Water and Soil Utopia – A concept for cities 20 years from now

https://i1.wp.com/bopswave.googlepages.com/indonesiaflag.jpg Bahasa Indonesia
This was actually my thought that I presented in a seminar held by Holcim and SAMM (Spirit of Malang Young Architect) about sustainable construction in November 2007. I hear recently more similar concept developed afterwards, many claims this concept, and I realize there is no original concept in architecture. And all I can say is that a ‘concept’ is something very fluid and can be copied and pasted in copycat culture. But then I have to claim that this thought is something I share and guarantee coming from my thought. After thinking so much about life in cities and how everything goes in very bad way, including disturbed water cycle, this concept is something that I thought will be the best concept for 20 years from now.

The origin of this is because we have to think in a different way from now and save the potential of water and soil for the future. Buildings must be in different manner, and water + soil potential should be preserved. The best way is actually not to use the soil at all, and this will mean that land will be a forest and buildings must be raised to certain height that will allow small plants to live below buildings, big trees between buildings and raised streets.

Water cycle is very vital in earth life as well as the continuity of all beings on earth. And this cycle become unstable because we put too much interruption to nature, like building too many buildings, streets, trotoars that cover the land and cut the water cycle. If water can not be absorbed by land, there will be flood, discontinuity of ground water stream, and dryness in more place above earth. The lack of water vapour (because water is too quickly flown to river and not vapoured much) will increase earth’s temperature.

There are three steps we should do in preserving land and soil;

  • preserve water absorbtion by soil
  • plant more forest cities
  • avoid soil erotion

This will be preventing us from making similar mistakes happened in EVERY city on earth. There has to be an utopia, and we should make it true. We already know there are architects who think about urban utopia; Tony Garnier with Cite Industrielle, Le Corbusier with Ville Radieus, and this concept I call “Water and Soil Utopia”, is not something really related to urban design, but a concept of healthier urban city.

The utopia of future cities of the world:
give more water and soil preservation for nature and mankind
area of building as biggest erosion source of problem should be given attention
flood free urban cities, 20 years from now
New cities have to be different from now.

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by Probo Hindarto
© Copyright 2008 astudio Indonesia. All rights reserved.

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