The Plentiful City: An exploration on self-sufficient communities in Hong Kong

Tsz Wai IP

[email protected]
Intro Image 72dpi B

How feasible can self-sufficient design strategies be at the urban and architectural scale in the context of Hong Kong? The design outcome demonstrates the possibility of mitigating the issue of over-reliance on external supplies in Hong Kong and potentially in other cities with similar contexts and climates.

Modern society functions like a complex machine, with individuals serving different roles to efficiently allocate resources as per their needs. According to the British Ecological Society this model that generated a disconnection between humans and resources, has brought a convenient lifestyle but also resulted in challenges towards the sustainability and resilience of our society. Self-sufficient living, a model where living and resources are integrated, is explored in this thesis as an alternative to the ‘disconnected model’. Many historical examples, such as medieval villages and Māori Pa, have demonstrated the possibility of self-sufficient living. However, these examples are no longer directly applicable due to the change in context and lifestyle.

Hong Kong, the densest city in the world, is used as the representation of the modern context for researching self-sufficiency in this thesis. Basic needs: food, water, and energy, are identified as the essential elements in sustaining the daily operations of a modern society. Along with the basic needs elements, the research is conducted by analysing the context and sites, statistics of local production and consumption, and precedents. A design response is then formed based on this analysis. This includes a town model designed at the urban and architectural scales, which preserves the high-dense characteristics of Hong Kong while delivering a more self-sufficient lifestyle. The design outcome reflects the feasibility of a self-sufficient model in Hong Kong and similar contexts.

1 MODOS meaning of self sufficiency 1462x900px 72dpi
Visualization of self-sufficient living model based on the reading, defined by food, water, energy, and is connected to outside while retaining own identity.
2 collage 2460x1000px
Early visualization of the design proposal.
4 MODOS master layout plan 2460x1462px 72dpi
Master layout plan (left) and South-East isometric view of the proposed town in relation to the selected urban block for architectural design (right).
3 Overview from city 2460x1230px 72dpi
Aerial view of the proposed town from the Western urban area.
5 MODOS plan 1 2460x1462px 72dpi
G/F plan of the North-West urban block.
6 MODOS plan 2 2460x1462px 72dpi
1/F typical plan of the North-West urban block.
7 MODOS section 1 2460x1462px 72dpi
Section B-B’ of the North-West urban block.
8 MODOS section 2 1462x1462px 72dpi
Detail section C-C’ of the North-West urban block.
10 Perspective 2 outdoor indoor farm ED 1462x1462px 72dpi
Perspective showing the connection between indoor farming pods, residential buildings, and the community farms.
9 Perspective 1 B to indoor farm ED width 2460px height 1230px
Perspective showing the connection between indoor farming pods and circulation of the residential buildings.