China's hyper-dense urban centers tend to conjure images of huge crowds, gridlocked traffic, and polluted air. The Great City, now under construction near the city of Chengdu, aims to be anything but that.
Designed by Chicago firm Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture, the Great City is a plan for a sustainability-focused, pedestrian-based satellite city that 80,000 people will call home. The compact vertical design is a green answer to suburban sprawl in Chengdu. With all locations being just a 15 minute walk from each other, the need for vehicles is eliminated, and the car-free city will connect the other areas not by freeway but by underground transit.
The firm says that Great City will use 48 percent less energy and 58 percent less water than a conventional development with the same amount of people. It will also produce 89 percent less landfill waste and 60 percent less carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, the city will be surrounded by 480 acres of green space, a buffer landscape that solidifies oasis-like nature of the concept, which is to be replicated in other parts of China.
"The design is attempting to address some of the most pressing urban issues of our time," said architect Gordon Gill. "We’ve designed this project as a dense vertical city that acknowledges and in fact embraces the surrounding landscape."