27 years ago, Shenzhen was countryside with clusters farm houses scattering around. Yet today the city is struggling with exhausting land and space resource. In a traditional urban development history, this process usually took 10 to 100 times longer to complete.
Not unlike petroleum, Space is probably one of the most precious exhaustible resources. In order to be sustainable, strategically consume spaces become a crucial issue.
As a by-product of modern Chinese urban planning guideline, there are a lot of spaces have been reserved accidentally, yet camouflaged under various labels, such as Green belt, Cloverleaf junctions space, endless city square, etc. it is about time to strategically plan these spatial recycling process now.
After scrutinous investigation, we discovered that merely major roads in the city together with their adjacent greenbelt and the cloverleaves take over 30% total urban area. The spaces above these infrastructures are completely neglected and wasted. Meanwhile, its enormous size and nonstop continuity of the urban traffic infrastructure cuts the urban pedestrian network into fragments, contains the urban life within isolated ‘Islets’.
“Stilt city”, as an unprecedented urban typology, becomes a “bond” to cover the wound cut by those traffic infrastructures in modern cities, and then reconnects their urban veins. Its ‘stilt’ operation, without disturbing the integrity of existing infrastructures, releases spatial energy above. More importantly, especially in the current condition of massive population explosion and ferocious urbanization in China, Stilt City creates a sustainable model through which more developable spaces could be generated within current urban boundary. Therefore, more adjacent farmland would be liberated from the pressure of urban sprawl.