Rapid urbanization is changing the social order in China. This essay will focus especially on two aspects of this change: the twin phenomena of the urban-rural divide and its expression within cities as disparities between locals and migrants. We examine the situation in part through a comparative lens: Is China like any other country in our experience? We will take the case of urbanization in the United States a century earlier and Brazil more recently to point out similarities and differences. We also apply a theoretical lens: what are the fundamental causes of the patterns we see in China, and what general theory of societal change best helps us to interpret it?
This dialogue took place under the background of the ”new urbanization” referred by 18th CCP Report. Jinkui Li and Dihua Li first looked back the history of China’s urbanization, then discussed the typical urban morphologies and related contributing reasons, the different urbanization stages, the difference and shift between the western and eastern China, and finally, predicted and explored the issues and opportunities that would be brought by the “new urbanization” in China.
As a witness to the high-speed urbanization of China, the author highlights its misunderstandings and problems using the example of the Nantai Island in Fuzhou. The interview explores new issues facing urban planning within this slow-down urbanization, and reflections are made to the entire design profession.
Yangmeizhu Xiejie renovation plan and mixed-courtyard public space design are projects concerning on old city redevelopment with the approaches of “gene repair.” The two projects are both based on the original design of Yangmeizhu Xiejie, and the later is the complement and extension of the former, forming an interdependent relationship like the main vein and the offshoot, or hardware and software. The former, which focused on strategies such as combing and cleaning of existing spaces, is aimed for restoration and reconstruction of the current living environment; while the later is an action with "in-depth cells" intervention, which is an invisible "living model" advices that would change the environment, encouraging positive lifestyle upgrades.
Velenje is a special city. As new post-war town designed in the 1950s, its design was based on the Modernist ideal of the garden city and as such, which is unique in the Slovene space. This special characteristic is to be, first of all, retained; it is then to be rid of unnecessary and undesirable elements that have accrued through time; finally, it needs to be upgraded according to the needs of contemporary life. The city center must be enhanced with the programs it is missing, instilling more life into it.
In June 2013, the TURENSCAPE Consortium was selected, as one of a shortlist of six, to prepare a design proposal for Zaryadye Park, Moscow. Our scheme is titled “The Blue Circle of Moscow,” which has a reflecting pool in the shape of a perfect circle as its centerpiece, as a mirror to the Moscow skyline, managing urban stormwater, and around which a myriad of programs and landscapes will flourish.
The Blue Circle is envisioned as a new city icon, which links the past with the present and the future, which reconnects man with nature, which reunites the separated urban space, and which gathers individuals of all kinds.
This project focuses on reclaiming an existing park-and-ride and surrounding vacant lands in the Energy Corridor District of Houston, Texas, USA to create a multi-functional transit hub and livable community. The design creates a comprehensive master plan with two areas of concentration. A system-oriented design approach is applied to promote walkability and respond to environmental challenges.
We know of so many books about the city, in so many veins: engaged, theoretical, demonic, utopian, dystopian, fictitious, idealistic, green, misanthropic…. Our book A Quantum City is none of these. The only thing our book has in common with all of them is a fascination with The City itself. But we are convinced that each era — including our own — has to reinvent its City. Cities embody political and economic values and thus also the spiritual values of our cultural identities. Urbanism, by contrast, turns into something akin to a landscape — an increasingly global landscape which does not settle around different ecological compartments. Quantum physics shows us that we create our reality in the way we see and measure it. The urban is systematic and balanced, however complexly it might be engineered. But our cities are architectonic. They do not take measures for granted, they challenge them by re-articulating their units, and the magnitudes those units support. This book seeks to invert the perspective and to learn to see, instead of an empty centre, a centred void, like a citizen of our digital world — a sheaf of intelligible probability and delicate sensitivity, a quantum of City.
The traditional native-nonnative dichotomy loses some of its utility when faced with the wild plant community of Brooklyn, New York. Hailing from around the world, these tough, adaptable plant species have co-evolved with dense human populations, unintentionally cultivated to do the tough work of greening the rough edges and unmaintained corners of a cityscape that is always in flux. Although the feral green spaces of Brooklyn may seem unremarkable in the context of our botanical gardens, city parks, and well-tended street tree pits, they provide their own set of ecological and cultural benefits that belie their status as lowly weeds. My ongoing Invasive Pigments project is designed to connect city dwellers with the evolving community of spontaneous plants that share our street verges, park edges and vacant lots. Through a tactile, participatory and aesthetically driven process, my project reframes the urban landscape, shifting the focus from concrete buildings and heavily maintained gardens to the ubiquitous but easily ignored spontaneous greenery that grows in and among them. By hunting for spots of wild, plant-derived color in the streets of Brooklyn, and processing that color through a historically-based, artisanal process, I reveal a new layer of the city’s structure, highlighting the novel plant community that has woven itself into the core of the urban ecosystem.