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Eco-cities 3.0



In Zhuhai, China, July 16-17, 2013, the American Architectural Foundation, along with our partners at Otis and United Technologies Corporation (UTC), will co-lead a bilateral dialogue on the future of urbanization and sustainability in the U.S. and China with the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and the Chinese Society for Urban Studies. Here’s a preview from Roger Frechette: – See more at: http://www.archfoundation.org/2013/07/eco-districts-policy-action/#sthash.x0siG2LF.dpuf
In Zhuhai, China, July 16-17, 2013, the American Architectural Foundation, along with our partners at Otis and United Technologies Corporation (UTC), will co-lead a bilateral dialogue on the future of urbanization and sustainability in the U.S. and China with the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and the Chinese Society for Urban Studies. Here’s a preview from Roger Frechette: – See more at: http://www.archfoundation.org/2013/07/eco-districts-policy-action/#sthash.x0siG2LF.dpuExecutive SummaryEco-cities 3.0

The Chinese Society for Urban Studies (CSUS), the Center for Design & the City at the American Architectural Foundation (AAF), and OTIS hosted the first Sino-U.S. City Design Summit in Zhuhai, China, July 16–17, 2013. The Summit was held in conjunction with the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development’s 2013 Conference on Urban Development and Planning. The Conference drew an audience of more than 1,500 Chinese mayors, government officials, developers, and city planners. At the Summit, delegate Sylvester Wong of Gensler considered the next generation eco-city.

Technologies come and go, but people and culture are at the heart of cities that last thousands of years. Leapfrog beyond “Eco-city 2.0: the Smart City,” and you will see how efforts in the U.S. and China are focusing on the patterns of people and life.

Key lessons come from work underway in several places:

  • Los Angeles, where planning for health focuses on sustaining the one resource at the heart of saving all other resources: ourselves.
  • Chicago, where the sprawling metropolis is reconnecting to its cultural heart to maintain economic relevance in a fast-changing global economy.
  • Langfang, where solving the fundamental problem of a land sinking into the earth form the basis for greenways, blueways, and village destinations.
  • Zhuhai, where the focus on density and knowledge economies can keep the green land to floor area ratio high and competitive.

These examples have the “Eco-city 3.0 Factor” (FCTR): fundamental, championed, tailored, and rooted.

  • Fundamental—focusing on one big move for the one big challenge
  • Championed—process and institutions that empower generations
  • Tailored—answering the geo-economically unique challenge of each city
  • Rooted—involving an existing community, not conjuring a new one

These principles can help cities around the world avoid being “greenwashed” through shallow checklists. They can give Chinese cities in particular the resilience to handle the world’s greatest migration of urbanization over the next century.

The challenge: How will the cities of China today be the eco-cities of tomorrow? Empowering our children today to be the champions of their hometowns tomorrow is part of the solution.

 

For nearly 20 years, Sylvester Wong has built an extensive portfolio in planning, mixed-use, and aviation, incorporating sustainability and natural/cultural heritage throughout the Asia-Pacific and Middle East. Originally from—and with architecture and planning degrees from—Berkeley, he is now with Gensler in Hong Kong as a leader in urban development and redevelopment, from strategy to concept planning to design guidelines.

Gensler is a global architecture, design, planning, and strategic consulting firm that specializes in a wide range of buildings and facilities owned or used by businesses, institutions, and public agencies. Its services engage the full building cycle from initial planning through design, implementation, and management. It focuses on its clients, understands their goals and strategies, and seeks to add substantial value to their enterprise through its work and services. www.gensler.com

Featured image of the aerial view of Langfang courtesy of earth_photos.

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Posted in: AAF Culture, Adaptive Reuse, Center for Design & the City, Civic Leaders + Government, Community Engagement, Design Leadership, Economic Development, Health + Wellness, Infrastructure, Partnerships, Preservation, Print, Public Spaces, Sustainability, Technology, Transportation

The American Architectural Foundation has been dedicated to advancing the role of architecture and design in American society since its founding in 1943 by the American Institute of Architects.

In its 75 years in existence the Foundation’s work has taken many forms — from educational programming and exhibitions in its early years to large-scale design initiatives and programs —all of which serve to create a rich legacy.

As the managing partner of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design for twenty years, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the United States Conference of Mayors, the Foundation helped move the needle on design and cities. And, through its other signature programs like Save America’s Treasures in partnership with National Parks Service, the Sustainable Cities Design Academy, and Design for Learning, the Foundation has provided critical design leadership training and technical assistance to hundreds of elected officials, education leaders, business leaders, and other key decision makers in the design process.

In recent years, cities and civic leaders have embraced design and design thinking in a way that could not have been imagined when the Foundation begin its work back in 1943 — and AAF’s role in this transformation is a source of great pride for the Foundation. With this increased interest in the role of design in shaping our cities came a proliferation of new organizations to support and facilitate this cultural shift. These advances in the role of design in American society and changes in the nonprofit design sector, coupled with the departure of the organization’s longest-serving CEO, prompted the Foundation’s Board to embark on an intensive and lengthy process to examine the ongoing role and work of the Foundation.

As the Board of Regents reflected on the positive changes of the cultural value of design, the accomplishments of the Foundation, and how the legacy of the Foundation’s work is being carried out by its former staff in new roles and organizations across the country, they reached the conclusion that the American Architectural Foundation had accomplished what it set out to do. As a result, the Foundation began to complete its remaining programs and wind down its operations in the Summer of 2018 and the organization’s endowments have been distributed to allied organizations. The Foundation’s research and reports will remain available on its website as a resource to the field.

The Foundation’s work would not have been possible without the incredible talents of its many staff over the decades, the generous support of its funders, and the tireless dedication of its civic & design partners across the country. The Board remains deeply proud of the significant contributions Foundation has made in its 75-year history and would like to acknowledge that this would not have been possible without the efforts, dedication, and support from so many of you.