A FREE City – Idealistic or Feasible Urban Planning?

Urban planning goals and motivations have taken a major shift over the past decade as sustainability in continues to dominate the global industry. With overwhelming evidence to suggest that modern cities are performing at a level that is simply unsustainable, the responsibility has been placed on industry and government entities alike to re-envision the modern lifestyle and the built environments that cater to it.

A new prototype, dubbed ‘FREE City,’ by Fernando Romero Enterprise, puts a highly innovative – and some would say utopic – spin on modern city planning.

Developed for presentation at the 2nd Creativity World Biennale as part of the CRio Festival, the Mexico City-based concept draws on the idea of developing an entire city using data and demographical information without the influence of political machinations.

free city

The urban planning concept follows a pattern of hexagonal urban grid layering in which zoning is set in an order of functional hierarchy, with expansive out-connected areas free for further growth. The innovative layout allows for connectivity of the various zones to stand paramount, with public transport routes never more than an eight-minute walk from any location in this car-free community.

Not only does this create social sustainability, it also eliminates the chance of extensive urban sprawl and other such issues relating to ill-conceived urban development.

Health care, technology, education and security are all also central elements to this idyllic modern urban plan.

free city

Sustainable growth is going to be key to successful urban planning in this current century. By moving beyond political motivations and current design molds that are clearly not working to their potential under changed climatic conditions and exploding populations, FREE attempts to create a city model that is highly adaptive to modern living.

Implementation of this type of model, however, is a completely different issue. While it may be possible to develop a community concept that ignores political goals and other such issues, turning that into a reality is a true challenge in modern society.

By Jane Parkins
© 2012 DesignBuild Source. All rights Reserved. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited.