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The city reimagined: why in design, ecology matters

Cities across the world seem to buckle under the strain of the pandemic. Here are some takeaways from Asia, where designers grapple every day with ecological loss and risk, within a pressure cooker of density.

Yanweizhou Park in Jinhua City, China, sits on land that was once contaminated. Using select vegetation and water features, it now mitigates seasonal floods, filters water, supports the proliferation of wildlife and offers a lively civic space to a crowded city of 5.5 million.

A recent proposal for a residential development in Jakarta deploys vast connected roofs as food farms and solar canopies that make the estate self-sufficient. But the proposal was too radical and was shelved.

THERE is much talk these days of a post-pandemic city, one better prepared for future crises. Some say it needs more social space; others, new ways of working and commuting. There is great interest in health, understandably. Should we expand green space? Or make buildings work harder at keeping...

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