Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Low Carbon Future City in Hainan, China by SBA Design
April 2nd, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
SBA wins the First Prize in International Competition
In 2005, the Chinese government announced its target to reduce energy consumption per GDP unit by 20% by the year 2010. According to Zhang Ping (Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission), this target has been reached.
The Chinese Climate Protection Program pursues the following goals: increasing energy efficiency, developing renewable energies and promoting energy savings, as well as reducing pollutant emissions and strengthening environmental protection (with an investment of 3 trillion Yuan RMB, approx. €300 billion over the next five years). So what would be better than to develop a “future city”, which is marked by a low-carbon, economic and energy design and manages to support the climate protection process efficiently? The planning of a city of the future on the popular tourism island of Hainan represented a complex specification for the architects and city planners at SBA.
Yinggehai, the planning region, is located in the south-west of Hainan and in total covers an area of 176.2 km2. The focus area covers 42.8 km2; it is one of the most saline areas of the region and is mainly used for salt production by the use of salines. The main themes of the “low-carbon city” are the storage and production of renewable energy and its distribution for use according to demand, in terms of a “smart city”. In addition, the aspects of a good work/life balance, low building heights but also high density and eco-tourism are incorporated into the concept. The expectations for a city of the future were set high: A better life, taking into account the sustainability factors of an economic, ecological and socially acceptable interaction with the countryside and the inhabitants/tourists of the new city. The architects developed authoritative guidelines for this. A rural-urban interaction, “glo-cal DNA city” and a city of responsibility. This means that each inhabitant shall contribute their share to the city. Ecological awareness shall characterize and continuously develop the city. The basis for this is provided by the urban design concept of a “theme city”. In addition to the common mixed uses such as living, working, shopping and leisure, the master plan provides for each district a center within the city, with nine “units” each and a defining district function, e.g. environmentally-friendly industries and ecological living. The city districts shall operate independently on a daily level and be interconnected by special themes. The architecture of the individual buildings takes into consideration the context between city and country. Public and green spaces in the form of squares, parks, green axes and canals make possible a life in a natural environment which all the while retains its urban character. The transportation network closely follows the pattern of the salines. The network within the island-like districts is tailored to pedestrians. The road cross section favors pedestrian and bicycle paths as well as bus lanes. The concept of local public transport exceeds what is conventionally held as possible. Here the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system will be used. The energy concept uses solar and wind energy as well as rain water, recovery of water resources and energy generation from biological waste. Photovoltaic technology is particularly efficient in this area. With approximately 300 days of sun per year, an energy potential of 1628-1861 kWh/(qma) is possible.
The aim is to create a new urban, local and energy-efficient city landscape, by introducing a new and appealing architecture. The competition requires the following: environmentally-friendly industries, cultural, information and tourism centers and ecological community buildings, a conference center, exhibitions, marine installations and an off-shore financial center. In this way, the city of the future resembles an organism – which continuously reinvents itself.
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