2015 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism / Architecture, Shenzhen and Kong Hong
"Cheng Shi Yuan Dian" can be understood as a starting point to how we make architecture out of, in, and for the contemporary city. We must ask: “Who is the city for? What is its past? What is it now? Where will it be in future?” We must start by seeing the world we have made for ourselves as humans: a complex and layered built reality that we must first of all use to its fullest, before we make more of it. We must think in terms of reusing, rethinking, reimagining, and opening up our existing structures.
This is a particular issue in Shenzhen and the Pearl River Delta. After thirty years of rapid urbanization, China's urban population is more than 50% of the total, and in the next fifteen years it is highly likely that it will exceed the 70% of the world’s cities’ average levels. Even though it is confronted with dwindling natural resources and land, increasingly deteriorating environment and climate, as well as food safety, aging and other global issues, China is still undergoing high-speed urbanization
What does it mean for the future of the world? This has become a very serious topic. In order to address this issue, we must look beyond the abstractions of planning and we must think beyond just making more buildings. We have to consider how to better use what is already there, and to go back to the strenghhs, the dreams, the aspirations, and the challenges that bring people to cities in the first place. We must ask: “What is the original intention and goal for establishing the city?”
"Re-living the city", is a fundamental action that we decided to take after rethinking cities’ starting points. Based on what is there, not on what will be built; on the present, not some vague future, we look towards those who want to relive city life. Re-living is a stance, an attitude and an action. We need to reconstruct our city and home, reconstruct humanity’s future, and make it a mission for mankind’s better future.
"Cheng Shi Yuan Dian" and "Re-living the city"; the former is a reset thought process, while the latter is an action taken after in-depth contemplation, interpreted both in Chinese and English, and representing a particular attitude and position, combining vision and practice that we take in this session of 2015 UABB, which is different from previous sessions. It addresses the past and the future by looking, rebuilding, and remaking what there is today.
Back to the origin, Regain our cities, remake our present.