One City, Nine Towns

2014-2016

The One City, Nine Towns initiative, as devised by the Shanghai municipal government at the turn of the millennium, was meant to save the metropolis from inevitable overpopulation. Heavily influenced by Sir Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City, this urban expansion plan proposed to showcase the very best of eminent countries around the world, creating beautiful, attractive alternatives to the downtown core. The selected styles were German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, English, Scandinavian and Canadian, with the last two adopting a Chinese influence after facing heavy criticism of enabling a self-imposed celebration of colonialism.

What was initially intended as a unique alternative to downtown living was unintentionally sabotaged by an aggressive speculative market, eventually bringing these towns closer to non-spaces, where the architecture often is little more than backdrops for hordes of wedding photographers.

40x30" chromogenic prints
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