We have been commissioned by Delta Metropole and Erasmus University to investigate with a research-by-design process, the spatial consequences of the different economic and environmental scenarios that he harbor of Rotterdam is facing.
The scenarios under our spot light include the shift from the leading global oil economy towards a more local, ‘home-made’ one; the potential shrinking of the harbor activity due to the pressing competition of Asian shipping industries and harbors; and eventually, disruptions caused by major climatic events.
The science park is a campus that will be located in the proximity of Italy’s National Deposit of nuclear waste, which will host the waste produced daily in the country by industries, medical centers, and research institutes. The location, thought, has not yet been defined, meaning that our project should be adaptable to different conditions and flexible to different landscape typologies. Working on the italian context gives us extra responsibility, as the italian agro-landscape is of great importance to national heritage.
The campus establishes new relation of mutual interest and inter-dependence by binding human settlement with sustainable exploitation of ecosystem services generated by the rural context.
At the same time, reckless urbanization, if not downright illegal buildings, defaced this heritage making the ‘Bel Paese’, for large part a continuous ‘widespread’ city where the net boundary between town and country, the main quality of historic towns, has vanished. Our plan has the ambition of creating a new model of urban development in rural areas that can serve as an example. Starting with the urban vision carried out by the English Garden City movement lead by Ebenezer Howard at the end of 1800s, the design shares some of the movement’s principles, but takes into consideration the strong criticism that the movement has received over time. We made a move away from the very reasons that dragged the Garden City to a generic suburban ‘green’, which has lost over time its theoretical force, to propose a post-rural approach. An approach that is not an undefined hybrid between the two conditions urban-rural, but a defined system that establishes a new relationship between the urban area (the Science Park) and the rural areas. The relationship is one of mutual interest and inter-dependence, binding human settlement with sustainable exploitation of ecosystem services generated by the rural context. The proposed Science Park is a new urban model that has as its main objective the preservation of Italian landscape heritage and indissolubly binds technological development to a sustainable use of natural resources.
‘Sprawl’ is the product of the ‘diffuse city’. It is the endless built space that has blurred the division between city and countryside, redefining cities as metropolitan areas. In the medieval city, for example, this separation was defined by city walls that divided the inhabited areas from the countryside serving as defence from foreign attacks. In our project we apply the same principle of the ‘functional limit’ which the purpose clearly not being for defence, but rather to satisfy the need for infrastructures and sustainable mobility.
The Science Park is conceived at the center of a network that links research institutes, the university and industries in a system of mutual benefit. Priority will be given to the companies dealing with renewable energy production.
The park is, though, in close proximity to, and will develop strong relationships with, the surrounding areas in which it will be located in order to become a driver of innovation far beyond its borders. The nearby cities and villages will take advantage of and benefit from the Science Park through job creation and improvement of (mobility) infrastructures.
Reduce, reuse, recycle.
Each company located in the Science Park will produce a programmatic document to reduce CO2, employ energy saving measures, and develop a system to create awareness and training courses for employees, including classes and incentives.
The difference between rocks and pebbles is deter- mined by the restless action of water which, with time, smoothens rocks into rounded, polished stones. The creative process can be seen as the stream of water: the unceasing effort to transform everyday life into something special, and the result can be compared to the elegant variety of river pebbles. In the Changhsa Creative Park, islands of activity are obtained within the functional flows of pedestrian, cars and emergency vehicles routes. Like pebbles are similar in dimension and shape, but all different to each other when it comes to colours and textures, a new variety of urban elements are spread over the site; they create the conditions for spontane- ous and creative use of the public space, for the benefit of the people who work in the offices and for the many visitors.
A grid of trees is the background of the plan; the pedestrian flows are the functional streams that generate the pebbles, elements where people can meet, work and perform in a creative environment.
The highest concentration of vegetation is located at the south side in order to take maximum advantage of the shading and cooling qualities of plants and trees.
A variety of water feature are located at the northern side of the site in order to enhance the cooling effect of the prevailing winds that originates from the north-west.
Like the river pebbles have similar size but are different to each other in colours and texture, in the same way a variety of public space elements defines the area. A great array of functions are spread around the site and allow a large variety of activities to happen spontaneously; in a pebble shape.
The choice of the two main materials, the stone and the gravel is led by the aim of reinterpreting the traditional Chinese court-yards in a contemporary key. The juxtaposition of gravel and stone will enhance the sensory experience of the open space not only visually but also in a tactile and acoustic point of view.
The Shenzhen Eco City will showcase some of the most advanced sustainability-related technologies in the world, and the different ways of how these can affect different disciplines and therefore people daily life. Sustainability has an extremely important role when it comes to landscape design. Dealing with landscape means to deal with some crucial ecological topics as the protection of natural systems, a resilient water management and enhancement of flora and fauna biological diversity. The project starts from this deep understanding of the site background and local conditions. The landscape of Pingdi is not only meant to be the natural setting for the Shenzhen Eco City, but rather it will be part of it, the living part of it. The landscape itself will showcase different ap- proaches of how open space design can be inte- grated with sustainability, and, in the same time, will provide space for relaxing and recreation to the many visitors of the site. Three different landscapes will here merge creating a rich variety of atmospheres and will provide different functions to the users. Each of the three landscape typology will be driven by a specific sustainable approach of dealing with the open spaces, and will activate new natural processes that will mitigate the presence of Man and the exploitation of the land.
The North and West area of the site, temporary vacant, will be densely planted with different trees ‘species. This area will be used as a tree nursery: once a new use of the land will be required, the trees will be moved and replanted in the park. The southern part of the site will include a new urban park. It will feature a natural-looking landscape of ponds connected to each other. Those ponds will work as a storage volume for rainwater and grey waters, and they will be cleaned by phytoremediation. The riverfront will be kept as natural as possible, and planted with a wide variety of species enhancing the local biodiversity.
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