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Competition: Yilong Futuristic City, China

Contest site: Yilong Futuristic City

An open international competition has been launched for a new 1,258km2 metropolitan area in China’s Guizhou Province

The contest seeks utopian proposals for a super-hub development in south-west China set to support planned urban development and population growth within the region.

Proposals should create a smart city with a new national industrial park while integrating with the surrounding landscape and promoting additional ecological and ethical connections. Winning schemes may be considered for development with innovations raised during the process expected to influence wider regional planning.

According to the brief: ‘This competition is intended to initiate a conversation on the modern city life founded on nature, involving topics such as local vs global, tradition vs future, Eastern vs Western, landscape vs city, nature vs living habitat, preservation vs development, intention vs reality.

‘How would the development of future cities accommodate the natural landscape, regional culture and diverse characteristics?’

Yilong District is located in South West China’s Guizhou Province and is comprised of nine towns and two provincial economic development zones. It is an important commercial distribution and trade centre of Guizhou, Yunnan and Guangxi provinces. The surrounding karst limestone landscape is largely rural and mountainous and has inspired poets and artists for generations.

In recent years – as China becomes more reliant on advanced manufacturing and trade – new urban centres of distribution and business are emerging, such as Yilong District. To promote further growth an area of around 236km2 within Yilong has been earmarked for the construction of a new futuristic city from scratch.

The contest is organised by Yilong District Management Committee and the CBC (China Building Centre), sponsored by Guizhou Louna Architects Commune Cultural Development Co, and supported by Urban Environment Design Magazine.

The competition language is English and submissions must include up to three A1-sized boards in landscape orientation with around 500 words of explanation. Teams must submit a booklet of up to 20 A3 pages and may add model photos and rendered videos if required.

The chair of the jury is Peter Rowe, professor of architecture and urban design at Harvard University and an experienced facilitator of Chinese urban development projects.

The overall winner – due to be announced in December – will receive a first place prize of 200,000 RMB while three second place prizes of 100,000 RMB and eight third place prizes of 10,000 RMB will also be awarded.

The registration deadline is 20 October and submissions must be completed by 15 November.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

Email: futuristiccity@163.com

Tel: +8615168816292

Q&A with Qing LIU

The executive chief editor of Urban Environment Design Magazine discusses her ambitions for the competition

Qing LIU

Qing LIU

Qing LIU

Why are your holding an international contest for a new futuristic city in Yilong?

As the most promising area in Guizhou province, Yilong District has more possibilities compared with other maturely developed cities. Facing a subject like this, architects and planners have plenty opportunities: how can we deal with a rudiment city like this?

Every city has its own developing period. For instance, European cities had a long journey of transformation. During that period, every city has its own spirit because they are the carriers of human activities; cities have their own circulation systems that provide their residents with respective lifestyles. However, we do not get much time to talk about how we should build a city in a time like this.

We have reached a consensus that we cannot move forward without considering our history. We all hope to add new contents to the existing built environment through urban regeneration. However, sometimes it doesn’t work because the urban structure of many cities has already been set up, which has a close association with emerging urban problems such as traffic jams and pollution, and even sustainability and human survival in the long run.

If we look at the bigger picture, we hope this is not just a short-term competition but with lasting effects. We hope people can view the future city with a lens that concerns the world and human development, associating it with other big concerns.

Hosting competitions helps us to gather innovative ideas for a region from home and abroad, while giving it publicity. Such international urban planning competitions are not rare; in fact, many cities and countries such as Barcelona, Singapore and Finland all have their own schemes for international competitions. We are also looking  to establish a competition scheme rather than a single competition event.

CBC (China Building Centre) initiated this competition in the hope of inspiring the next round of urban development and village revival with design, culture and art. In this Yilong Futuristic City International Design Competition, international and domestic contestants from the fields of architecture, urban planning and landscape will all answer to the topic of Futuristic City.

They can provide open ideas and provide suggestions for the decision makers, who will actualize them in practice. In the form of ’big event’, competitions allow more people to get to know Yilong, Guizhou in a very short time, leaving abundant design ideas while stimulating the region. Because of their approval of this kind of organisation, Yilong District government decided to co-host this urban design competition with CBC. The result of this competition is essential to Yilong District. In addition, we will have other important urban strategic projects for Yilong.

Contest site: Yilong Futuristic City

Contest site: Yilong Futuristic City

Contest site: Yilong Futuristic City

What is your vision for the future of the area?

As to the vision for this region, we hope to find the answer with the contestants. The assignment of this competition is not very specific about the function, the space or the other aspects of the futuristic city. Yilong is a new district, and the outcome of the competition is full of possibilities. We hope to provide the contestants with a broad communication platform. The city core area of Yilong will be the carrier for urban design discussions.

Innovation and quality are very important to the nature of this competition. We came up with the key word ‘futuristic’ so that contestants could break all the existing rules in urban planning. We are looking for futuristic, creative, and at the same, feasible proposals.

Sustainable issues are the core of this design. Sustainability is multifaceted. In fact, the concept of sustainability is very broad. It is easier to determine what is not sustainable. From a microscopic perspective, sustainability contains levels such as environment, resources and technology. If we extend our horizon using an operation perspective, sustainability can be associated with the quality of living. A comprehensive view of sustainability is required from contestants.

Contest site: Yilong Futuristic City

Contest site: Yilong Futuristic City

Contest site: Yilong Futuristic City

What sort of architects and designers are you hoping will apply?

The goal of this competition is to solicit practicable urban design with forward looking. Participants who are architecture masters, practitioners and students are all welcomed. The main concerns are their passion about the futuristic city, and their academic knowledge or practical experience in good urban design. This is also the reason we invited Peter G Rowe, the former dean of Harvard Graduate School of Design, as the chairman and Jingtao Huang, the president of Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute, as our executive chairman for this competition’s Jury Committee. We hope people can look at this competition with a global urban development lens.

This international futuristic city competition that we cooperated with Yilong government will catch people’s attention whether the project is realised or not. Everyone has their own version of the futuristic city and we are all looking forward to the final result of this competition.

Which other design opportunities are on the horizon and how will the architects/designers be procured?

Soon we will organise contestants to come and visit the competition site. We will also host the annual Louna International Architecture Summit in the Louna village of the Yilong District, which contains a series of high-level academic activities and creative, influential art and cultural events about future city and building.

As a new, developing city, Yilong District will have a series of developing plans. We hope it will not stop at this competition. The competition scheme could be the beginning of Yilong’s development from many aspects. The future architecture in Yilong District contains much potential for green public spaces, so will the competition.