Shantou Desakota Workshop (2)

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After five full days of fieldwork, sketching and discussions, Go West presented together with a team of experts suggestions on the future of the Shantou Shan Nan area to the full board of the Shantou Planning Bureau. The advice focused on specific areas such as water, transport and community building.

The Shan Nan area in Shantou is a unique rural-urban location with a lot of potential. Qualities lie in characteristic villages in combination with an extensive water system. However, polluting small industries, poorly maintained villages and a lack of planning strategies currently threat the future of the area. Go West’s contribution was characterized by knowledge of the Chinese culture and urbanization, and the architecture of the villages. In the upcoming report we will further develop and elaborate on this vision.

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Shantou Desakota Workshop

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Next week from 21 – 25 January, Go West will participate in the Shantou ‘Desakota’ Workshop. Together with an international team of experts in urban planning, mobility, water management and architecture, we will think about how to carefully integrate the surrounding (water) landscape into the next phase of the development plan for Shantou.

Since 1982, the city of Shantou is part of the group of five Special Economic Zones in China, but struggled to develop. Therefore, the Institute of Urban Planning and Design of the Nanjing University and the Shantou Planning Bureau together wrote a new Strategic Plan that aimed to set a new blueprint for the Shantou region. Our workshop is one part of the next phase of this development plan.

Participants are urban planner and team leader Martin Dubbeling (Connecting Cities), landscape architect Wouter Vos (KuiperCompagnons), urban planner Ric Stephens (Stephens Planning and Design), Dutch water engineer Govert Geldof (Geldof c.s.), transport and mobility expert Richard ter Avest (Goudappel Coffeng) and urban planner Sebastien Goethals (Urban Stream).

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Sneak Peak: Making City in Europe

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Last Thursday, the 5th International Architecture Biennial Rotterdam themed ‘Making City’ opened. Our contribution Allmetropolis perfectly fits this years’ subject: we propose to learn from Chinese urbanization by introducing the concept of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Europe. By superimposing the concept of the SEZ on Flevoland, we think Flevoland could act as an economic powerhouse for The Netherlands. Below you can see some screenshots of the movie introducing the idea. Want to see the whole movie? Visit the IABR at the Netherlands Architecture institute, or contact us for a personal YouTube login!

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Interview with Business News Radio, Omroep Flevoland

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Last week, we had a studio interview on Business News Radio, one of the leading news stations in the Netherlands, about our plan to change the Dutch province Flevoland into a new metropolitan area, using Chinese models for urbanisation.

You can listen to the whole interview below (note: it’s in Dutch!)

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A few days later, Omroep Flevoland made a special about our proposal for a Special Economic Zone in the Flevopolder.

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“Lessons from China” in Amsterdam

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In a special edition of WorldTalks, the weekly Urban Mixer for the internationally minded community of Amsterdam, we will present the Dutch edition of our book.
Together with NEXT Architects, an office with extensive experience in China, we will give short, provoking presentations about the lessons that Europe can learn from China’s rise. And we will talk about our plan to turn the Dutch province of Flevoland into a Chinese-style Special Economic Zone…

Friday 13 April | 18:00 | Café Cox | Marnixstraat 429 | Amsterdam | Free entrance | More information

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“Making City” in Rotterdam and Almere

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During the 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, Go West will present a futuristic plan that turns the Dutch province Flevoland into a Chinese-style Special Economic Zone. Drawing on our research in Shenzhen, we show the possibilities and chances that a free-trade zone could bring to Europe in terms of economic growth and employment. During the Biennale, this plan will be shown in Rotterdam and Almere in conjunction with other plans to create jobs in Flevoland by MVRDV and Zandbelt&vandenBerg.

April 20th – August 20th | IABR | Rotterdam, Almere

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Allmetropolis, the booklet

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After the exhibition in the Shenzhen Biennale 2011, we recently published a booklet containing our proposal for a Special Economic Zone in Europe, called Allmetropolis – een Speciale Economische Zone in de Flevopolder. The publication, which so far only is available in Dutch, deals with the narratives of both the Shenzhen SEZ and the Flevopolder. Although both areas have a similar background, they developed in a total different way. Where Shenzhen turned into the ultimate business city, the Flevopolder became the suburban residential dream. What would happen when you would superimpose the concept of the SEZ on the Flevopolder? Contact us if you’re interested in the publication.

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Allmetropolis at Shenzhen Biennale 2011

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Last week, our new exhibition Allmetropolis opened in the Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism & Architecture. The show, which is located in venue B10 in OCT Loft, shows a comparison of the urban areas of Shenzhen and Flevoland, the largest mainmade island in the world. The main argument of the project: what would happen if we turn Flevoland into a Special Economic Zone?
To be continued…

Team:
Concept & Research: Michiel Hulshof & Daan Roggeveen
Research assistance: Xia Yixuan
Translation: Song Xinlin, Amanda Wan
Concept graphic design: Job, Joris & Marieke

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Allmetropolis: learning from China’s growth model

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Starting Thursday 8 December, Go West Project will present a new research project during the Shenzhen/Hong Kong Biennale of Architecture. Central theme: What would happen if Europe created a Special Economic Zones following the Chinese model? To anwer that question, we compare two regions that started their urban growth at the end of the 1970s: one, Shenzhen Special Economic Zone in China, the other, the manmade island of Flevoland in the Netherlands.

Over the years, both urban regions have developed in a completely different manner. The New Towns in Flevoland has a population of 400,000, for large part commuters working in the Randstad and looking for a suburban living environment. Shenzhen, for its part, has grown into ‘the factory of the world’ with more than 10 million migrant workers from all over China.

In the exhibition Allmetropolis, Go West Project compares policy, economy, residential areas and future plans of the two regions. It then poses the question what would happen in Flevoland would implement China’s successful model for growth, meaning it would transform itself into a Special Economic Zone with preferential tax and other policies compared to the surrounding area.

This research project addresses consequences of current international developments where Europe is increasingly looking at China for financial help to solve the debt crisis. When Europe wants to attract Chinese investors, it’s not more than logical to have a close look at Chinese models for investment and growth.

Venue: B10, OCT, Nanshan, Shenzhen
Exhibition from 8 December 2011 – 18 February 2012

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Go West in Shenzhen Biennale

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The similarities between the Chinese city of Shenzhen and the Dutch Flevoland region with the city of Almere are stunning. Both areas started their urban development in the late 1970s: Shenzhen as a promising Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and Almere as promising New Town on Flevoland, the world’s largest man-made island. Both are located in a river delta, adjacent to major international metropolises: Shenzhen near Hong Kong and Flevoland next to Amsterdam. In spite of these similarities, both urban areas developed in a completely different manner.

In the 2011 Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, Go West Project puts into perspective the economic, social, spatial and ecological developments of Shenzhen and Flevoland. This forms the starting point of a research that shows the possibilities and opportunities of using the Shenzhen model in a European context…

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