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© 2018, Made by Fan at New Haven

Hanoi, a centuried high-density Asian city, impressed us with its rich national culture, colorful urban life and autonomous operating way. However, through the on-site investigation, we found the city is facing three main challenges in 21st Century.

First of all, with the increasing Mega Projects development encouraged by the government, the traditional Vietnam Family Tie and the Autonomy that everyone could participate in constructing their own city become at severe risk.

Secondly, Poor Infrastructure could hardly handle the garbage treatment, millions of motorcycles running on the streets, causing terrible noise and serious air pollution.

Thirdly, how to balance between nature and urban construction as well as how to deal with the frequent flooding conditions is also a vital problem we need to solve.

Under these backgrounds, we expected our city to be a place where continuous Family Tie could make people close to each other, where traditional Vietnam Scale could help people live a close fit and comfortable life, where inherited Ancestral Wisdom could lead people to get close distance with nature.

Therefore, we proposed our "Close City" for Hanoi 2050.

We proposed "close society", which aims at continuing close relationship among family members and social individuals.

We proposed "close infrastructure", which aims at combining city life with close fit urban space and infrastructure system.

We proposed "close nature", which aims at creating close distance with nature via merging the landscape agriculture canal system through the city.

Finally, we proposed “closed loop”, which aims at ecology and energy sustainability of the city, integrating the society, nature and infrastructure close together.

We expect that in our close city, everyone could harvest from being close to each other; everything could be harvested from the close fit infrastructure; every family could harvest from the close relationship to nature.

 

1.PROLOGUE: EVERYONE HARVESTS

Everyone

Referring to “everyone”, here emerges first question: Who is every one?
Commonly, we might think about every single people in narrow sense. However, when we focus our sight on Traditional Asian City like Hanoi, we realized family should be the typical unit of society and we need to extend the definition to “every family” in a broader sense.

Harvests

Referring to “harvest”, here emerges the second question: What could be harvested?
Basically, according to the brief, food production should be primarily considered. We also agreed that the understanding should be extended to “Nature Resources”. Moreover, people could also harvest friendship, kinship and even love from close collaboration.

Everyone Harvests

From our aspects, everyone harvests could not only be a solution for Asian Vertical City, but also be an urban development attitude to nature. The core of our proposal should be trying to extend the continuity of Intergeneration between Society and Nature in the future.

What if our city could promote the close family tie and collaboration?
What if our city could reuse, recycle or regenerate limited resources?
What if our city could inherit the wisdom of ancestor when facing nature?

Bringing all hypothesizes above, we arrive in Hanoi to find our answer.

 

2.HANOI: CITY COMBINED WITH FAMILY

Compared with typical western cities, Hanoi is family centered rather than individual centered, which makes it quite different in architectural type, city form as well as social relationships.

People would feel safe and supported when connected with families. This is even more important and precious for the citizens when facing the rapid urbanization. Taking Chinese urban development into consideration, we think reserving family ties would possibly be an effective way to treat the urban problems.

Moreover, families are natural and essential carriers in traditional Vietnamese culture, without which there would be no difference between Vietnam and Western Country.

 

3.VIETNAM SCALE

Generally speaking, it is not that easy for people to stand such conditions as Vietnamese do, and what surprise us most is that they feel very happy and comfortable with the close scale.

Hence, we did a detailed research on how to get happy in the very conditions and how to provide lives for 100,000 Vietnamese in a 1km2 area.

Ultimately, we found the answer that, what private and crowded mean in Vietnam is exactly not the same with that in the Western. Particularly, the scale of physical space and social activities are also totally different.

Initially, houses and streets are narrower, and this drives people to communicate in a close distance. Additionally, most of the transportations are on motorcycles rather than vehicles, thus people could easily get to stop and have a talk, or have a look at the street activities at least.

All of these undoubtedly give us a foundation to create a happy life in the upcoming Close City.

 

4.CHALLENGES

Hanoi, a centuried high density Asian city, impressed us with its rich national culture, colorful urban life and autonomous operating way. However, through the on-site investigation, we found the city is facing three main challenges in 21st Century.

First of all, with the increasing Mega Projects development encouraged by the government, the traditional Vietnam Family Tie and the Autonomy that everyone could participate in constructing their own city become at severe risk.

Secondly, Poor Infrastructure could hardly handle the garbage treatment, millions of motorcycles running on the streets, causing terrible noise and serious air pollution.

Thirdly, how to balance between nature and urban construction as well as how to deal with the frequent flooding conditions is also a vital problem we need to solve.

 

5.CLOSE CITY

Therefore, we proposed our "Close City" for Hanoi 2050.

We proposed "close society", which aims at continuing close relationship among family members and social individuals.
With the high-speed urbanization changing traditional lifestyle, the family structure will definitely change accordingly. We have developed different housing patterns for relative families, forming shareable spaces in-between families at the same time, for the continuity of traditional intergeneration relationships.

We proposed "close infrastructure", which aims at combining city life with close fit urban space and infrastructure system.
Instead of constructing a conventional infrastructure system, close infrastructure is supposed to be an urban space system, and a container for citizens' working, entertainment, transport and social life based on the Vietnam scale and space stereotype from traditional tube-houses, responding to local climate and type tectonic oriented. It's a connector that joins private and public space together, a vertical street where people meets and lives, a supporter for energy-waste recycling.
We proposed "close nature", which aims at creating close distance with nature via merging the landscape agriculture canal system through the city.
Our close city is not like a big obstacle that blocking the nature's flowing, but a sponge that lets nature get through and interact with urban area. A canal system has been designed to make people in the city live closer to nature, and the canal system integrates with wetland acts as the major urban landscape which could retain water, guarantee bio-diversity, plant crops and vegetables and provide public recreational space.

Finally, we proposed “closed loop”, which aims at ecology and energy sustainability of the city, integrating the society, nature and infrastructure close together.
By the energy-waste closed loop, wastes go down by gravity to underground infrastructure, where they are transformed to energy that supplies the community and fertilizer back to farmland and nature. What's more, some useful things are recycled, reused or regenerated after some management in close infrastructure.
By the water-circulating closed loop, grey water and semi-clean water drained from buildings into communities' wetlands, black water after initial treatment in the special plant, raindrops collected by the vertical tunnels and containers, can all be reclaimed for different use or flow back to nature after corresponding treatment process.
From the larger territory, a group of Close Cities which locate around 15km to Hanoi central district become the intermediary between urban area and rural area. They obtain materials from rural area and pay back manure, meanwhile, they also receive waste from urban area and reward it energy.

 

6.EPILOGUE: EVERY FAMILY HARVESTS

We expect that our close city will inherit the original advantages of Hanoi City: human scale, interactive collaboration and self-organization, meanwhile improve its disadvantages: broken family tie, poor infrastructure and unbalanced nature.

We expect that in our close city,
Everyone could harvest from being close to each other;
Everything could be harvested from the close fit infrastructure;
Every family could harvest from the close relationship to nature.

Close City, for human, for future.

 

 

Full report for research into Hanoi is available here.

Full design report is available here.

Full brochure is available here.

Architecture

Close City