In East Asia, lively and flexible urban environments exist and function in cities such as Taipei’ East District, Seoul’s Hongdae, and Shanghai’s Jing An. Most of these areas emerged after the Second World War and experienced an explosive growth of urban development during which agriculture land was transformed into industrial and residential land in a very short time. Supply, demand, consumption, and production exist all in the same neighbourhood without relocating or spilling over to adjacent areas. Today, creativity emerges from the accumulation and combination of these urban functions.
During our international research, we also discovered that a lot of East Asia cities are currently confronted with urban renewal: concrete buildings almost reaching their age limitation and are in need of reconstruction, reinforcement, or rebuilding. In different cities, within different urban environments and under different social, economical situations and perception to “private properties”, there are different ways to carry out urban renewal. Among them, the most common one is to demolish most of the low-rise buildings and build high-rise residential towers in their place. However, is there no other possibility? Possibilities that could potentially preserve the old, the communal memories and the interpersonal networks yet invite new buildings and new comers to settle?
Task: Urban research / book editing
Cooperators: Bart Reuser, Yang Ziyi
Credit: Boundary Unlimited
Execution country: Taiwan