Instead of a traditional street grid, the design employs a network of public squares surrounded by massive, interconnected skyscrapers.
In 1980, only 30,000 people lived in Shenzhen, China. Today the population is over 15 million, and Shenzhen is the most crowded city in the country, with more people per square mile than famously packed Hong Kong. And it’s still growing. That’s why, in a recent project, architects laid out one vision for a future neighborhood that could fit everyone sustainably.
In the concept, which was one of the entries in the Shenzhen Bay “Super City” Competition, the architects included massive, interconnected skyscrapers for housing and office space. Instead of a traditional street grid, the design employs a network of public squares meant for pedestrians and cyclists.
“We do not expect automobiles to survive in cities,” explains Alejandro Zaera-Polo, a co-founder of AZPML, the firm behind the design. Instead, given the area’s density, they created a pedestrian walkway.
“Our calculation is that the vehicular traffic will diminish in cities in the near future, as a result of environmental taxes and energy prices, and the current infrastructure could actually become oversized, as people start using cycles, velomotors, Segways and other environmentally friendly vehicles.”
Navigating through public squares instead of streets would change the urban experience.
A traditional Chinese city is constructed around the pathways. Other cities are designed around squares. For megacities, the designers believe a new type of urban structure is needed.
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