The concept for Xi’an New Town is based on a 21st century reading of the ancient grid of Chang-An. The city was the beginning point of the Silk Road and a place of 212 different dynasties. Chang-An, which means ‘forever peace’, had a grid based on walking steps with variables as 100 steps and 60 steps. In Xi’An New Town, a rational grid city, the dimensions are all related to human measurements. Compared to automobile driven urbanism which segregates programs into zones, our plan seeks to create a totally integrated fabric serving the residents of the city where housing is always within three minutes walking distance to shopping, parks, schools, cultural programs, and libraries.
An idealized four square frame of a low scale residential fabric is presided over by a group of towers placed on the north. Each quadrant is a self sufficient neighborhood. Park voids are “cut” from this fabric employing the enlarged calligraphy geometry from a poem by Chang-An’s great ancient poet Du Fu (713-770). Each one of the four quadrants of the main town fabric can be built separately; each contains a large green park and recycled grey water pond with water plants and wildlife. Aspects of Feng Shui were rigorously followed for the placement of buildings and other site strategies, such as landscaping.