The City, the year 2117     
The new future city of where the density and desire meet     
Author: Verasu Saetae     
                 
http://blankspaceproject.com/ 
The Blankspace, Fairy Tale Competition 2016     













Urban planning development of The City in the year 2117.
Block I: the high-technological supreme block
Block V: the archive block; containing historical and traditional modern houses.
The City, Year 2117:
  
“The world we once used to remember has suppressed maximum potentials of architecture. Rules and regulations from government authorities limit an evolution of a city. Can architecture once again offer a new perspective of how the city should evolve? Architecture has been imprisoning for too long…” 

(The architect, interviewed with ArchDaily 2117)

But not any longer, a group of so-called avant-garde makers have founded a radical movement, backed in the late 21st century, to deliberate architecture from its limitations, going to beyond the authority’s restrictions of Floor Area Ratio (FAR), Open space ratio (OSR), UNESCO heritage regulations and environmental concerns. The movement was formed in the time where the existing architectural design methodologies and theories were no longer applicable to the current urban condition. It was due to the gradually increasing number of world populations, in 2100, it was 15 million people, which was doubled as of those in 2016 which was 7.5 billion people. As of now the world population almost reaches 17 million! The living condition in many of the major cities was in poor condition, the amount food production did not meet the demand of the inhabitants and the amount of sunlight, fresh air and views had dropped below the standard. Many of the recreational spaces, like soccer fields, stadiums, urban parks and many other public spaces had turned into food production space. The study showed that the inhabitants started to feel depressed and stressed about the situation. The manifesto of the radical movement had become a significant discussion across the globe. Their initiative was to solve this issue of density. The world we once used to know has gradually become a myth? It would be hard for this generation to grasp the essence of the old world.

The Founders, Year 2060

The movement was founded by five leading makers in five different fields: an architect, a structural engineer, a computer scientist, a strategic planner, and a politician. They called themselves “the founders” Despite many disagreements, all complied and foresaw that the current city planning methodology would soon fail. The city needed a new mechanism to control and design a city. They envisioned a city planning software that could cope with the issue of density and people's desire. To ensure, the success and the efficiency of the program, they run the first simulation of how the city would potentially flourish and develop for the next 50 years.

They set four basic rules in the software. Initially, it will divide the land into a grid of blocks, which are not necessary fixed only on a terrestrial area. A standard block will give 100x100x100 meter parameter. Then, each block will be given a specialisation, which will serve as a core programme of development. In this trial experiment, the founders decided to set five primary standard blocks, namely: the technological and medical block, the energy-maker block, the food-maker block, the leisure and sports block and lastly the cultural block. These primitive blocks will ensure the sustainable mechanism of the subject city.

This specialisation will be the key to distributing and migrate people according to their wishes. Each block will have a different land price or a renting cost per cubic meter. The use of cubic meter is to ensure that the inhabitants, regardless of their social class, can have equal opportunity in obtaining the space, they desired. The residents can decide to reside in any block, following the block regulations. One with a lower budget would live in the smaller houses, and one with more budgets would dwell in larger space. Indeed, the block will share their resources to other blocks, create trading and economic environment where money is not the only medium of exchange.

After that, blocks will be controlled by different sliders in the software; these sliders will suggest the optimum density of people, programmatic distribution, energy production, food production and so on. These parameters operate as a block analyser optimising the equilibrium of living, productivity and qualities of a block.

Lastly, the founders had laid out the accessible infrastructure system that will be generated based on the proximity of all the blocks. This will update in real-time as a new block has emerged. There will be three layers of different modes of transportation: the Hyperloop and train on the ground level, the automobile on the second layer and the aviation on the third layer. People can choose their modes of commute based on their desires for speed. The variation goes from a simple car, hot-air balloon to a Hyperloop. The nexus of circulation of the city will keep expanding as new blocks are constructed.

Out of all nations, China will be the pioneer of this new type of vertical city. Due to the density of its population in China, the Chinese government had no other alternatives but to explore this new city design methodology. After several strategic and infrastructure planning, the construction began in 2100, and it took 17 years to complete the first five primary blocks. Before the construction began, the people who met the block requirements and conditions were eligible to pre-register and will be moving in after the construction is finished.

The people, Year Unknown

Mum: “Wake up, Wake up! We will miss the loop. Don’t you want to visit the cultural block today?! Hah”

(suddenly wake up with excitement from his deep sleep) 

Son: “Yes I do!... What time is it? Why don’t you wake me up earlier? What time is the loop?”

Mum: “In 30 minutes, your dad is almost already, we better catch this train, so we get a special discount and save some tokens, Such Expensive tickets! If it was not for your birthday, we….”

Son: “Alright Mom… enough with the tokens... I will be ready in 10 minutes.”

I was born and raised in the technological and medical block; we are a family of three. My family decided to reside here because of my respiratory allergic problem. The block is well-known for its advance in medical science and controlled indoor air, temperature and hygiene. Everything in the block is whiter than white. People keep spread words that living in this block would prolong one's lifespan and could improve one’s health. The block itself is divided into many cells. The cell that we live in is the cheapest cell.  

Each person will live inside a spherical module, but if you live together with a family, it is possible to join the sphere modules together to create a cluster of spheres. Inside the module, you will be monitored the level of oxygen, body temperature and your health condition throughout the day, to ensure the level of physical comfort. As this will lead to the happiness according to the science. Moreover, if you want a larger space, your family has to collect enough tokens, which is the currency inside the block, to be eligible to relocate to a higher ranking cell. This is my mum and dad ultimate goal, to upgrade their social ranking with higher profile inhabitants.

Dad: “Wooo... I can’t believe we made it to this train...But Son, you only have two hours to visit the culture block, then we have to catch the train back to here alright? I have to work.”

Son: “Huh... That is fine Dad.”

Mum: It is also our first to visit the cultural block, but, from what I heard it is quite polluted. 

Inside you must wear this suit to protect yourself, Son.”

Son: “Really!”

Mum; “No suits no go...”

Son: “Alright... I wonder what the old world would look like...”

Dad: It has nothing there; people live there because they cannot afford to pay for better blocks.”

Son: “...Hmm”

Station Alert: “Next stops: The Culture Block, be prepared to leave the loop.”

The family had arrived at the culture block and had been guided to the museum reception area, where they waited for the tour to start. The tour began as the family walked through a short tunnel and arrived at one of the collections of the Kyoto city. They stood in shock for a moment and felt expected that the old world could be rich in colours, textures, atmosphere and liveliness. They started touching the facade, smelling the old teak from the wooden window. The son who was in a special suit looked up to bridge connection and see a woman performing a tea ceremony to the elder, the smell of green tea and burning charcoal, the essence of life that is perhaps missing inside the super-controlled block. 

Finally, the time is up. It is time to go back. While in the loop, the family are quite silent, feeling overwhelmed by what they had been ignored in life. They are going back with one doubt of a more meaningful life.