Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sustainable Future - International Designs


I was interested in finding out what a sustainable city could look like and found an funky website outlining the EfficienCity! EfficienCity is a city built and governed by Greenpeace. The city shows, with text, images and video how a sustainable city it’s made, the flash application way. The site is packed with interesting information that explains and give examples on how a smart and “eco-friendly” city should look like. You can easily zoom in on the different buildings in the city and learn more about, for example, how bio-gas, wave, wind and solar is being used throughout the city.

Gwanggyo Power Center with Plantations Around Terraces by MVRDV
Information/quote below from:

A self-sufficient power center will be built soon in Gwanggyo, a new town in the south part of Seoul Korea, and the Dutch architects MVRDV won the project. The power center will house residential units, office, culture, retail, leisure, and education spaces. The center will have plantations around terraces with a floor-to-floor circulation system that stores water and irrigates the plants. In addition, the terraces are planted with box hedges with the ability to create a strong, recognizable, cohesive park that will in turn improves the climate and ventilation and at the same time will reduce energy and water usage.

Since the beginning of the millennium local nodes with a high density concentration of mixed program are used in Korean town planning. These nodes consist of a mix of public, retail, culture, housing, offices and leisure generating life in new metropolitan areas and encouraging further developments around them: the Power Centre strategy. The Gwanggyo Power Centre will consist of 200,000m2 housing, 48,000m2 offices, 200,000m2 mix of culture, retail, leisure and education and 200,000m2 parking.

This diverse program has different needs for phasing, positioning and size. To facilitate this all elements are designed as rings. By pushing these rings outwards, every part of the program receives a terrace for outdoor life. Plantations around the terraces with a floor to floor circulation system store water and irrigate the plants. The roofs of these hills and the terraces are planted with box hedges creating a strong, recognizable, cohesive park. This vertical park will improve the climate and ventilation, reduce energy and water usage. As a result a series of overgrown green ‘hills’ appear in the landscape.

The shifting of the floors causes as a counter effect hollow cores that form large atriums. They serve as lobbies for the housing and offices, plazas for the shopping center and halls for the museum and leisure functions. In each tower a number of voids connect to the atrium providing for light and ventilation and creating semi-public spaces. On the lower floors the atriums are connected through a series of public spaces on various levels linking the towers and serving the outdoor facilities of the culture, retail and leisure program. The Power Centre creates a dense urban program with a green regard.

The concept plan is currently at the Gyeonggi provincial authority’s Urban Innovation Corporation for further development and feasibility study, the entire new town will be a self sufficient city of 77,000 inhabitants. The estimated budget and timeframe are still in the process of being established, completion is envisioned for 2011. A consortium lead by Daewoo develops the project with local firm DA Group, which commissioned MVRDV to design the scheme. British firm Arup is involved as engineer.

Oil-Rich Azerbaijan Builds on a More Sustainable Future
Information/quote below from:

In the past, oil rich countries such as Dubai and Saudi Arabia have celebrated their economic fortune through industry developments that suggest opulence and excess.
In developing modern infrastructure and urban planning developments nearly from scratch, designers in these economically-strong areas have the ability to create without limitations, which has more often than not led to some emissions-heavy buildings built using equally ‘brown’ construction processes.

While Azerbaijan’s economic foundation has been based on oil, one of the least environmentally-friendly resources, the nation is not planning on developing upcoming major projects in the same carbon-heavy manner. The country is undertaking a number of high profile, billion-dollar urban planning projects and, surprisingly, has chosen to focus on sustainability as much as luxury.

The overall aesthetic suggests the sustainable and organic functionality of the entire island, with the grouping and overall structural design for the main islands taking on a biomorphic look in their resemblance to a mountain range. In a country that is highly reliant on oil, Azerbaijan is taking environmental responsibility and urban landscape longevity seriously. Instead of planning in the hedonistic footprints of their economic success, planners in the country are ensuring that a functional, stylish and sustainable Azerbaijan is a reality long after the depletion non-renewable energy means.

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