[dropcap]O[/dropcap]utside Chengdu, in central China, a 78 million square foot site has been determined for an unconventional sort of construction project. It will be a city built from scratch, for 80,000 people, none of whom will need a car to get around.
The “Great City” is a plan for an ambitious urban center designed to limit its residents environmental impact by producing clean energy, reducing waste, and promoting public transportation over individual car use.
The project is the work of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, who note that “Chinese planning officials [are] beginning to see the effects of automobile-dependent design and are open to better alternatives to urban sprawl.”
It has been called the “Car-Free City,” a moniker that is not entirely accurate. The architecture firm notes that the vision is for a city where “cars will be essentially unnecessary,” but allowed.
The master plan includes many good ideas. Half the road space will be reserved for non-motorized traffic, and electric shuttles will get people where they cannot or do not want to walk. All homes will be within a two-minute walk of a public park.
An “eco-park” will treat wastewater and solid waste, and generate power. Land outside the city will be reserved for farming. Wildli