Chinese Triptych

Chinese Triptych: The Generic, the Network and the Green New Town
CASLA Almere, NL
8 April – 18 June 2011
Curator: INTI / Michelle Provoost

The era when Europe had its heyday of demographic growth and industrialization and subsequently built dozen of new cities is over. Nowadays we find the economic power has shifted towards the east and it is there that New Towns spring up, especially in China.

But as much as the Chinese city is in the focus of our attention, it’s amazing to see how little the West actually knows about the Chinese city. Of course, the pictures of Chinese cities with their bustling street life and frantic vitality are published everywhere, and the western visitor stands in awe, if somewhat bewildered. But how do these cities come into being? How are they designed? What is the contemporary Chinese city really like?

For this exhibition, three Dutch offices (Go West, Dynamic City Foundation and Urban Language) were invited by INTI & Casla. They have all three emerged themselves completely in Chinese reality, inhabiting, studying, analyzing and commenting on Chinese cities, and also proposing alternative ways of working and planning. Their research and designs show clearly how there is no such thing as The Chinese New Town; different models exist next to each other and the development of new cities is dynamic. New insights, critique on existing practices and new ambitions in the field of sustainability shape the future Chinese City. In the exhibition the underlying principles of the present-day generation of New Towns will be unraveled; in addition to that also the future generation of New Towns is being addressed by design proposals for a future green city.