AA Landscape Urbanism Performative Ground-Works 2011-12

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‘Performative Ground-Works’ project has been developed in Tongzhou district. It comes as a response to rapid de-industrialization processes that take place in major Chinese cities. The project explores mechanisms of soil remediation treatments as ‘prototypical urbanities’ intertwined with socio-ecological and economical changes. The mechanisms required to perform the ground works demand a laborious process that engages with the local community. The formation of the landscape integrates treatments in a phased development, bridging between land-form and built form. The notion of connectivity acquires an important role in merging the new ground into a continuous network of programmes, activities and spaces.


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1. China’s status: New Economical Dynamics 2. Overview of Tongzhou District 3. Proposed Masterplan 4. Conditions generated by the rapid urbanization A. Environmental condition B. Social condition 5. Statement


Figure1: Economic Rims of China




INTRODUCTION China’s new political thoughts in this post-communist era are influenced by local and global economic dynamics. Their ideal was communism, anti-capitalism. Today, the tide is reversed and capitalism is being more and more implemented, for they recognized Karl Marx’s theories about communism, that “communist societies need to go through a capitalist phase to develop their economies.”1 These dynamics are shaping the development of new cities and current districts are facing external pressures and undergoing physical mutations that transform them from productive cities to consumer cities through the process of de-industrialization and rapid urbanization. Existing fabrics are being altered to respond to their new visions in the scope of the development of three economic rims, seen in Figure 1, i.e. Bohai Economic Rim, Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone, Pearl River Delta Economic Zone.

Chinese urbanism has been perceived through large scale projects, defined by “speed, scale, spectacle, sprawl, and segregation”2. The massive changes occurring at such a rapide paste, carrying out radical transformations on the existing fabric. The physical conditions are the first apparent aspects, subject to these changes; they take part of the concept of 'tabula rasa', remaking the territory as part of a "creative destruction"3 ; in a way destroying the past, by erasing the existing fabric in order to create a future that seems more promising for the prosperous economical growth of the city, leaving poor families to their sordid fate and jobless to a certain extent, generating a social condition that needs to be addressed.

Figure 2(a) physical mutations of chinese cities

1. Bell, D. and De-Shalit, A. (2011) The Spirit of Cities - Why the Identity of a City Matters in a Global Age, pp. 147 2. Beijing’s Tongzhou: Rapidly on Its Way to Becoming a Modern, International New City. [Online] 3. Joseph Schumpeter, In: Campanella, T. (2008) The Concrete Dragon, p. 15

Figure 3(b) Social Segregation

"As housing prices continue to rise, a parallel trend is manifesting itself rising vacancy rates in urban areas. Most of these vacant houses... have been purchased by investors as speculative investments.While there are fewer and fewer ordinary people who can afford to buy houses, there is still excessive demand for investment housing - pressure that continues to drive up the prices."7


Chinese cities have witnessed social and economical transformations since the implementation of the market-oriented reform, at the end of the 1970s, under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping; opening up the country to the global market. Under the new reform, private investment and individual initiatives were supported; improving the economical system of the country and increasing real estate investments4 . This shift has been strongly linked with the rapid urbanization that is taking place in China, where the new economical reform has boosted the real estate sector. The rapid accumulation of private capital has engendered china as one of the hottest markets of real estate developments, where the housing prices of major cities5 and new cities have risen incredibly since then, becoming unaffordable for the majority of Chinese families. The situation can be considered very critical, since 89% of the total number of households accounts for low income families, and 4% as poor families. Whereas only 7% of them accounts for high-income families, according to China’s urban households sample survey of the economic situation of residents. “The average ratio between housing prices and income was approaching 12:1 in many large and middle-size cities in China,” following an investigation conducted by the National Development and Reform Commission in 2006, compared to the suggested affordability ratio by the World Bank of 5:16. China is facing a major problem of housing the masses, that needs to be addressed.

Real estate businesses have reached dangerous proportions in China, affecting the social stability and security of the county to a certain extent. How can we propose an urban strategy that responds to the issue, improving the economical and social status of the district, while reducing the capital over exploitation of the land and propose more balanced and integrated developments that respond to the aspirations and expectations of the local residents.

4. “increasing real estate investments by 71% by 1987” (Mauldin, J.: China Real Estate Burgeoning Bubble Special Report (2009) [Online]) 5. “the housing prices of its major cities Beijing and Shanghai have sharply risen over 110% over the past 5 years.” () 6.Mauldin, J.: China Real Estate Burgeoning Bubble Special Report (2009) [Online] 7. Idem

Figure 4(c) China Cities’ nightmare: A house built on “poisoned land” - 2012.01.19


CHINA’S NIGHTMAREHOMES BUILT ON ‘POISONED LAND’ The environment has been severely impacted by the urbanization process. Productive districts are being wiped out for the sake of future developments, leaving contaminated post-industrial lands without treatment.

“Available statistics show that till 2007, 280 industries moved out of Beijing, generating 10.81 km² of untreated lands. Most of these untreated lands are being built with residential buildings, public buildings or offices.

Land contamination in China's rural and urban areas has been perceived as a real threat to the ecosystem and the inhabitant's lives because of the level of toxic substances in the soil that highly exceeds regulation limits. Most of the industrial factories "often have a long history of using antiquated equipment and a legacy of poor management and inadequate environmental services," 8 leading to an increase of contaminants in the soil. It is only until recent years that China has become aware of the serious threat of this issue after several cases of pollution poisoning in Beijing aroused the alert to urban developments. A recent report was published highlighting this issue as "the biggest nightmare of the cities" , building on poisoned land. The gravity of this matter is reflected through the harmful impacts on the ecosystem, on the environment and on human health.

In 2006, the Chinese Environmental Department and Ministry of Land and Resources implemented a land pollution survey on post-industrial land areas. However, the data is unknown for many of the new developments, causing serious environmental and health issues. Several cases about residents being “poisoned” by untreated industrial land happened throughout these years, arousing high alert to urban development nowadays in China.” 9

from China Cities’ nightmare: A house built on “poisoned land” - 2012.01.19

8. Xiang, Z. (2011.01.22) Clean up toxic brownfields before China can go green. Shanghai Daily [Online] 9. Translated from China Cities’ nightmare: A house built on “poisoned land” (2012.01.19) [Online]

Figure 5: Factory in Tongzhou

Figure 6: Industrial activity in Tongzhou

Figure 7(d): Soil contamination due to unprotected measures

Figure 8(e): soil contamination in china, a serious matter that cannot be ignored


‘POISONED LAND’ SKIN DISEASE CAUSED BY ARSENIC CONTAMINATION CHENZHOU CITY, HUNAN PROVINCE, CHINA “CASM-China Case Study and County Meeting, July 12-16 2006” Metal contamination in Chenzhou District in China, caused from long term industrial activities, badly destroyed the environment, affecting the ground surface, as well as the ground water table. "In 1999, a serious arsenic-toxicity case was reported at Dengjiatang village due to soil and water contamination with arsenic." A company producing arsenic goods operated out of line, discharging wastewater and toxic residues highly contaminated into the environment. This resulted in surface water pollution and groundwater pollution in arsenic substances. It had severe consequences on the villagers who drank from arsenic contaminated water unconsciously: "226 villagers were poisoned, of whom more than 80% were acute or sub acute poisoning and several patients were dead. Being irrigated with arsenic contaminated water, more than 40 ha farmlands were out of use." Another case in 2000 was highlighted from arsenic contamination, where more than 20 wells in the Bolin village of Chenzhou were contaminated with a high concentration of toxic substances, "nearly 250 times the national standard of drinking water."

Figure 9(f) Heavy contaminated industries in Chenzhou

The results of the industrial contamination in arsenic substances were hazardous on the human health and badly destroyed the environment. Industrial pollution is considered a serious problem in China, and rapid urbanization is not easing the severity of the matter, where industries are wiped out for future developments without taking into consideration soil treatment measures. Figure 10(g) Skin gangrene resulting from heavy metal poisoning in Chenzhou.

10. Chen T., Shen L., Liao X-Y., Lei M., Huang Z-C.,Yan X-L., Liu Y-R. (2006.10) Case 2: Phyto-remediation in SSM community. [Online].

Tongzhou’s City Centre Beijing Central Business District Forbidden City


Tianjin City Centre road network rivers and canals

Tanggu Port

open for international trade Figure 11: Tongzhou’s strategic location

Figure 12(h): Beijing Central Business District

Figure 13(i): Tongzhou’s Proposed City Centre




STRATEGIC LOCATION FROM BEIJING The Bohai Economic Rim concerns the development of Beijing as a megacity with its surrounding satellite towns in order to become a worldwide economic leader that defies other economic poles on the global scene. Tongzhou District is one of the satellite towns situated east of Beijing. It plays an important role in the “Eastern Development Belt” where the new city should fit its profile as being a “Modern International New City” and should become “a key “nerve cell” in the central nervous system of the global economy.”11 It is located between the Forbidden City, the symbolic landmark of power and tradition of the capital, and Tanggu Port, on the Bohai bay, opened for world trade (seen in Figure 11. It is situated thirteen kilometres east from the Central Business District (CBD), and sixteen kilometres south from Beijing’s international airport. The core of the district is also the start of the Grand Canal, that routes for more than 1700 kilometers south of China, and could allow for a significant internal transportation axis. The city centre planned for the district has a prime and strategic location for the development of an economical and financial hub.

Radical transformations will affect Tongzhou’s proper character for the sake of catching up with modernity and creating a name for Beijing as a powerful economical city and for China on the global scene. The direct connection and the close proximity between Beijing’s Central Business District (Figure 12) and Tongzhou’s new City Centre (Figure 13) plays an important role in the developement of the urban fabric that is distinguished by its high rise buildings that will shape the skyline of the district.

11. Beijing’s Tongzhou: Rapidly on Its Way to Becoming a Modern, International New City. [Online]

Figure 14 Tongzhou’s Existing Masterplan



The current masterplan developed for Tongzhou’s new vision, consists mainly in modifying the existing fabric by erasing local communities, existing industries, and agricultural fields that fall within the boundaries of the new city, in order to create an economical centre that will ease the growth pressure of Beijing’s Central Business District. The following ratio bar highlights the relationship between the different land uses proposed for the new City. There is an emphasis on the percentage of recreational-green spaces and road networks within the urban fabric. The urban planners who set in place the masterplan acknowledged the fact that green spaces are fundamental in the development of future cities. However, they did not stress on the importance of an urban agriculture embedded within the new urban fabric: Currently up to 25 % of the total area of the city centre accounts for agricultural fields. The loss of agro-production engenders some social issues developed further on in the chapter. Tongzhou’s land uses also indicate that within the built area, there is a ratio of 13:1 residential-commercial, with an emphasis on the residential units; the city of 150 km2, should accommodate up to 900,000 people.

Figure 15: Ratio bar for the existing masterplan of Tongzhou built area

un-built area


7 5

6 10 2

8 9 15



14 16


12 3 11 1

Figure 16 Site Boundary and Pictures

















Tongzhou district is in transition between what was previously a productive city, with numerous industries and agricultural fields and the new city that is being planned for. The implementation has already started, bare-lands are being prepared for future developments around the core of the new city centre, new infrastructure is being laid out, some villages have been dismantled, and new high rise buildings are being built.



At a rapid pace, the new urbanization is taking over the fabric, leaving poor families and villagers behind and untreated lands for new building development.


60% HEAVY INDUSTRIES Figure 17: Indexing Existing Industrial Sites According to Pollutation Level




Current industries of Tongzhou District are planned to be removed, leaving up to 24 km2 of contaminated land/ brownfields. The current masterplan of Tongzhou does not acknowledge this problem; facilities have been dismantled and large spans of areas wiped out, without any prior inspection or treatment, ready for constructions. The numerous industries that fall within the new boundaries of the city centre are emphasized in the following plans in order to see the impact they leave on the ground and their level of pollution: They are clustered according to their proximities to one another. Light industries constitute up to 15% of the industrial plots, the medium up to 25%, and the heavy industries up to 60%. There is an urgent need to remediate and treat the soil through soil remediation techniques developed further on.

Heavy Contamination Industries

Medium Contamination Industries

Find the types of industries (heavy-medium-light contaminated industries) in the appendix of the book Source: Environmental Information Centre, Maharashta Pollution Control Board, India

Light Contamination Industries

Figure 18: 16% of the studied area consists of agricultural lands

Figure 20: 10% of the studied area are urban-villages

Figure 22: 25% of the studied area consists of agricultural lands

Figure 19(j) : Workers in action inside a factory

Figure 21 (b): A village surrounded by high rise buildings - threatened by real estate developments

Figure 23(k): His space-time frame is broken


B. SOCIAL CONDITION Tongzhou is an industrial and agricultural district. Up to 25% of the total surface of the new City Centre is currently agricultural lands and 16%, industrial sites. Both are lost to urban development leaving the urban-villagers out of work. The following picture (Figure 23) describes best the position of a farmer in Tongzhou who has lost his agricultural land and is forced to move and to cope with the changes.

For the government, the ‘urban-villages’ stand in the way of progress, and an order of demolishing them was given for the sake of building new cities.The evolution of the demolition processes is clearly seen in Figure 24 where up to 85% of the villages around Tongzhou’s city centre were erased between 2004 and 2012. Approximately 14.5 km2 of ‘urban-villages’ are planned to be dismantled and resettled forcing up to 145,000 villagers to be relocated.

Villages in 2004

Villages in 2012 Figure 24: Evolution of the villages around the proposed city centre

Figure 25 Relationship between Villages and Agriculture Fields / Industries


AGRICULTURE PRODUCTION Agricultural fields are lost to developments generating new city without measures for self sufficent food productions. However, the “2-2-1 Action Programme on Urban Agriculture,” initiated by the city of Beijing to intensify the agricultural sector within the urban and peri-urban zones surrounding the capital dictates the potentials of how intensive agricultural production can be introduced and sustain a new urban city development. It envisions several zones, each one promoting different agricultural developments within the scope of strengthening the urban agriculture. Tongzhou’s city centre is located in the sub-urban zone of Beijing. This zone is delimitated for the development of agro-parks, in the scope of giving harmony to new urban developments, reducing tension over the appropriation of agricultural lands and strengthening the position of ‘urban villages’ within the growth of the new cities.

Figure 27:Agricultural zones of Beijing and the satellite towns

An agro-park consists of several programmes that are rooted in a chain network that acts vertically, from producer to consumer; and horizontally, binding the flows of different activities (Figure 26). It is conceived as a sustainable system, where the social, environmental and economical aspects are balanced harmoniously to provide beneficial outcomes for the city. Agro-parks make use of the villagers know-how in agricultural production, providing them with adequate jobs. These parks act as a melting pot that joins urban villagers and urban citizens, breaking the existing boundary that separates them, socially, culturally, and economically.

Figure 26: Agro-Park, the interface of exchange

Figure 28: The different programmes and functions imbedded in the Agro-Park

Figure 29: Significant locations for further developments of agro-parks

Figure 30: Short-walk between the agricultural fields and the city centre of Tongzhou Location of the intensive agricultural production for Tongzhou new city

Figure 31: Location of the intensive agricultural production

Intensive agro-production Large scale agro-parks


AGRO-PARK The location of the agro-parks is crucial, for they should be at a close proximity to the urban-villages and major transportation networks (Roads and Canals), in order to facilitate the distribution of their products to the city centre where the markets are located, and to other districts also. The first step consists on highlighting the urban villages that are close to the agricultural fields in order to know the percentage of farmers or villagers that have a certain know-how in agricultural production. Through an indexing that connects the centre point of the villages to the closest plots: agricultural fields and/or industries; we are able to categorize the villages. These assumptions are concluded from the amount of connections present between them.

local market

intensive agriculture

The second step consists of locating the agricultural plots that have a close access to major roads that lead to the new city centre of Tongzhou. For that, an indexing was conducted using the short-walk definition of grasshopper, connecting the agricultural lands to the city centre. Figure 32: Case study of an Agricultural Park - Master plan for Shelby Farms Park, Hargreaves Associates

public intervention in the production

The most used roads as well as the proximity of these nodes to the villages give the location of the agro-parks; they fall at the fringe of the new city development (figure 30), creating an agricultural infrastructure that consolidates the boundaries between the urban - rural developments. The large scale agro-parks are located at the fringe of the new city; whereas an intensive agricultural production is proposed within the city as permaculture, around the urban-villages. Agricultural production is considered as a generator of income to the villagers, allowing the villages to develop and grow at their own pace. The functions and production types of the different agro-parks should be complementary, in order to offer an optimised agricultural supply to the city and to avoid a destructive and competitive impact on one another and on the surrounding agricultural fields of the district.

accessible pond to the public

Figure 33(m): Urban Land Use Models




The project development comes as a response to the two main conditions generated by the rapid urbanization: The first is of an environmental span, generated by the removal of industries that leave behind vast land of contaminated post-industrial soil; while the other one is of a social span, triggered by the loss of agricultural fields and by the removal of urban villages for future developments. The integration of a soil remediation urgency to a phased urbanization, taking into account the social implications triggered by these developments has been sought throughout the project. Where the study of technical treatments allow the development of a prototypical urbanity that responds back to these conditions. The alternative urbanization proposed for Tongzhou district originates from a balance between top-down and bottom-up decisions and finds a certain equilibrium between different phases of urban growth, combining fast and slow urbanization momentums.

Two urban morphology models, shown in Figure 33 were retained as benchmarks for comparison: the Burgess Zone Model and the Hoyt Sector Model. The Burgess Zone Model is shaped by a top down decision making that delimitates various functions in concentric areas. On the other hand, the Hoyt Sector Model comes from a bottom up decision making that is determined by the infrastructure of the city, highlighting the importance of a network within the urban realm. The development of the project for Tongzhou’s new city comes from a balance between a top-down and a bottom-up decision and finds a certain equilibrium between different phases of urban growth, combining fast and slow urbanization momentums.

1. Expressing Ground Morphology 2. Soil Remediation Techniques 3. Remediation Prototype Strategy 4. Site Dynamics A. Structure Mesh for Heavy and Medium Contaminated Sites B. Structure Mesh for Light Contaminated Sites C. Intensive Agriculture Production Mesh 5. Phased Urbanization

Figure 34(n): Ground Morphing






EXPRESSING GROUND MORPHOLOGY THROUGH SOIL REMEDIATION The large area of contaminated lands of the district (heavy contaminated land amount to 14.4 km2, whereas medium amount to 6 km2 and light to 3.5 km2) render the remediation operations difficult to achieve and handle. The contamination of its terrain varies in intensity, depth, and types of its toxic substances. A balance between the cost of the remediation techniques employed and the time needed for the land treatment should be judiciously studied according to the level of pollution of each site as well as the urgency of the land to be built.

“it is more than a problem solving exercise but a type of “groundwork” that provides opportunities to generate artificial topographies with the formal capacity to structure relations between environmental, social, cultural and economic factors.”

How can urban development integrate with contaminated soil treatments concurrently through a prototypical approach? Can soil remediation be regarded as a repeatable module that puts forward new ground morphologies, where connectivity allows the development of a built fabric specific to site conditions. Can productive and recreational value be added to the environmental remediation of the brownfields, creating new connections and ecological networks?

Figure 35: Artificial Topographies

12. Spencer, D. (2012) Investing in the ground. AD

Diagram 36(13) : Remediation technologies, time and cost of the operations

Extraction of contaminated soil

On site encapsulation of contaminated soil


The following diagram highlights different soil remediation techniques that were studied according to the level of pollution each one targets, to the time and costs they need to be applied and processed. Toxic substances are highly soluble, leading to surface water pollution; leachates infiltrate the groundwater table if not contained; and sulphur wastes in acidic soils can degrade construction materials such as PVC pipes and steel leading to a structural instability of some developments. These risks demand a precise assessment of the soil contamination intensity and require different treatment techniques according to costs and time availability for the operations. The remediation and development of brownfields is a real challenge for authorities, engineers and urbanists, whose common goal is to produce an improved and healthier environment.

soil remediation techniques



Soil vapour extraction

Contaminated soil washing

Phytoremediation of contaminated soil



The soil of the site has been intensively polluted for the past several years. A balance between the cost of operations and the time required for the treatments must be seeked for in order to deal with the large amounts of contaminated soil in Tongzhou, answering current environmental concerns while stimulating the urban experience of the citizens. Mechanisms of ground works and remediation techniques open new horizons for the development of new site conditions. Throughout the project, the combination of different remediation techniques is developed: On site treatment through phytoremediation processes, and extraction and deposit of deep contaminations for a better containment of pollutants.

On site phytoremediation of contaminated land

Phytoremediation is considered a natural economical way of dealing with this matter and can treat soils with a variety of pollutants; it is highly dependent on the plants' growing conditions, such as the climate, the geology, the altitude; and on their tolerance to toxic substances of the soil. Different species have different abilities in the treatment process and fall under different categories: phyto stabilization, phyto extraction, phyto volatilization, and phyto degradation. In complex soils, with different pollutants, a mixture of plant species could be considered in order to target a wide range of toxic substances and different depths. In the case of a deep ground contamination, the extraction of the soil allows for a better containement of the toxic substances when placed on adjacent ground for further treatment. This technique is limited to the availability of vacant land around the site, and the root depth constrains of phyto-remediation plants.

Extract/Deposit of contaminated land - phytoremediation

Extract/Deposit of contaminated land - capping

The encapsulation method consists of excavating the contaminated soil and relocating it to containment mounds, in the event of limited vacant land. This typology has no height contrains but the containment of contaminated soils require a permanent treatment facility to treat leachate and surface runoff water. The usage of the technique is limited to: park, open space and playing fields. It generates a ground language that fabricates a new urban realm, emphasizing the space experience of the city, creating new vista points overlooking the city. The height of this new landform can widely vary. This technique does not lessen the toxicity or the volume of the hazardous wastes, but it does mitigate their migration.

Figure 37: Phytoremediation process on contaminated soil

PHYTOREMEDIATION The usage of the vegetative cap as a phytoremediation process becomes part of the treatment process. This method uses the plants' ability to bio-accumulate, degrade organic pollutants and remove or stabilize the metal contaminants found of the soil. It also acts as a hydraulic control, "by maximising the available storage capacity of soil, as well as the evaporation rates and transpiration processes of plants, thereby minimising water infiltration,"(14) and thus reducing the production of leachate, it however does not completely prevent the contamination of the groundwater. In contrast to impermeable layers (compacted clay or geo-membrane covers) whose efficiency is expected to decrease after a certain period, the one of the vegetative cap improves with time and is exponentially related to the growth of the plant and their roots.

14. UNEP. Does Phytoremediation Work at Every Site. [Online]

While the depth of the excavation could vary to several meters, the one of the deposit is limited to the selection of the plant species and their root systems for absorption purposes; time is a major factor in this operation. It would take several years for the roots to attain 2 to 3 meters, limiting the urbanization growth and the usage of the land for other purposes. Moreover, in the case of plants that accumulate metal contaminants, their root zones is limited to the top foot (top 30cm) of the soil . If the depth of contamination does not exceed 1-2m, then phytoremediation on site could be an interesting option to consider for a natural and low cost operation (excavation of the land is not required). However if the contamination depth exceeds 3 meters, then the extraction of the soil is required, deposited aside, and contained within capping mounds.


WATER TREATMENT REQUIREMENTS The on site treatment uses phyto-remediation of trees to remove contaminants from the soils. This technique is used only in the case of industries that are determined as light contaminating. The application of this technique should be coupled with water runoff collection, to prevent storm-water from washing the contaminated substances into surrounding sites. Drainage should direct the runoff to a central wetland for cleansing before releasing storm-water into open waters.

In the event of an extraction and deposit /phytoremediation a 3 stage water treatment is required: from mechanical extraction of leachate deposit (1) to natural reed bed biological uptake (2) and finally to a cleansing constructed wetland (3). This treatment chain can be interrelated with surrounding sites, creating a new hydraulic network.

On site phytoremediation of contaminated land

A permanent facility must be set in place in the case of contaminated soil capping, where an ongoing water cleansing system is introduced to collect and treat the settled contaminants. * refer to technical report for details on water treatment requirements Extract/Deposit of contaminated land - phytoremediation

Extract/Deposit of contaminated land - capping

Figure 38 Applying the treatment techniques to different contamination intensities that varies in depth


REMEDIATION PROTOTYPE STRATEGY POTENTIALS OF ARTIFICIAL TOPOGRAPHY Through the soil movement, a new landform is generated on a flat land. It varies in depth and sizes which can be calibrated into design decisions based on a set of parameters. The potentials of the artificial topography comes to the advantages of ecological and urban districts and co-relate to each other in terms of connectivity, treatment infrastructure and hierarchies of open spaces, developed further in chapter 4. The depth of the excavation of the contaminated land is related to previous industrial activities on site and on the soil type and texture. It needs a thorough study and assessment of each plot to determine the impact of the contamination. A general rule of depth of contamination was taken into consideration for Tongzhou’s District: Generally, for heavy contaminated sites, a six metre depth was assigned; for medium contaminated sites, a three metre depth was assigned; whereas for the light contaminated sites, a one metre depth was set (Figure 38).

Figure 39 Potentials of Development According to Slopes and Programme


Figure 40 Structure Mesh for Heavy and Mediun Contaminated Sites




A. STRUCTURE MESH FOR HEAVY AND MEDIUM CONTAMINATED SITES In the process of generating a large scale land organization, a structural mesh has been developed in relation to the geographical conditions of Tongzhou site. Potential artificial land is thought to face the south-east direction; taking into consideration future developments that would benefit the most from the sun angle and the wind direction: The South-East orientation is also in conjunction with the summer ventilation, where urban development act as a physical winter wind barrier. The large scale organization is depicted in Figure 40 as a structural mesh that will inform future decisions.

Figure 41 Extract and deposit according to natural phenomena

different combinations of extraction and deposition rules have been tested onto a 3D model before being applied on site. Figure 42: Main accessibility routes (red) required for the ground movements, they are tranlated into the main mesh lines applied on site.

Figure 43: The structure of the mesh highlights the created topography.

Main water drainage lines, collecting the contaminated water run-off and purifying it before it reaches the main canal

Figure 44 Structure Mesh for Light Contaminated Sites


B. STRUCTURAL MESH FOR LIGHT CONTAMINATED SITES Compared to the heavy and medium contaminated sites, the light contaminated soil does not require the process of extract/deposit. It is treated locally through phytoremediation. To prevent the contaminated water run-off of the site to disperse even more, a localised treatment to each plot was developed. Figure 45 documents testing rules applied to form the basic structure of the water treatment chain. It was then applied on site, following the natural drainage direction (as seen in figure 44) to treat the water before it reaches the main canal of Tongzhou.

Figure 45 Emphasis of main water lines based on the natural drainage of the site

Figure 46: Testing rules of the water treatment chain of light contaminated sites

intensive agricultural production agro-parks development agro-parks development main structural mesh of the agro-parks existing villages

Figure 47 Structure Mesh for Agriculture Production


C. STRUCTURAL MESH FOR INTENSIVE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION The intensive agricultural production is tightly connected to the phased urbanization process, where as a first step, it restores a local production. Part of the collected revenues from the food production is as an income to the famers, and part to the development and maintenance of the agro-park (Figure 49). The internal structure of the agro-park revolves around the road network that derives from the major road infrastructure. It proliferates within the park according to a short path that connects the entrance of the park to the entire site (Figure 48).The structure of the agro-park and the internal distribution of the different programmes it encloses are influenced by the location of the nearest major road network and the canal: Local markets, educational centres, food processing and packaging are closer to the roads; while the solar greenhouses are closer to the canal where the water collected from the catchment is the cleanest near the canal (before its release into the hydraulic system).

Figure 48: Closest path network between a set of points, triggered by starting point A

Figure 49: Restoring a local production

post-industrial plot previously heavy contaminated

Applying this network to the park engenders two distinct readings: one that follows the natural water drainage of the park to the main water collector ponds, from which the road pattern shifts of direction, following the 23 degree angle facing south for the development of the solar greenhouses.

post-industrial plot previously light contaminated

main mesh structure road junction between two major roads

Figure 50 Proliferation of the road network and the water network

Figure 51: Agro-park development


PROCESS The ground fabrication of Tongzhou’s new city requires a laborious process that triggers a social mechanism, involving local workers in the ground formation and development of the city. The project offers a work alternative to local residents/workers, who become implicated in the land remediation processes and land developments. It allows for a collective interaction and cooperation between the members of the local community, providing them with a secure job, supervised by specific companies. The involvement of low income families and poor families in the process allows for the development of their sense of integration within the society. The urbanization we propose for Tongzhou district comes from a balance between top down and bottom up decisions and finds a certain equilibrium between different phases of urban growth, combining fast and slow urbanization momentums.

Figure 52: Social Mechanisms Triggered by New Developments


PHASED URBANIZATION PHASE1 Soil and water treatment techniques and agricultural production are integrated within a phased development that generates a balanced constructed cityscape that hoists the land value of the new city. The growth of the city is planned in three consecutive phases that should be completed within a 6year span.The location and size of each phase is in correlation to the contamination intensity of the land. Phase 1 consists of treating the heavy contaminated sites, because of their high level of toxicity that threatens the lives of the local residents, and because of the large amount of soil that needs to be treated. The areas assigned for the agricultural production in the form of agroparks are included in phase 1 in order to provide work for the villagers, and feed the residents of the increased density of Tongzhou. When enough revenues have been collected from the production, the rest of the park is developed, in phase 2.



PHASE 2 During the second phase, the medium contaminated sites are tackled in the scope of the remediation processes; while urbanization processes have started on the sites treated in phase 1. The metro lines are in construction, planed to be ready by the year 2015, extending the urbanization of the district further away from the city centre. In this phase, the ‘fingers’ of the agropark infiltrate the city, through an agricultural infrastrcuture that links the external agro-production to an internal intensive urban agriculture that links back to the city centre where the agro-markets are located; creating stronger connections between the outskirts of the city and the city centre.


PHASE 3 During phase 3, the light contaminated sites are treated through phytoremediation processes, while the plots of phase 1 and 2 are being built. Agricultural production is intensified around existing villages supporting the increased demand of supply from the new developments.








The new ground morphology mentioned in Chapter 2 requires a mechanisic approach to the treatment techniques of extraction and deposits. Within that scope, this chapter investigates the machine routes that fabrics a new landform through a ‘controlled’ and laborious process.

Figure 53: Truck routes in action

Figure 54: Truck Route Configurations for Heavy and Medium Contaminated Sites


TRUCK ROUTES MECHANISM A. HEAVY AND MEDIUM CONTAMINATED SITES Suggested truck routes are designed to achieve higher constructive efficiency, aimed at generating the new land form. A series of configurations of extract and deposit have been studied taking in consideration different parameters, such as plot sizes, sun direction and the initial mesh structure developed in Chapter 2. The sizes are being controlled according to an efficient truck load capacity which gives a potential of future infrastructure development. In configuration 1, one way truck movement is sufficient as compared to configurations 3 and 4, where an increased plot size requires multiple entries.

The ground morphology generated on a post-industrial site

Figure 55 Testing of the truck route mechanism on a diagramatic cell according to the extract and deposit process


Figure 56 Truck route mechanism


B. LIGHT CONTAMINATED SITES The ground pattern developed for the light contaminated sites is developed in phase 3. The finger like pattern generates a slight topography with gentle slopes towards the water collection of the site. The following diagram shows the integration of the pattern with a soil deposit, the two forms morph together to produce a gentle transition between them. The development of this pattern implicates a ground movement and requires a truck route mechanism.

The ground morphology generated on a post-industrial site

Figure 57: Testing of the truck route mechanism for the post-industrial, light contaminated soil

Figure 58: Amount of heavy contaminated soil needed for treatment during phase 1 sites of extraction phytoremediation off site extraction to treatment plants concrete capping soil movement direction




PHASING AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT The testing of the truck route movements has been applied on site according to the phases developed in chapter 2. Figure 58, highlights the amount of heavy contaminated soil that needs to be extracted and deposited on and off site. According to the space availability (chapter 2-3), different remediation techniques have been taken into consideration: a. Extract/Deposit on site and phytoremediate the contaminated soil b. Extract/Deposit on site and capping of contaminated soil c. Extract off site for treatment (no space availability to deposit the soil on site) The amount of soil that has to be relocated is closely related to the maximum load of construction trucks, that leads to different ground configurations explored further in this chapter.

Figure 59: Emphasis of main water lines based on the natural drainage of the site

Figure 60 Road Network of phase 1, infiltrating within the existing fabric

Figure 61: Road Network of phase 2 affected by the developments of the sites of extraction

Figure 62 Road Network after the implementation of phase 3


INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT ACCORDING TO THE PHASES Following the truck movement on site, the hierarchy of the roads gets defined (Figure 60) in phase 1. Drawn truck routes are combined into initial city roads.

Figure 63: Major truck routes define the hierarchy of the roads

During phase 2 treatment processes, the excavated sites of phase 1 are urbanized, defining further more the major roads (with a distance not exceeding 300 to 400m between major roads). During phase 2, according to the construction processes of the plots, selective roads are widened in relation to phase 1 urban developments. During phase 3, the light contaminated sites are treated, extending major roads further more, reaching othes parts of the city, and to the main waterway.

Figure 64: Medium contaminated soil is excavated for treatment

Figure 65: Finger like pattern of the light contaminated soil

Figure 66:Physical Model with 2 Phases Soil Movement




Based on the development of the truck movements in phases, a model was fabricated expressing the topography changes in a selected area during phase 1 and phase 2. In phase 2, the medium contaminated sites were extracted to a depth of 3m, and placed on top of the capped mounds, containing the polluted soil and whose programme is limited to park, open space and green landmark.

Figure 67: Model showing the truck movements of phase 1

Extraction of medium contaminated soil (3m depth)

Figure68: Model showing the truck movements of phase 2 and the added topography of the capped mounds

Figure 69: Different configurations generated by the truck routes mechanisms and the different remediation techniques

4 GROUND MORPHOLOGY CONFIGURATIONS The different treatment techniques generate different ground morphologies that are defined in relation to the size of the plot and the efficient work capacity of a laborious team. It further defines the connection between the different plots through the main truck movements. As seen in Figure 69, the ramping system (shown in dark arrows) illustrates the main directional movements from the extraction to the adjacent deposition plot, changing in heights. These ramping systems can be further explored into pedestrian accessibility that could inform further urban development. Figure 70 Testing model of developed plots

Figure 71: A translation of the movement lines into pedestrian connections

Figure 72 Main machine routes connections

Based on the connection of the plots by the truck routes, the integration of water treatment infrastructure into the mechanism process combines potential urban infrastructure with a potential development of a green infrastructure.


-6 -3 0 -6 +10 >20

Figure 73: Indexing of the topography heights and different slopes steepness

Figure 74 Section through the ground emphasizing the water treatment requirements and the location of the different stages of treatments

Figure 75 Formation of the treatment infrastructure, integrating separate sites with their respective water treatment elements


TREATMENT INFRASTRUCTURE TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF GREEN SPINE TREATMENT COMPONENTS The “Green Spine� proposal taps on the technicality of treatment infrastructures of each remediation site and create a linear linkage with water treatment stages and public green areas. Figure 74shows the third parameter of the treatment prototype, the water treatment technique. After the contaminated soils are relocated on a site treated with impermeable protection, creating new topographies (Figure 73) cleansing infrastructures have to be implemented to treat the leachate from rainwater infiltration and runoff. The water treatment process targets the different aspects of the water process. Stage 1 mechanical cleansing removes the leachate from the bottom of the contaminated soils after the heavy oils settles and the impermeable membrane prevents further infiltration into the groundwater table. Stage 2 biological cleansing uses natural plant filtration and biological uptake to absorb and cleanse impurities from surface runoff from the phytoremediation mound. During the phase of treatment, stage 1 and 2 should be out of bond to public interaction due to the contaminated nature. Therefore it is proposed to install infrastructures to hold the cleansing process. The third and last stage of cleansing, water is polished and stored in the constructed wetlands, located in the excavated site. The section diagram shows the placement of the three cleansing elements, and how they are placed along topography changes to utilize natural gravitational forces to manoeuvre the water flow. During the 3 to 5 years remediation duration, the treatment facility would function essentially to cleanse the polluted runoff water from the contaminated landfills, and subsequently it could serve as a community facility for the new developments. Strategic placement for the treatment infrastructures throughout the terrain is crucial to form a continuous connection, to strengthen the advantageous of future developments into social nodes. Based on the new topography created, a slope analysis was conducted and the gradient mesh depicts the steeper slopes that should be kept as natural vegetation and house the treatment infrastructures. As seen from Figure 75, there is a potential formation for a continuous stretch of green spine that forms an axis from the existing fabric, to the main waterway.

Figure 76: Water treatment requirements according to the different soil remediation techniques


Figure 77: Green spine development with the treatment infrastructure imbedded within it


ECOLOGICAL INFRASTRUCTURE With the new topography and the gradient mesh, the green spine is developed to house the treatment elements, respect the new hydraulic system created by natural water flow and the intentional vegetation axis. The green spine also connects to the agro-production sites, where threatened agriculture fields are turned into intensive high tech farming permaculture, that provides for the future residents. The identities of the green vegetative spine can also be programmed according to the intensities of usage and adjacencies to natural or urban sites. In Figure 77, a hierarchy of green spine intensity is shown along the main axis of the new development, where the main spine runs along the main road infrastructure, connecting the treatment and vegetative elements along its way until it reaches the grand canal. This main spine is envisioned to be the main social and developmental spine where more emphasis of public connection and gathering spaces should be allocated.

“that is it not about the waste management of energy reuse of buildings, but of the scale and sensitivity of the large scale design approach.” Mohsen Mostafavi, Ecological Urbanism, why now? (2011),

Unlike a typical green belt or green corridor project, the underlying treatment importance supports that this Green Spine is highly dependent on treatment infrastructures, therefore developers would have to factor this aspect into the proposal and cannot neglect the implementation. The fact that these ecological infrastructures contribute to the current treatment and future recreational spaces connections makes the potentials attractive for developers and owners. The Green Spine program can act as a marketing tool to advertise public amenities and to live on “Clean Land”. In the case of Tongzhou, the ecological infrastructure holds the key importance in the creation of future homes. Like a highway that feeds people in and out of the city, the green spine is a blend of treatment systems that sustain and cleanse the contaminated soils, at the same time providing a social link for future residents. Figure 78: Hydraulic system


“Sliding between planning and engineering, contemporary landscape practice can propose a sophisticated operating system for urban regions where complex agencies of living systems and dynamic processes can be deployed through long-range, large scale planning.” (16)

INFRASTRUCTURE AS LANDSCAPE Through the development of the treatment infrastructure for the new topography of Tongzhou, a “Green Spine” is proposed to incorporate not only treatment capabilities, but also social benefits for future residents.The green and urban infrastructures work in parallel, balancing urban development, generating flexible site characteristics. Chapter 4 will illustrate more on the “Green Spine” proposal and how it bridges from the treatment infrastructure to a new social linkage and gathering tool, connecting people, spaces and programmes across multiple plots and to main city nodes.

16. Belanger, P. (2011). Redefining Infrastructure. In M. Mostafazi, Ecological Urbanism. Lars Muller Publishers.

Figure 79: Green spine development along the new topography






INTRODUCTION The notion of connectivity has been raised throughout the development of the project, aiming at creating a territorial cohesion for new developments along the new topographical changes generated by the soil movement. Accessibility and linkages have been accounted as important drivers for the proposed urban feel of the project, where ground, architecture and open spaces are interlinked, joining the ground depressions and mounds fabricated in the scope of soil remediation; avoiding spatial fragmentation, a recurrent issue in urban development’s of the 20th century. During the ISOCARP Congress in 2010 on “Planning Public Spaces Networks Towards Urban Cohesion 46th” several issues were raised concerning the urban structure generated by unplanned urbanization processes, related to territorial cohesion fragilities: The lack of physical and social connectivity in the urban structure generating social exclusions and marginalization problems that lead to economical disparities and to a certain extent to the loss of identity of the urban realm. The lack of connectivity has a direct implication on the urban mobility, limiting the access to uses and activities, restricting people’s movement and influencing their experiences within an urban setting. Figure 80(a) physical mutations of chinese cities

17. Pinto A.J., Remesar A., Brandao P., Nunes da Silva F. (2010) Planning public spaces networks towards urban cohesion 46th ISOCARP Congress 2010 [Online] 18. Idem

CONSTRAINTS OF ZONING BASED MASTERPLAN Spatial fragmentation in today’s cities has been raised as “one of the main problems involving serious consequences for urban cohesion.”(18) Fragmentation has been apparent in the traditional way of urban masterplanning, where zoning and programmes are governed by economical and political forces, and architecture is designed compulsively under a series of decisions. Location, form, density, and function of architecture are no longer thought as a media of communicating with the ground, but as an object attached to it. It becomes restricted by zoning and is over determined by economical benefits, following the masterplan guidelines and limitations in a top-down manner. Architecture under this condition is detached from the surrounding and becomes merely another piece of the puzzle, unrelated most of the time to ground conditions. In China, new town planning has been set under strict zoning laws, delimiting the land uses of the city and restricting the potentials of a network development in relation to accessibility, flow of goods, open spaces, green infrastructure, etc. Two major issues concerning the developments arouse in a predefined zoning: - Major accesses are delimited mainly for vehicular movement. Pedestrian movement within the urban fabric becomes hard to approach. - Lack of open spaces and green network between the urban fabric. As developers aim for higher financial benefits, developing plots are usually fully occupied by concrete masses, reducing the open space ratio. Activities are forced inside the building and circulation becomes limited internally, rather than being part of an external connection with the surrounding environment.

Figure 81: Xidan Commercial District, Beijing

In Beijing, the Xidan Commercial District, has been developed under a zoning law; where mega-structures are emerging one after the other, leaving main accesses to the blocks for vehicular circulation. Developable plots were undertaken by private investors, minimizing open spaces activities, and generating massive buildings that are out of scale compared to the surrounded existing communities, as seen in picture 81, breaking the scale of the urban fabric, and to a certain extent creating a social boundary between urban villagers and urban citizens. Super blocks developments indicate a rough and single approach of master planning, it relies on a certain architectural typology that has several programmes embedded within it. Architectural structure becomes complex enough to contain several activities in a “vertical schism”(19), and is considered a ‘city within a city’ , and as Koolhaas states, the building becomes financially viable. Koolhaas’s understanding of the complexity that can be embodied in a structure is reflected in the development of the CCTV Headquarters in Beijing. Building arises beyond a certain scale to an extent that it becomes disconnected from its context, leading to the fragmentation of the urban fabric.

19. Bayley, C., Rem Koolhaas: Delirious New York: A Retrospective Manifesto for Manhattan (1978) [Online]


CASE STUDY: ARCHITECTURAL LANDFORM There are some examples worth noting in architecture design under strict zoning regulations that integrate the built environment with the open spaces, in an inter beneficial relationship. Namba Parks, called ‘urban Jungle’, is a successful project, a mixed-use development consisting mainly of retail and offices. Landscape architecture took significant role in this project as it provided a natural amenity in the city, offering a sloping rooftop part that is bifurcated by a sinuous, open-air ‘canyon’ path that reinforces the connection with nature while forming the primary circulation pattern. Namba Parks sits in the middle of the city, with eight types of open green spaces, acting as a major city node and large urban park above street level, elevating the public space that is not restricted within ground zero. As an individual architectural development, Namba Parks has proven to be successful in bringing the architecture back to the ground basis where habitants enjoy the different activities provided. However, on an urban scale, Namba Park is still acting as an attached element to the ground, it performs as a separate entity that does not relate to its surroundings, and does not encourage an interaction between the building and its context. To what extent can architecture, green spaces and ground morphology be integrated in a consolidated network scheme, while providing different programmatic spaces and generating different experiences throughout the city. To what extent can the notion of connectivity affect architectural typologies and play the role of interface between ground and architecture? How can a perspective of urban connectivity be expressed through architecture not only vertically, but also horizontally?

20.Y&M (2012) Case Study: Japan Osaka Namba Park - Namba Parks [Online]

Figure 82: Namba Parks in Osaka / Japan by The Jerde Partnership

The way people move and perform within the city is strongly relied on the ground morphology. Daily activities, transportation, food production and movement of goods are all based on connectivity and accessibility that leads to an urban cohesion. This concept is not related just to infrastructural networking, but revolves around the notion of connecting spaces and programmes together, in an inter-beneficial relationship. Ground and architecture become tightly involved in the scope of such interactions and are considered as the medium through which these activities are reflected. The built form performs on the ground and emerges from the technical, physical and social aspects that are embedded within it. In this design approach, architecture is treated as an element of the ground. The way it acts and performs is strongly related to the ground condition, suggesting new experiences for residents. Where accesses and connections of land and building become an important tool that will tighten separate pieces together and achieve a better balance.


GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE, AN INTERFACE OF EXCHAGE “Cities built for a wholesome life…not for profit or speculation, with the living green as an important part of their complex will be the first interest of the future town-planner”. - Danish Emigré, Jens Jensen

Typical “Green” Approaches Eco-cities, clean and green harmonious environments are typical phrases found in modern masterplan schemes. However these green approaches usually dwell in the realm of storm water treatment or promotion of biodiversity. More evidently, these “ecological” approach are compromised in the building process and the urban fabric does not attract investors to put their money into it. Investors are more prone to be attracted by vast architecture and revenue generating urban fabric instead of ecological corridors of greenery. It is an unfair competition to truly realize a development that benefits first the ecological aspect before the economical. Therefore it is still a evidently weak argument within a rapid developing country to realize its ecological dreams.

Figure 83: The HighLine Project / by J+P 21. Waldheim, C., The Landscape Urbanism Reader, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, p.24. 2005.

However in developed countries like the United Kingdom, the States and Asian countries like South Korea and Singapore, it is proven that more and more ecological redevelopment through infrastructure benefitted the dense concrete environments of the cities, bringing nature within the city for the people and its biodiversity. The highly accredited High-Line project in Manhattan was a showcase of how green infrastructures could give a new face to the city by providing a green connection throughout the city, at the same time connecting people and creating social attraction to developments around it. Robert Hammond said in a interview with TED online that “People now estimate it will create about half a billion dollars in tax revenues for the city”. With a value add of half a billion and 2 million visitors to the highline, it becomes a case study to developing countries that green infrastructures could be not only ecological, but definitely revenue generating.


Figure 84: Green spine infiltration and locating the megastructure, major treatment nodes

Figure 85: Green spine components


ASSOCIATING THE TREATMENT INFRASTRUCTURE TO GREEN SPINE PROGRAMMATIC USES The Ground fabrication of Tongzhou opens up new horizons in the scope of such an approach; where connectivity is considered crucial between the land formation and the treatment processes that will shape future developments. In this segment, different technical treatment requirements are the basis of the green spine developments, which links different open space programmes that influence future urban developments.

tiered water treatment ponds

main bridge connection to agro-production

main pedestrian and cycling access

slope retention, log crib reinforcement planting

viewpoint nodes

open publci recreational park

pedestrian access from green spine into lower landscape garden

central gardens

courtyard gardens transitional spaces

semi private courtyards

semi private courtyards


In this project, the treatment green spine is the critical linkage of landform and architecture programmes. Set in the highest concentration of remediation and ground morphing locations, the green spine sparks off and infiltrates into the new urban fabric.According to the different treatment criteria and infrastructural requirements, elements are embedded into the green spine along with its ecological green reserves to form a new ecological and social green infrastructure. The location and sizes of the different treatment components of the green spine, related to the soil remediation techniques and the topographical differences give the new landform a series of open spaces programmes. The series of open spaces are linked through and architectural language that connects the activities in the vertical and horizontal dimensions.


Green Spine

Figure 86: Green Spine Poliferation




The green spine is made up of 4 major components,; slope access (1) slope retention (2), green buffers (3) and water treatment (4). Through the investigation of technical aspects in Chapter 3, the several elements are placed in terms of topographical conditions, and treatment requirements. Figure 87 below illustrates the different slope access and retention techniques, that correspond to the specific open spaces it creates.

Figure 87: Green Spine Components

LEGEND Connectivity Mesh Main Pedestrian Connection

Figure 88: Green Spine Poliferation



Landscape accessibility contains multiple meanings and conflicting situations. In the case of open spaces, accessibility describes its qualitative meaning as the environment, which by condition must have free and easy accessibility for the citizens. Building typology is based on a gentle slope, allowing free access for pedestrian movements. A general mesh is created based on the landform, where these pedestrian connections are defined by 100 meters walking distance in large plots and 50 meters for smaller plots. The building type acts as a new landscape which integrates certain activity programmes into open spaces.

Figure 89: Building Typologies Based on Connections

Figure 90: Connecting Topographical Changes through ramps


Due to the two opposing forces (ecological and urban forces) it contributes to three different general connection types. First, is the self contained circulation of a more intense urban district, where internal circulation and vertical intensities are pushed to an extent. Secondly, a linear corridor-like structure that runs along main infrastructure that connects as a social highway of consumerism. This type of connections would be more of a horizontal expression. The last type would be individual one axis circulation that doesn’t have to act like a social highway.This typology would be more of semi-private open spaces and independent facades.

+ train station + main roads

1 2 3 + agropark

ecological forces, towards agroproduction

urban force

1- individual facades 2- linear connectivity 3- complexed internal connectivity

conceptual lines depicting different arrangement according to urban qualities



CRATER ENVIRONMENT embedded into the ground, the self enclosing typology informs how the development could utilise an internal pedestrian circulation and create a blend of green and building spaces.

FAULT LINES a linear connecting form that “weaves through the ground, acting as an urban cohesion between the surrounded developments, towards the agroproduction.

STRATA RIPPLES the strata strips pattern runs parallel to the fault lines, indicating how the future developments could face the mainstream linear connection developments.


LEGEND 1-2 storey 3-5 storey 6-9 levels 10-15 levels >15 levels

Figure 91: Urban Density




The urban form has been applied on site and its density analyzed according to the sloped intensities, as shown in the slope mesh (Figure 93). Building on slope allows denser footprint, comparing to flat land. Vertical intensity is controlled by the distance between buildings due to the sun direction and also the density around the urban force are higher, while the height of the low buildings are placed towards the inner cell, for natural day lighting. The density being affected by ecological node are lower to allow ecological production within the estates.

Figure 92: Sunlight Studies for Vertical Intensities

Figure 93: Slope Mesh of Artificle Topography




Figure 94: Building Typology Plan, 3D and Section

Building typologes focus on site connectivity, infiltrating green spine on different levels of open spaces. building transformation has been studied to explore the relationship between open space, connectivity, and public/private spatial configurations.

LEGEND pubic semi public

As seen in Figure 94 type A and B depicts lower horizontal connections, but much more intense vertical axis. In this case, open spaces are singular functions, such as courtyards and linear gardens.


In type 3, a linear building typology is explored, that links open spaces into architecture through a weaving horizontal axis. This type of development creates various open spaces that work in relation to public and semi-public programmes.

site entrance

site access open space

building entrance horizontal access / ramp vertical access/ lift

Type 4 and 5, a combination of horizontal and vertical axis are being explored, that generates more varieties of open space and building relationships. Public Spaces, semi public spaces and privates are placed within a continuous network as one entity.

internal access / stepped ramp


Figure 95: Green Spine Proliferation Concept Plan

Figure 96: Mega-Green Infrastructure Plan Drawing



Depicted in Figure 95, the mega-green infrastructure ignites from the key strategic locations along the green spine and perform as a pumping heart for remediation facilities, main transport facilities and new urban development. This mega-green infrastructure weaves the several layers of infrastructure as one integrated structure as seen in Figure 98. The location of the placement is determined by the main road infrastructure junctions, when they clash with dense remediation plots. The mega-green infrastructure aims to ease the stress of connectivity of public connection and transport. To strike a difference from a utopian mega structure block, this element is formed from a treatment perspective, to link the water collection from contaminated soils, treatment, irrigation to green roofs, and also pedestrian connections from different levels across developments. This junction point mega-treatment infrastructure aims to function as a catalyst during the initial development, and treatment process to boost connectivity, land values and marketing purposes. A green canopy over the busy road junction, ramps lead pedestrians across the closed treatment facilities and into a green planted platform that is connected into the integrated train station. Parking facilities are embedded into the second tier of the mega-green infrastructure to attract visitors and relieve parking spaces of surrounding developments.

Figure 98: Mega-Green Infrastructure Diagramatic Layers

Figure 97: Treatment Process Diagram




Artificial Ground Formation

Main Access Connection into internal courtyard


Articulaltion Of Intertwined Ground Layers Of Landscape And Embedded Buildings

Increased Density And Built Up Area, Integrated Building And Landscape

LEGEND pubic semi public

private site access open space site entrance building entrance horizontal access / ramp vertical access/ lift internal access / stepped ramp

Figure 99: Crater Buildings Diagramatic Layers

The landscape crater building originates from its artificial landform through its main connections around the topography, through ramps and stepped ramps. This ramping architecture combines urban flow from different directions. The horizontal axis is about the social congregation and public spaces, embedded within a rich ramping and escalating system (it becomes more suitable for public uses); whereas the horizontal axis provides individual private spaces that is restricted by height according to its location on the topography.

Figure 100: Building Typology


Figure 91: Floor Plan


Figure 101: Programmatic Sectional Elebation

This section elevation depicts how through public- semi public and private spaces are first generated from the connection network, and further developed into individual articulated landscape open spaces through the plan, it is clear that the open spaces are link through public facilities, and how it engages into private facilities.

Figure 102: Connection Drawing in Sectional Elebation

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Figure 103: Sectional Elevation of Landscape ‘Crater’ Buildings





Figure 95: Diagrammatic Layers of Urban Interactions

main connection from agroproduction to urban developments, defined along main road infrastructure

the typology combined different techtonics of urban development (red) with the landscape open area (green) and incoporates consumer markets and serves as a social highway of recreation and consumption


This type acts as a interactive linkage of ecological forces and urban forces that happens on the transitional area of the site. The location and type allows an interaction with urban production and consuming requirements, which links the social activity at the ground level.

pubic semi public


In this archiectual typology, a horizontal throughout the first second and third tier of the building creates multi layers of public space that gives the platform for interactive social activities

site access open space site entrance building entrance horizontal access / ramp vertical access/ lift

Figure 104: Linear Building Typology

internal access / stepped ramp

The third type of the archetype developments comes in a more parallel like pattern that goes along the topography. It is mainly located for small cells with localised constructed wetlands and detention ponds. Along the green infrastructure, community gardens and permaculture are proposed for this type of development where the irrigation of the vegetation becomes part of a localised system between water run-off cleansing ponds and grey water treatment. Permaculture ties back to the intensive agricultural production located south of the developments, around urban-villagers. Agricultural infrastructure acts as a linear stretch that connects several nodes of production: the agro-parks (located at the fringe of the city due to their large scale development - developed in chapter 1 and 2) to the intensive urban agricultural production (located around urban-villagers). It performs as the spine of agricultural production that allows an easy flow of goods and products from the productive fields and greenhouses to the agro-industry, to the agro-markets located within the proposed developments. There is a potential of developing cooperative farming, where farmers become member of an organization, working for one common objective in a shared environment. The development of cooperative efforts allows for a more grounded social involvement. Community and cooperative efforts are tightly connected to the laborious process required for the landscape formation (mentioned in chapter 1 and 2). Where local residents and workers become involved to a certain extent in the ground fabrication of Tongzhou, and in the process of soil remediation/development. The exploration of cooperative developments for the project allows for a well grounded housing scheme development, the Cooperative Housing. It is considered as an independent business enterprise that meets the specific needs of its members, through a common venture. It provides somehow an affordable housing alternative to the low-income and poor families, compared to the market prices that became out of reach for the majority of Chinese families. Cooperative housing is based on a democratic management where the participants have a “shared spirit” and an equal load in their participation, “for the purpose of mass cooperative economic organization.” (6) Members pay a membership fee to be part of the cooperative (the funds collected allows the cooperative to secure the land and start the developments); in return, it provides them benefits of being part of a community that improves their economical and social status. The scheme has been proven successful in the West and promoted in many countries as a solution to the urban housing problem (such as Germany and Sweden). In China, the potentials and benefits of cooperative housing have not been yet fully grasped, mainly for two reasons: On one hand, competing with commercial developers to buy the land has not been an easy task; and on the other, difficulties were encountered in building up the trust of individuals who would participate in the cooperative developments. However, with the growing problem of housing the masses in China

and the threat on the real estate bubble, cooperative developments come as an alternative that responds to these issues. The success of such a cooperation in the West has been based on the full cooperation of the cooperative members, who organize themselves in groups and associations. The social structure requires the participation of the involved members in order to perform in an efficient manner. The concept of cooperative development has been proposed within the new developments of Tongzhou, where housing cooperative and farming cooperative become part of a unified organization that brings back a certain social security and a sense of community integration that has been somehow lost within the scope of the rapid urbanization occurring in Chinese cities today.

Figure 105: Social mechanisms triggered by the new developments and the economic strategy




Relating it back to the third urban development proposed, distinguished by linear ground floor stretches interconnected through topographical changes, and linking building extrusions that are characterized by their simplicity and unit like pattern is connected back to the programmatic functions of the cooperative, where the ground floor becomes related to agro-markets, retail, community facilities and common shared spaces; and the building extrusions may become part of the cooperative housing scheme. The connectivity of the ground floor allows the development of an urban cohesion, linking the cooperative to other parts of the city, as part of a continuous network of programmes and functions. Figure 106: Programmatic Layers of Productive Strata

main connection and parellel ripples that are face parellel to the main street

LEGEND pubic semi public

private site access open space site entrance building entrance horizontal access / ramp vertical access/ lift internal access / stepped ramp

Figure 107: Building Typology

proposed landscape floors that are extracted from the parellel force, that is informed by the landscape and interconnected by topography connections and ramps

vertical extraction of residential floors are according to the intensity of development, above the landscape floors that serves as a social connection foundation for the development

Figure 108: Bird Eye View of Proposed Developments in Tongzhou




Performative Ground Works’ project has taken soil contamination as a serious matter that needs urgent remediation and treatment processes. The exploration of this subject has been tackled with a vision that remediation processes would further define and inform future city developments, intertwined with soil, water and mechanical movements. The project reconsiders the basis of urbanization, and attempts to push the limit of a bottom-up approach: “treat” before “build”, going against typical modes of governmental zoning. In the process of indexing existing contamination sites, the development of a phased treatment timeline was sought for, incorporating ecological treatments, production demands and social conditions.

The notion of connectivity acquires an important role in merging the new ground into a continuous network of programmes, activities and spaces, where building and landscape interactions create a series of connections fundamentally based upon treatment infrastructure. In the final part of the thesis, four forms of ‘archetypes’ were developed as an architectural language that responds back to the ground formation. However conceptual, these explorations realised an initial approach to push soil remediation capabilities to integrate architectural development, blurring the boundaries between ground architecture and landscape.

The mechanisms required to perform the ground works of the soil remediation techniques are based on truck route movements, that opened up potentials of modelling the ground to achieve controlled configurations for water drainage, road infrastructure and eventual ground morphology prototype that can be applied on vast post industrial-scape. During the formation of the ground, boundaries were pushed in spite of space and environmental constraints to form a ‘controlled’ artificial landscape defined from the ground up. From the artificial landscape created, the proposal of an integrated green spine with the treatment chain and the potential future social linkages see the economical strength of a public network embedded within a green infrastructure that infiltrates the ground morphology.

Figure 109: Bird Eye View of Proposed Developments in Tongzhou

REFERENCES CHAPTER 1 1) A. Bell, D., and De-Shalit, A. (2011) The Spirit of Cities - Why the Identity of a City Matters in a Global Age. United Kingdom: Princeton University Press 2) Beijing’s Tongzhou: Rapidly on Its Way to Becoming a Modern, International New City. Commissioned by Beijing Fang Di Institute of Economic Development. Available: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/beijings-tongzhourapidly-on-its-way-to-becoming-a-modern-international-new-city-105168884.html [December 10, 2011] 3) Campanella, T. (2008) The Concrete Dragon: China’s Urban Revolution and What it Means for the World. Princeton Architectural Press 4) Chen T., Shen L., Liao X-Y., Lei M., Huang Z-C., Yan X-L., Liu Y-R. (2006.10) Case 2: Phyto-remediation in SSM community. [Online]. Available: http://www.artisanalmining.org/casm/casmchina/case2 [August 2012] 5) F. (2012, May 2). Foreign media says China at the front of global property market growth. Retrieved August 2012, from ChinaSm: http://www. chinasmack.com/2012/stories/china-ranks-1st-in-world-top-10-hottest-real-estate-markets.html 6) Mauldin, J. (2009, Octobre 15). China Real Estate Burgeoning Bubble Special Report. Retrieved August 2012, from Market Oracle: http://www. marketoracle.co.uk/Article14251.html 7) Xiang, Z. (2011.01.22) Clean up toxic brownfields before China can go green. [Online] Shanghai Daily. Available: http://news.xinhuanet.com/ english2010/indepth/2011-01/22/c_13702537.htm. [May 2012] 8) Xiaodong B. (2012.01.19) China Cities’ nightmare: A house built on “poisoned land.” [Online] Nanfang Daily. Available: http://town.gov.cn/ cszc/201201/19/t20120119_502086.shtml. [February 2012] a) Photograph: Wu Dongjun. A construction site in Guiyang. Getty Images. Available: http://geogy.net/?tag=urban b) Photograph: Andrew Wong. Getty Images. Available: http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/1228/economy-ponzi-debt-peking-china-bubble. html c) China Cities’ nightmare: A house built on “poisoned land” [Online] . Available: http://town.gov.cn/cszc/201201/19/t20120119_502086.shtml. [February 2012] d) CFR, L.L.C. Keeping Industry and Nature in Balance, [Online]. Available: http://www.consultcfr.com/assessments.html. Accessed November 2011 e) Tar sands - resources. The cooperative, Join the Revolution, [Online]. Available: http://www.co-operative.coop/join-the-revolution/our-plan/ clean-energy-revolution/tar-sands/resources/ f) A stope of non-ferrous metal mines in Chenzhou district. Available online: http://www.artisanalmining.org/casm/casmchina/case2 g) A kind of skin disease infected by arsenic contamination, Chenzhou City, Hunan Province, China CASM-China Case Study and County Meeting, July 12-16 2006. Available online: http://www.artisanalmining.org/casm/casmchina/case2 h) Beijing Central Business District, Available online: http://china.knoji.com/facts-and-figures-of-the-peoples-republic-of-china/

i) Bird eye view of Tongzhou’s future new city centre. Available online: http://www.cityup.org/topic/tongzhou/ House/20100707/66224.shtml j) Chinese clothing factory workers. Available online: http://www.ecns.cn/in-depth/2011/07-15/767_2.shtml k) A farmer walks past his dried-up wheat cropland at Liuhe village in Tongzhou. Available online: http://article.wn.com/ view/2012/08/11/Withering_Glance_Growing_up_nonartisanal/

REFERENCES l) Case study of an Agricultural Park - Master plan for Shelby Farms Park, Hargreaves Associates (2008). Available online: http://pruned.blogspot.com/2008/03/ agro-park.html m) Urban Lands use models. Available online: http://geobytesgcse.blogspot.co.uk/2007/02/urban-land-use-models.html CHAPTER 2 9) FRTR. Remediation technologies screening matrix and reference guide, version 4.0. Available online: http://www.frtr.gov/matrix2/section3/sec3_int.html. [January 2012] 10) UNEP. Does Phytoremediation Work at Every Site. [Online]. Groundlab. Available: http://www.unep.or.jp/ietc/publications/freshwater/fms2/3.asp [May 2012] 11) Spencer, D. (2012) Investing in the ground. AD n)Vast Destruction by National Geographic Available online: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/sclefkowitz/Vast%20Destruction%201%20Small%20National%20 Geo%20photo.JPG o) The Azhar Park Project in Cairo. Aga Khan Trust for Culture Historic Cities Programme. Available online: http://www.akdn.org/hcp/egypt.asp CHAPTER 3 12) Belanger, P. (2011). Redefining Infrastructure. In M. Mostafazi, Ecological Urbanism. Lars Muller Publishers. 13) Mostafavi M. and Doherty G. (2010), Ecological Urbanism. Lars Muller Publishers CHAPTER 4 14) Bayley, C. (2011) Delirious New York: A Retrospective Manifesto for Manhattan (1978) [Online]. Available: http://architectureandurbanism.blogspot. com/2011/02/rem-koolhaas-delirious-new-york.html [January 31, 2012] 15) Pinto A.J., Remesar A., Brandao P., Nunes da Silva F. (2010) Planning public spaces networks towards urban cohesion 46th ISOCARP Congress 2010. Available Online: http://www.isocarp.net/Data/case_studies/1798.pdf 16) Waldheim, C., (2005) The Landscape Urbanism Reader, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, p.24. 17) Y&M (2012) Case Study: Japan Osaka Namba Park - Namba Parks. Available online: http://www.youame.com/html/2012/76/10205.shtml. [accessed august 2012]





REMEDIATION 1 SOIL technical information

Figure X: Soil remediation techniques adopted for the project, according to the different depth of contamination

Figure X: Required water treatment for the proposed soil remediation techniques


Figure X: Different remediation techniques, time and cost of operations

Figure X: Phytoremediation cleansing diagram





° 16









40 °






45 8.INIMUM M 3 15.9 IMUM MAX
















10%TO 15%









Figure X: Study of the truck movements and turning angles





Figure X: Truck route mechanism applied on site

Figure X: Amount of heavy contaminated soil needed for treatment and/or capping during phase 1 sites of extraction phytoremediation off site extraction to treatment plants concrete capping soil movement direction


Figure X: Truck routes movement and road network developed from the most used roads


Figure X: Amount of medium contaminated soil needed for treatmentcapping during phase 2 sites of extraction phytoremediation off site extraction to treatment plants concrete capping soil movement direction


Figure X: Truck routes movement and road network developed from the most used roads


Figure X: Size of phytoremediation area required for phase 3


Figure X: Truck routes movement and road network developed from the most used roads


Rainfall calculation of rainwater runoff is calculated and a series of treatment elements demostrate the sizes of the treatment elements to the catchment size. this calculation would inform the spatial configuration of the water treatment proto-type in the next zoom in design process.

Figure X: Rainfall calculations and ratio of treatment elements according to the catchment area

Figure X: main flows of the water run-off, from the mounds towards the water ponds of the extracted sites



Figure X: Hydraulic system of the site generated by the new ground morphology and the remediation techniques














Catchment areas: A: 8.5 km2 B: 3,7 km2 C: 6,0 km2 D: 8,0 km2 E: 1,2 km2 F: 2,2 km2 G: 1,3 km2 H: 3,3 km2 Figure 43: Low points network of the terrain and the catchment of the respective parks


Figure 42: Water system to and within the park

Figure 44: Development of the Agro-parks and their respective catchment areas according to the phased urbanization

To calculate the amount of water run-off per catchment that will be directed towards the ponds of the agro-park, the Rational Equation Calculation was used: Q=ciA; where, Q = Peak discharge, cfs c = Rational method runoff coefficient i = Rainfall intensity, mm/hour A = Drainage area, km2 The different land use areas were multiplied by their respective runoff coefficient (table1) and by the rainfall intensity per hour in Beijing (Tongzhou) which is 128mm of water per hour.

Villages 0.3-0.5 Urbanized Area 40% built area 0.5-0.7 Industrial sites 0.3-0.5 Agricultural fields 0.3-0.6 Parks 0.05-0.1 Roads 0.70-0.95 Barelands 0.3-0.6 Table 1: Run-off coefficient of the different land-uses

Table A shows the calculations of the water run-off amount of every catchment, according to the phased developments.


To calculate the amount of grey water6 produced by the different residential units: the villages (with their communal toilets) are considered as: Single household system: we assume a contribution of 240L/family/week for 1 family, with a conservative reaction rate of 1,1 and a discharge into the wetland of 0,03 m3/day. Whereas, the new developments are considered as a Medium community system: we assume a contribution of 240L/family/week for 200 families, with a conservative reaction rate of 1.1 and a discharge into the wetland of 6,86 m3/day.

Table B shows the calculations of the grey-water amount collected from the villages of every catchment area. The results vary according to the phasing development.

Table C shows the calculations of the grey-water amount collected from the proposed residential units. The results vary according to the phasing development.

NB: One should note that the blackwater is treated locally and re-used for household activities. 6. “Design Manual: Greywater Biofiltration Constructed Wetland System�, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California

APPENDIX The different types of industries located within the boundaries of Tongzhou’s New City Centre.


Architecture Association School of Architectural Landscape Urbanism 2011-12 Chia, Jason Chee Han . Huang, Qijin Hana . Moukarzel, Leah We would like to thank our course Director and Tutors Eva Castro, course Director Ramirez Alfredo, Rico Eduardo, Oloriz Sanjuan Clara, Smith Tom, and Spencer Douglas