Pinkcloud, a Danish design collective, have released their vision for new urban models in the Chinese city of Shanghai. The proposal looks at taking the existing city plan and flipping it to create a new vertical typology. By turning the city on its side Pinkcloud looks to demonstrate how the city will increase in density by utilising ‘urban voids’ that currently exist within the city's plan. In this new urban density, green space and new community meeting points will be added, helping to develop the social agenda that the Flip/City model hopes to instil.
The Flip/City proposal looks at promoting sustainability through several means: through the development of social integration and community bridging; the potential of economic growth for the inhabitants; and transport infrastructure and renewable energy systems for the city blocks. Encouraging the increased connection of social and cultural ties leads to the development of the urban voids for social means, the addition of these new green spaces aims at improving the lives of the citizens and by using these ‘dead’ spaces reduces these wasted plots found in dense urban environments. The architects explain: “In the realm of social sustainability, the anonymous feeling of immense cities is challenged by interconnecting typically isolated diverse city zones.”
By challenging the horizontal nature of the city and adapting it into a new vertical system, essential infrastructure no longer needs to sprawl as wide as the city does. With the Flip/City model, Pinkcloud propose that it will reduce the city in scale, allowing everything to be accessible in walking distance with the careful arrangement of residential, commercial, education and cultural facilities.
The proposal looks to recycle grey water from the Suzhou Creek to provide water to the inhabitants. Solar and wind energy will provide the means for heating and cooling of the spaces proposed. These methods would allow the city model to run whilst reducing its environmental impact. Pinkcloud’s interesting take on urban development re-thinks how we perceive the typology of the city and this model in the culturally, economically and socially rich city of the Shanghai looks at carefully addressing the need to develop but maintain these important characteristics of the city.