We were invited to design a new urban plaza – Future City Garden – for the United Nations Biological Diversity Convention (Cop15), hosted recently by the city of Kunming, China. The 3,000 m2 plaza was located outside the main entrance to the convention hall to welcome arriving delegates.
The project will remain in situ in Kunming as an educational template to demonstrate how more productive and beneficial pastoral spaces can be incorporated into urban design.
Future City Garden explores how urban spaces can be adapted to encapsulate Cop15’s ideals, incorporating the ancient Chinese philosophy of “unity of man with nature”. The design – led by Laurie Chetwood – combines architectural and landscape design forms with environmental protection features to create an urban plaza that conveys Cop15’s central theme of “co-building a global ecological civilization and protecting global biodiversity”.
At the centre of the plaza a representation of the Sun is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell to highlight the vital role of green hydrogen in enabling the world to transition its energy towards net zero ambitions. Other areas of the design are themed around the role of a more pastoral approach to urban design in protecting biodiversity and improving human survival and wellbeing.
Air, water, food, shelter and rest – the five basic conditions for survival – are explored through a series of urban gardens featuring urban food production, shelter, air quality, water management and natural and human wellbeing.
To find out more about Future City Garden see related content below.