Evergrande Times New City

“Agriculture is being increasingly submitted to the market economy and now this is the new state, a more digitalised landscape.” – Rem Koolhaas, 2014

Evergrande Times New City introduces new techniques by integrating advanced technologies with agricultural modernization for new town planning in the Chinese countryside. As a series of principles, standards, and applicable techniques, 50 Unique New Towns focuses on scenario programming, collaborations between town and agricultural production, and increasing the diversity of density and distribution. Covering an area of 10km2 and accommodating a range of 50,000 to 250,000 people, 10% of the urbanized area incorporates the surrounding agricultural land and includes new economic industries such as tourism, healthcare, education, and eco-production.

50 Unique New Towns’ primary themes—lifestyle, health, agriculture, energy, and culture—support an increase in agricultural modernization while simultaneously improving living conditions in the Chinese countryside by utilizing innovative technologies. With the great migration leading to demographic shifts, from the retired and aging population to agricultural workers and early nesters, the distance between agricultural land and dense urban cities has increased. However, Evergrande Times New City intentionally anticipates a return to the countryside, with people attracted by healthy living and promoting agricultural heritage.

China’s agricultural heritage is not only a vital component of conservation of cultural heritage, but also becomes the identity for distribution of Evergrande Times New City. Set within the central area of planning, the local heritage crop defines ecological cycles and cultural identity supported through agricultural tourism, leisure, and social programming. With an emphasis on integrating industry, service, and agriculture, the new towns benefit from living in harmony with nature and allowing for a diversity of density and walkability, and promote new forms of countryside accessibility.

50 Unique New Towns comprises 50 world-leading technologies and techniques based on five technical themes: Smart City [Data + Technology], Green City [Energy + Urban Form], Sponge City [Hydrology + Agriculture], Health City [Public Health + Lifestyle], and Culture City [Conservation + Culture]. These technical aspects provide applicable strategies for new town planning implemented into scenario planning and distributed across diverse regions in China. In relation to agricultural production and social activity, climate, geology, and solar irradiation models propose specific orientations and distributions through key innovative steps for scenario planning of future agriculture-based Chinese new towns.

Project Team: Mohsen Mostafavi (PI), Charles Waldheim (PI), Boya Zhang, Aziz Barbar, Mingyu Kim, Xun Liu, Jeffrey S. Nesbit, Mercedes Peralta, Seok Min Yeo, Pamela Cabrera, Kenney Carmody, Anna Kaertner, Steven Kosovac, Bonnie-Kate Walker, Zishen Wen, and Weijia Wu.

Faculty Partners: Scott Cohen, Ann Forsyth, Teresa Gali Izard, Holly Samuelson, Andres Sevtsuk, and Bing Wang.

Landscape as Urbanism in the Americas

“Landscape Urbanism presents an implicit critique of architecture and urban design’s inability to offer coherent and convincing accounts of contemporary urban conditions.” – Charles Waldheim, 2016

The multi-year project in collaboration with various Latin American institutions, Landscape Urbanism in the Americas, is guided through a series of discussions on the potentials for landscape as a medium of urban intervention in the specific social, cultural, economic and ecological context of Latin American cities. Over the past two decades, landscape has been claimed as a model and medium for the contemporary city. The discourse and practices of landscape as urbanism can be found in Europe, North America, and Asia. During this time, a range of alternative architectural and urban practices have emerged across Latin America, situating ecological and territorial implications for the urban project.

The conference series revealed a set of theoretical and practical skills that could benefit from the establishment of a dialogue within and beyond the Latin American region. This first set of conversations is now available online, accompanied by an archive of design projects curated by our advisory board. Through its research, education, public outreach programs and the careful selection of design projects, this ongoing collaboration provides a foundational platform as the first repository of its kind for landscape and urbanism to suggest alternative approaches to urban form across the continent.

Project Team: Charles Waldheim (PI), Felipe Vera (PI), Luis Callejas, Jeannette Sordi, Tomas Folch, Pedro Aparicio, Sara Favargiotti, Daniel Quesada Lombó and Mercedes Peralta.