Karishma Desai


PRO – MULTIPLICITY’ is a belief that contemporary urbanism can be made more interactive by inducing spatial multiplicity between the Landscape and Urbanism. The proposal exemplifies how local intelligence has the potential to create co-existent communities as an alternative model of future urbanism.

Under the theme of ‘Prototypical Urbanities’ and expanding on the research of past few years, the studio intends to address the issues revolving around China’s ambition to build 400 new cities by the year 2020, with a target to move around 12 million people from rural to urban areas. Taking this as a broad scenario, the AALU Studio 2009-10 has focused on the Yangtze River Delta in East China including the region around Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Suzhou and Ningbo, which are the epicentres of large-scale infrastructure development and thereby rapid industrialisation.

The Yangtze River Delta in China is one of the most rapidly developing regions of the world today; exhibiting massive urbanisation trends, huge infrastructure development and a stupendous building boom, invoking issues of large-scale migration, pollution and loss of arable land. These rapid processes constantly create new generators of urbanism, as a result of which the area is in a perpetual state of flux, in turn threatening the material conditions of the existing ecologies. Port of Ningbo and the decision for its expansion is acting as one such attractor, creating a wave of transformations and rapid urbanisation along the Hangzhou Bay area, home to a very interesting mix of agro-based and industrial systems, located within a very sensitive and productive ecological zone.

Taking this as an opportunity to explore the complexities of these systems in relation to each other, the idea is to propose adaptive spatial strategies, addressing these normative processes on one hand, while harnessing the material conditions of the site by amalgamating “self-production modules’ and recovery systems, as a means to generate new forms of social, infrastructural and industrial programming to bridge these otherwise fragmented entities.

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