Cradle To Cradle City Design

William McDonough is a green-minded architect working with a team to design 12 new cities in China to house 400 million people in twelve years. He uses cradle to cradle design to ensure that the city is an environmentally and community mindful space.

To design in mind with the natural elements William takes into consideration the pathways of winds, sun, and water – to ensure that everyone in the city has fresh air, fresh water, and direct sunlight in every apartment at some point of the day. Parks are treated as an integral part of infrastructure and are laid out in congruence with the building areas. Commercial areas are integrated and mixed into social centers, which are easily accessible within walking distance.

Rice-Paddies-William-McDonough
Rooftop Farming in Liuzhou, China.

The farms are lifted up onto the roofs of buildings and connected by sky bridges. This concept master plan by William for rooftop farming in Liuzhou, strives to maximize social engagement in harmony with nature.

“The plan creates an urban structure that promotes walking and healthy activities in its multitude of parks, paths and trails. The development will also preserve existing stream and wetland communities, returning clean, healthy water to the ecosystem at equal rates and in the same patterns of the undeveloped site through the use of integrated strategies. The overall goal is to make Liuzhou’s water cleaner, to make its air fresher, and to make its people happier.”

Taking care of the city’s waste is also done in a mindful way that’s beneficial to the city and the environment – being treated as an “asset” rather than a “liability.” The sewage treatment plant functions as a fertilizer factory that produces compost for city gardens, and natural gas as a useful by-product going back to heat the city.

You can see more of William’s projects, and hear him share the cradle to cradle design ideas at this TED Conference:

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