How far can we expand the concept of ‘urban nature’? How would it make us feel? And how is it going to transform our cities – and, eventually, ourselves? Garden City captures the growing global movement among contemporary architects for biodesigning buildings less as skin and bodies – structure and façade – and more as living entities, capable of being ecologically autonomous, horticulturally productive and ultimately pleasing to our day-to-day lifestyles. It presents more than 100 (mostly completed) projects, a life-affirming range of buildings and design ideas that can be applied to new buildings and those needing rehabilitation. From office buildings that incorporate urban farms and exchange the CO2 produced by humans for food and oxygen produced by plants, to lightweight systems for growing gardens on vertical surfaces; from ‘tree houses’ the size of city blocks to civic buildings that are ‘plugged into’ existing water-management systems – there are rich and often unexpected ideas for every inquiring designer.
The future of our urban architecture is biologically alert, naturally self-sustaining and alive. Garden City is this future’s first manifesto.