THE GARDEN BLOCK: A NEW MODEL OF SUPERBLOCKS TOWARDS SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL COHESION
SHARARI ALZRAIKAT, SALY AZMI
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It is said that the contemporary Chinese city is a global model of future urban development, in terms of superblocks’ development, advanced technological applications and accelerated expansion. However, this model’s characteristics can be perceived as its own challenges; this mono-functional gated community is built on a blank slate without taking into consideration culture, transportation and socio-ecological infrastructure, creating bedroom communities that lack social cohesion, and ecological sensitivity and awareness. A hybrid typology is a potential adaptive prototype that generates community stability, public benefit and sustainable practices. Chinese authorities proposed the "Sponge City" initiative to ensure healthy urban expansion, control water flooding and diminish pollution. By proposing a “Garden System” as a solution that responds to the "Sponge City" objectives, quality of life of the block's users can be enhanced by juxtaposing contemporary garden applications that would directly target the current superblock conditions in China, and produce a superblock model that balances the socio-ecological infrastructure with density, culture, program and context.