“Regular City” in Chongqing: Searching for Domesticated Superstructures

The Studio sets out to interpret urban evolution in Chongqing in order to draw conclusions for the hypothesis of central city development at the heart of the metropolis, where we will be concentrating our proposals.

The Studio on Chongqing will serve to explore contemporary issues, such as:
a. Densification models. The city’s change of size calls for more intensive land use that can take the form of the progressive densification of traditional neighbourhoods, following a generic model; or choose selective urban enclaves to create greater density and introduce new central uses.
b. Urban infrastructures. We view stretches of infrastructure in downtown CQ with fascination; they are like the megastructures described by Reyner Banham The possibility of re-scaling or “domesticating” infrastructures by introducing complex systems of uses may contribute to a discussion of sustainable mobility models.
c. Mixed uses. The correct location of more dynamic and innovative uses can facilitate the good functioning of the metropolis. Their location on central land may serve to reinforce a coherent urban planning strategy at metropolitan level, helping to create more balanced social justice.
d. Sharp topography. The topographic condition and the different ways it relates with the rivers is a great opportunity to establish an improved relation with the environment. Asian and American cities could be references in this respect.

The Studio’s work is situated within a line of research of the GSD, “Re-visiting Urban Grids”, and must allow discussion of the tradition of the regular city in Chinese culture. Comparing these experiences with other international examples has to serve to verify the hypothesis of the great present-day interest in this type of instruments—related to the regular city—in the design of the contemporary city. This hypothesis may allow us to react to current conditions in which the city is developed with a high degree of uncertainty in functional programmes, and seems to call for new design instruments that are rigorous and that ensure coherence of the city in the long term.


Irregular Schedule:
The Studio will convene twice a week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 2 to 6pm.
Nine of 14 weeks of the Studio will be directed by the main instructor (weeks starting: January 25 / February 8/February 15/ February 22/ March 7 / March 21/ March 28/April 11 / April 25). Individual development and meetings with TF the rest of the weeks, following the established method for the Studio. Visit to Chongqing (China) is proposed for fourth week of February.