Peoples-Ambitious Happy Land
Nomination, H.I. Feldman Prize
What if urban design straddles both local and regional ambitions, yet remains meaningful and relevant to the communities it serves? The Tonghui riverfront in central Beijing is a difficult, forgotten post-industrial railway landscape, only because its latent potential has not been realized. These places can be the foundations for insurgent public spaces; self-made urban spaces that range from reclaimed and re-appropriated sites, to temporary events and informal gathering places. We approach the question of city-healing not through a singular top-down strategy, but instead through the analysis of site-specific, unique situations. This produces urban experiments which address both the problems and opportunities of found urban sites. We see programme not as a singular, unyielding thing, but as a limitless list of possibilities generating a continuous urban laboratory in which both public and private are engaged in the process of urban development, represented through narratives that capture the intricacies of human inhabitation.