Yilong Suspended Eco City, 2017
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There is no future for our cities - not in China nor in the rest of the world - for city-planning, architecture and ultimately for the development of human societies without a radical change in ecological sensibility.
How can a city of the future coexist with the natural environment, salvaging nature itself and bringing people closer to the issues of sustainability and to the ecosystem itself? The Yilong area offers a stunning natural and agricultural landscape. In order to preserve it we decided to raise urban life above it, creating two levels: the ground level where the natural, landscaped and agricultural environment will not only be preserved, but integrated into the life of the city in a meaningful way. The elevated level will consists of a looped urban bridge 30 m wide and 10 m high, that will host the social, cultural and commercial activities that usually take place in a city.
Towers with small footprints will serve as vertical connectors between the two levels and will accommodate various functions typical of urban skyscrapers: apartments, offices, leisure spaces, commercial functions and services. The elevated urban loop can also be seen as a large "horizontal skyscraper" that will give the inhabitants the opportunity to live a life with respect of local social traditions: a series of places of encounter with different characters and functions, recreational, cultural, and educational will be scattered throughout the loop. Cinemas, amphitheaters, squares, museums, sport facilities, civic centers for young and old, markets and more will be incorporated on top and in the urban bridge and will create a continuous, lively urban environment.
The ground level, connected with the suspended urban bridge via the skyscrapers and the green function towers, allows to enjoy facilities that require wide open, semi-open or sheltered spaces. The areas under the urban bridge and their immediate surroundings will host different facilities: sport fields, gardens, ample squares, orchards, lawns, playgrounds and more. The city-planning peculiarity of these areas lies in the coexistence of urban functions with the agricultural and natural environment: the inhabitants of a high density city will therefore have the privilege of observing, participating and learning from activities that usually take place far from densely populated urban centers. This co-existence will help to develop a new sensibility of the inhabitants towards the issues of sustainability, nature preservation, agriculture, urban farming and km0 shopping and gastronomy.
The entire neighbourhood will be able to accommodate 25,000 people, creating a high density of housing, in direct physical and visual contact with the natural landscape.
A key point of our project's eco-sustainability is the fact that the new Yilong district will be completely car-free. We believe that the future of urban transport lies in transport systems of electric, computer guided and on demand vehicles or "pods". This kind of system could completely replace the use of cars, buses, trains and airplanes. In our project area electric "eco-bullet" pods, carrying people and goods, will travel within the suspended urban bridges, and will then enter a wider system of "eco-bullet" transport tubes raised above the ground, covering the whole Yilong district.
In a first phase this system will be connected to parking lots outside of the city, to the train station and to the airport. In the future it could be seamlessly connected to a similar long-distance and high speed system. An example of such a system could be the Hyperloop One that is already being constructed in the UAE. This solution would completely eliminate air and sound pollution caused by cars and multi-lane roads would become parks with pedestrian and bike paths, leaving a continuous, uninterrupted natural landscape. We believe that a two-level, completely car-free city would be a first step towards an ecological revolution where ecology and urban planning work together towards a better future for the our planet and our societies.
Project: Yilong Suspended Eco City
Program: Oriental Landscape and Futuristic City
Client: Yilong District Management Committee and CBC (China Building Centre), sponsored by Guizhou Louna Architects Commune Cultural Development Co. Ltd, and media supported by Urban Environment Design (UED) Magazine
Key Team Members: Marco de Piaggi, Weronika Wawrzyniak