We were invited to develop concepts for potentially the most ambitious urban project of the 21st century: a new city, three times larger than New York, that was to be built 100 kilometres south-west of Beijing, China.
Our thinking was centred around how to translate characteristics of successful cities into a new context, integrating these thoughts with advanced and sustainable technologies.
The concepts we developed included:
– Creating the most liveable urban environment possible, with an emphasis on nature, culture and health.
– Integrating water for sustainable local climatic control in a region with huge variations in its seasonal weather conditions.
– A car-free transport infrastructure, with emphasis on walkable neighbourhoods with easy access to amenities and community facilities.
At Xiongan our overarching aim is to develop a dense and complex urban core that is not zoned, but instead has a rich mix of uses with distinct character areas - a model that is in contrast with the traditional 20th century zoned city with its activities separated and linked mainly by major road networks.
The vision is one of which that builds complexity and quality of urban fabric from clear principles, based on maximising the quality of life and enhancing natural ecosystems.