About 129 kilometers southwest of Beijing, the Chinese government is planning a new five-million person city as a model of sustainability—powered by clean energy, featuring huge green spaces, and unsullied by many cars. A new design shows what neighborhoods in the city, called Xiong’an New Area, might look like.
Though China is building a high-speed rail to the area, people will be able to easily reach daily needs by walking or biking, with offices, stores, and schools adjacent to housing. “This model of buildings and communities is more appropriate for the 21st century,” he says. “Cities shouldn’t have a centre and periphery (or downtown and suburbs) but should be organised with self-sufficient neighbourhoods where you live, work, and rest.” It’s the same model that Paris is pursuing of a 15-minute city.
“We believe that it is necessary to strengthen local communities and people and reinvent what globalization means to go from a model of centralized cities typical of the industrial age to a model of distributed cities, typical of the internet age,” says Guallart. “Given that the ecological component is key in the proposal, we believe that we are moving toward cities that promote life, which we could call bio-cities: Urban planning has to learn more from nature and develop in harmony with it.”