evolution and change.

ARUP has imagined a building of the future that produces more than it consumes. Alongside the sustainable construction, the design will feature photovoltaic capability to capture and transmit energy using on-site fuel cells. In addition, energy will be harnessed from elevators or similar internal systems, along with wind turbines and algae-producing bio-fuel pods...

Mercor's curator insight, February 14, 2013 7:01 AM

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Duane Craig's curator insight, February 20, 2013 11:54 AM

Whike true sustainabiity in buildings is probably not possible, this moves closer to it.

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New Urban Ideas: 22 Cities Prepare to Pilot the Future

New Urban Ideas:  22 Cities Prepare to Pilot the Future | green streets |

22 cities have called for innovative solutions to solve urban challenges as part of the Citymart urban ideas competition. The aim is to identify & share solutions to challenges that cities face.

The 2012 competition attracted 1,519 entries from 70 countries. Now Aalborg, Barcelona, Boston, Christchurch, Eindhoven, Fukuoka DC, L’Hospitalet, Lagos, Lavasa, London, Maringa, Mexico City, Oulu, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Rosario, San Francisco, Sant Cugat, Sheffield, Tacoma, Terrassa and York all hope to evoke a similar response.

The cities have presented challenges across a vast array of areas including mobility, economic development, social inclusion, health and well-being, urban management, lighting, energy, culture, future government and sustainable lifestyles...

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Building Sustainable Cities in a Warmer, More Crowded World

Building Sustainable Cities in a Warmer, More Crowded World | green streets |

The future is urban... but is it sustainable?

For decades, warnings have been issued: the burgeoning human population will outgrow the planet’s capacity to sustain us. The formula seems simple. More people equals fewer resources and greater environmental damage.

But today, we have a more nuanced understanding of the population-environment connection. We know that the relationship between human beings and the environment is complex, mediated by systems of production and consumption. And we know that population growth is not the only demographic change that matters: age structure and population distribution also shape environmental impact.

In other words, the planet’s “carrying capacity” is not just about human numbers, but about how people live, and where...

Lauren Moss's insight:

An interesting analysis looking at the links between economic development, density and urban growth, as they pertain to sustainability and the future of our cities...

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A Vision of a Carbon-Zero Urban Future: An Interview with Alex Steffen

A Vision of a Carbon-Zero Urban Future: An Interview with Alex Steffen | green streets |
How the world's wealthiest cities can beat back climate change.

From the Atlantic Cities:

Alex Steffen calls himself a planetary futurist. That means he has confronted some grim realities in the nearly 10 years since he founded, an online publication that pioneered coverage of climate change and related issues in the early years of the 21st century.  
He’s kept busy writing and speaking about creative, sustainable solutions that could help us find a way to survive and even thrive in the face of a planetary challenge that political leaders in the United States have been reluctant to face.
His most recent book, which comes out November 26, is called Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet. In it, he lays out his case that "remaking the world’s wealthiest cities over the next 20 years may prove the best—perhaps the only—chance we have of avoiding planetary catastrophe."

I talked with Steffen the other day via Skype about post-Sandy climate politics, how to "ruggedize" a city, and whether we’re all doomed. This is an edited version of our conversation.

Visit the link for the article & interview...

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How to Build a City on the Moon

How to Build a City on the Moon | green streets |

The very idea of a moon city ignites a constellation of questions about what it would look like and how we would build it. So CityLab called Woerner to find out. With the International Space Station potentially coming offline around 2024, he says, it’s time to envision the next era of human presence beyond Earth. The moon-city project would be a prime driver of technological advancement as well as basic scientific research.

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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 |

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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How we will live: More green, more urban, more efficient

How we will live: More green, more urban, more efficient | green streets |
The neighborhoods of 2039 will feel more like cityscapes with environmentally friendly, energy efficient amenities and people living closer to their jobs.

How we live is indicative of who we are, and both are changing. As city planners look to the next quarter century, they must factor in three profound shifts in modern society: information technology, mobility and climate.

As with everything else, technology is changing not just how we live and work, but the cities where we live and work. That technology has already affected social change, making younger generations more mobile and urban. Technology has also offered new solutions to some of the biggest challenges for 21st century urban planners—climate change and how we make our neighborhoods as green as possible.

More at the link...

Catherine Devin's curator insight, April 7, 2014 9:00 AM

Il y a besoin de réfléchir à comment  intégrer les projets de durabilité en milieu urbain et les projets technologiques. On présente souvent ces derniers comme la solution aux questions posées par les premiers; c'est vrai, comme l'indiquent des observateurs du Green IT mais seulement si elles sont aussi élaborées avec une démarche RSE Au final, la technologie serait plutôt une  des composantes de nos vies futures apportant son lot de solutions et de questions... à nous de pousser à ses côtés aussi d'autres solutions  : nouvelles attitudes, nouveaux usages pour une ville durable... mais aussi désirable et humaine ?

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Change Your City: Architecture + Urban Transformation

Change Your City: Architecture + Urban Transformation | green streets |
Climate change, overcrowding, and economic straits have all combined to make our cities, as they're currently thought of and designed, untenable.

Which means that architects and policy members have to rethink our strategy of how to shape the city—both buildings and urban space alike. Part of this entails that we make do with the standing infrastructure that we already have. Preserving and rehabilitating the aging relics of global cities proves to be a way of saving energy while enabling newer methods of architectural planning.

Projects such as the High Line have kickstarted a new age of urban regeneration, with initiatives from Tel Aviv to Philadelphia attempting to replicate it success on their own turf. When it comes to urban transformation, size does not matter- the subtleties of thoughtful urban projects shine through at every level.

Visit the link to view a collection of projects that spur innovation and lively spaces.

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Smart Cities: Technology, Sustainability & Innovation for a Better World

Smart Cities: Technology, Sustainability & Innovation for a Better World | green streets |

They only occupy two per cent of the Earth’s land mass, but cities today use a huge amount of the planet’s natural capital, consuming 75 % of global resources and generating 80 % of global greenhouse gas emissions.

As the world population grows to 9 billion by 2050, the number of those living in urban areas will swell by 3 billion to 6.3 billion. With demand for energy and resources set to spike on the back of urban population growth, smart cities have emerged as the modern answer to the wave of urbanisation sweeping across the globe.

What defines a smart city?

Put simply, smart cities integrate diverse technologies to reduce its environmental impactUsing a more formal definition from a recent report by the United Cities and Local Governments, smart cities use new technologies, innovation and knowledge management to become more liveable, functional, competitive and modern, bringing together six key fields of performance: the economy, mobility, the environment, citizenship, quality of life and management.

More details at the link...

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Ideas on transforming cities - Singapore a case study

Ideas on transforming cities - Singapore a case study | green streets |

'We know that the planet is warming up and the human population is growing, raising our demand for resources. The combination of these factors is why the battle against climate change will be decided in cities, particularly cities in the Asia-Pacific.

These urban centres are triple ‘hot spots’: they face rising temperatures, increasing populations and escalating consumption.

To tackle these challenges, we need practical and successful ideas that can easily be replicated.

At the 4th Sustainable Cities Conference last week in Singapore, I discussed ways for Singapore and Hong Kong, already recognised as innovative cities in tackling these problems, to become even greener and establish themselves as leaders in creating sustainable city models for the Asia-Pacific.'

Luiz F. Costa's comment, May 14, 2013 9:23 AM
E isso temos que incentivar.
Norm Miller's curator insight, May 14, 2013 10:49 AM

Singapore transformed it's economy faster than any other nation in the world.  It is not surprising to see them leading on other dimensions as well.

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20 Smart City Technologies for 2013 and Beyond

20 Smart City Technologies for 2013 and Beyond | green streets |

Santiago Chile announced they’re going to become a “smart city” in 2013, and is just one example of a growing number of areas around the globe preparing and modernizing for the future.

In fact demographers have long predicted the mass urbanization of metropolitan areas across the world. According to the United Nations, by the year 2050, 80% of the world will be living in urban areas. The equivalent of seven Manhattan size cities will be built each year until 2050. For these cities to thrive they must use smart technology to its fullest. Let’s take a look at what’s available now and what’s coming down the pipe...

Luiz F. Costa's comment, May 5, 2013 8:44 AM
Excelente iniciativa boa.
Altaira Wallquist's curator insight, May 26, 2015 11:30 PM

This article and list goes over tons of new urban ideas that have a lot to do with sustainability and new urbanism. It shows a lot of energy efficient services and smart technology.


This connects to the Unit 7 TEK on new urbanism because it shows how urban places are changing for the future and how urban areas working toward sustainability may look in the future. It gives insight into some incoming or possible smart technologies.

Ricardo Cabeza de Vaca's curator insight, May 27, 2015 2:23 AM

I think this article gives us a peek into the future. As cities develop so does technology. This shows us as technology improves so does the lifestyle of the people from the city. This article talks about how technology could for example improve security in the area by facial recognition and you could have urban farming by using vertical farming.  I believe that we should invest more into technology as it will help us tremendously now and in the future, letting us as the article says for example wirelessly charge every car in the city.

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The Costs of Population Growth

The Costs of Population Growth | green streets |

The United States population is expected to pass 400 million by 2051.

That’s 85 million more people who will need good jobs, sufficient space, clean water and energy.

We will need to make adjustments in order to have a healthy economy in the coming years. So what would happen if the world population – including in the United States – just kept growing? It’s simply not sustainable. The costs to both people and our planet would far outweigh the benefits.

Read the complete article for the relevant facts on the potential impacts of population growth on environmental and social issues...

MissPatel's curator insight, December 17, 2014 2:07 AM

It is constantly a strain on the environment but what about economically? 

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How will our future cities look?

How will our future cities look? | green streets |

Almost half of the world's population currently lives in cities, and by 2050 that is projected to increase to 75%, but what kind of city will they be living in?

The time is ripe, say experts, to start designing smarter urban environments, both new cities needed to sustain an ever-growing population, and retro-fits on the ones that we have lived in for centuries.

So, how do we make our cities stronger?

Some of these revolve around the idea that smarter equals greener. Sustainability experts predict carbon-neutral cities full of electric vehicles and bike-sharing schemes, with air quality so much improved that office workers can actually open their windows for the first time.

Visions of a green city often include skyscrapers where living and office space vie with floating greenhouses or high-rise vegetable patches and green roofs, as we try to combine urbanisation with a return to our pastoral past...

Via Jandira Feijó
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10 Most Impressive Smart Cities On Earth

10 Most Impressive Smart Cities On Earth | green streets |

It wasn’t too long ago that the term ‘Smart City’ was not on very many people’s radar screens, but recently, it has been more familiar, and people are understanding the concepts behind smart cities.

A smart city uses information combined with technology to improve quality of life, reduce environmental impact, and decrease energy demand. This list of the smartest cities on the planet takes those factors into consideration, as well as the ‘smart’ plans the city might have for the future...

ComplexInsight's curator insight, February 12, 2013 12:26 PM

Great find from Peter Jasperse's blog and an inspirational read for those interested in building a smarter cities and environments since these cities have already started along the journey.

Jed Fisher's comment, February 16, 2013 4:54 AM
Jed Fisher's comment, February 16, 2013 4:54 AM
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35 Urban Innovations We're Watching This Year

35 Urban Innovations We're Watching This Year | green streets |

In the Global Innovation Series, presented by BMW i, Mashable highlights new technologies that will improve the urban experience.

City dwellers are always thinking about mobility, energy, shelter, safety and efficiency, and many technologies and startups in cities all around the globe are developing new tools to ameliorate these daily problems. If these concepts come to fruition, then the future of cities is looking bright.

Whether you're thinking easier ways to park your car or ideas for the home of the future, studying how we'll live in the next 10, 50 or 100 years can reshape the habits and challenges we face today. In this article link, there are 35 topics we've covered in the series, and they offer an exciting glimpse into the future of city life...

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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 |

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...