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We are witnessing the biggest economic transformation the world has ever seen. More than ever, cities matter. Especially China is undergoing a massive urban revolution, with emerging mega-cities you maybe never have heard of like Fuzhou, Wuhan, Chongqing and Chengdu. What will it take for these cities to serve their expanding and ever more prosperous citizens while still sustaining growth? This is also a higly relevant question for (landscape) architects, planners and designers! But how can we make our knowledge meaningful in a local context?
My project represents an endless and intense quest for these answers. This panel shows my process by depicting spreads from my logbook. The process is characterized as moving towards modesty and trying to understand the cultural differences in experiencing space while simultaneously abandoning my biased western frame of reference. The plan kicks off with a radical masterplan consisting of a 300 km long and 1 km wide ‘Wall’ around Chinese cities, and progresses into a stepwise representation of small ordinary public places in a new township within the Wall. This project sets out to contribute to the discussion about sustainable growth of Chinese cities and its public space while all together acknowledging that the designed proposal is not the ultimate solution.
Yet hopefully the design proves to be a proper rhetorical vehicle to investigate the correlation between mega-cities and a human scaled public space in the Chinese context.