Cities For All

Finalist

Vesicular City

Alana Kerr, Danielle Kim, Edward Park
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Vesicular City proposes a radical reconceptualization of the introverted approach to address the global health pandemic, while also using optimization strategies to combat climate change. The proposal is a physically extroverted parasitic system which will balance individuality, collectiveness, and pluralism. 

The city of Tokyo, Japan is a prime testing ground for the proposal. Its large population and high urban density provides an infrastructural richness that the Vesicular City can feed from and build upon. Furthermore, Japanese citizens that are abiding current health regulations and climate change protocols are underrepresented in the discourse surrounding the pandemic as they are portrayed as ideal citizens. However, the continued mental health deterioration and alarming increases in suicides of Japanese citizens since the onset of the pandemic has been far less publicized. The COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing challenge of climate change, are a catalyst for the already prevalent social withdrawal culture, or “Hikikomori”, present in modern Tokyo. Vesicular City searches for new methods to connect citizens responsibly to create a less isolated, more interconnected, and transparent city; all while optimizing resources for a sustainable future.

At the city scale, the proposal acts as a optimization system for urban developments that feeds off the nutrients in the city through its existing buildings and infrastructure. Tokyo's rich transportation networks function as feeder tubes for the new bubble-clusters. Transportation and movement of goods is no longer fueled by individual needs and orders, but part of a collective system – preventing trends of over-consumption that fuel climate change. The system also provides supplementary space within existing buildings to accommodate social distancing requirements. When individuals or cohorts leave these spaces to go into the outside world for the system-allowed amount of time, they are protected by human-scale membranous bubbles while still being tethered to their homes through a network of connective tissue.

Usually there are not immediate repercussions for actions taken during the pandemic and in response to climate change, therefore reducing motivation and manifesting learned helplessness. Conceptual and projective in approach, Vesicular City is the embodiment of health and climate policies that implement an immediate feedback loop that augment the understanding of how society deals with global crises. The facilitation and allocation of resources in the proposed system will not only improve the sustainability and longevity of the city but will also reward and improve the everyday lives of Japanese citizens in Tokyo.

urban design, architecture
covid19, sustainability
city
Japan