Humanity has too well followed the call to multiply, and we gather ever closer. Sky City in Changsha, China promises to be the ultimate crowded tent city, popping out 220 stories with homes for 30,000 people in 210 days - faster than human gestation. While some renderings show a surrounding forest, it sorely lacks the character and sense of place found in Soleri’s arcologies. A city’s vitality stems not from a few grand gestures but from the multitude’s evolving patterns and places. There is always pressure for a denser core (thus the debate about DC’s height limit); Sky City resets the vertical bar that some will inevitably chase in envy. But we have the creativity to be better, not bigger. We have lots of land, but urbanity’s advantages and the projected population boom (28% in 40 years), and the needs for wild places and agriculture, mean we will live closer and smaller. That calls for better places. Architects must act now to define quality densification. Encourage incremental densification everywhere, seek radical urbanization at transformative hubs, but fight to preserve open space where we have it: we will need it.
Leave a Reply.
Doing good architecture, Architecture doing good.