A Case for Imperfect Cities: Greater Impact with Purposeful Chaos
非理性城市开发:寻求效率和影响力的平衡

Fact 现实

More than one billion people are expected to move to cities in the next few decades. In China, two-thirds of the population already lives in cities. As the populations shifts to these urban habitats, we have to make sure they are livable, sustainable, and truly smart.

预计未来几十年,将有超过10亿人迁往城市居住。在中国,总人口的三分之二已经居住在城市中。 随着人口迁徙到城市环境,我们必须确保城市是宜居,可持续的并且实现真正的智能化。

Opportunity 机遇

People, and their ability to connect, are at the center of innovation, growth, and prosperity. Cities enhance that ability by connecting people at a massive scale — and their influence on productivity reflects that: according to the World Bank, more than 80% of the global GDP is generated in cities today. At the workplace scale, 100% of the top performing companies recognize the value of connecting people and are actively deploying strategies to maximize knowledge sharing every day.

人类,以及人类与生俱来的建立联系的能力,是创新、成长和繁荣的核心。城市通过规模化发展,来不断强化人们之间的连结能力,并且对生产力产生显著影响:根据世界银行的统计,全球80%以上的生产总值来自于城市。在办公空间领域,几乎所有顶尖公司都认识到建立人与人之间联系的重要性,并且积极的实施相应的办公策略,以最大限度的促进人与人之间的知识共享。

Paradigm Shift 规则的改变

As we consider the future of cities, we must also be cognizant of the forces of change that will impact how we design and plan for connectivity between people. Among them are: the gig and sharing economies, resource scarcity, aging societies, climate change, and the fourth industrial revolution.

在我们思考城市的未来时,我们还必须认识到影响我们如何设计和规划人与人之间联系的变革性力量, 其中包括:零工和共享经济、资源稀缺、老龄化社会、气候变化以及第四次工业革命。

The rise of autonomous vehicles is the most top-of-mind potential disrupter for many people. With our historically auto-centric approach to cities, we have clearly done the opposite of people-first design. Autonomous vehicles may be the catalyst that help us shift the focus back to human experience, but we must also be careful to design with an eye toward a future that will be impacted by further advances in technology and the new ways of inhabiting and moving about our cities that come with them.

对于许多人来说,自动驾驶汽车的兴起是头号的规则改变者。我们长久以来以机动车为中心的城市规划法则,完全背离了以人为本的初衷。自动驾驶汽车可能是促使我们将关注点重新转移到人类体验本身上的催化剂,但我们也必须审时度势,密切关注即将影响改变未来以及城市生活的新科技。

The Efficiency Trap 效率陷阱

We must establish a set of first principles at the very onset that align with these objectives: to create great urban experiences for people, to connect people in order that they may do great things, and to have enriched people’s lives in all respects. If we don’t establish these first principals, we cede those decisions to less people-centric functions like vehicular infrastructure or utility rights of way.

我们必须在开始就制定一套准则来实现这些目标:为人们创造良好的城市体验,促进人们建立良好的联系,并且丰富人们生活体验的方方面面。如果没有这些准则,当面临一些重要决策时,我们就会牺牲掉‘以人为本’的初衷,比如机动车基础设施建设或者道路使用权等。

By the time the broader design and real estate community — the advocates for individuals — join the discussion, those foundational elements are set. There is often very little we can do given their scale and the energy required for alterations.

只有当更多的设计和房地产行业的从业者意识到这个问题,并且加入到‘以人为本’的倡议中来,这些基准才能成为大家一致遵循的基本法则。而实现观念的转变则需要全行业的共同努力。

The Pro Forma Pitfall 财务陷阱

The infrastructure phase is usually followed by a Pro Forma phase — another potential misstep in the name of efficiency. This is particularly true in new cities that give us wide-open opportunities to make impressive, but sometimes banal, places that stakeholders love because they are “pro forma perfect” and seemingly low-risk with “predictable” returns that are based on yesterday’s impressions.

基础设施阶段之后,通常紧随着模拟财务分析阶段,这又是一个以效率为名的陷阱。这在新建城市中尤其明显,因为这些城市为我们提供了大量的开发机会,可以打造或成功或平庸的空间。利益相关者甘之如饴,因为基于过往的经验,这些机会具有看似低风险、并且“完美的”模拟财务分析结果。

If we evaluated everything solely on economics, there are many incredible and rewarding places that would never have had a business case to be built. We should not let expediency and certainty short circuit our aspirations and deny us the impactful results we seek.

如果我们仅仅依据财务预测结果评估,那么现在世界上许多令人惊叹的建筑和空间将不复存在。我们不应该让短视扼杀了我们的创造力,一味追求财务的确定性将阻碍我们的成功之路。

In other words, we have to balance economy of scale, clean, and efficient with customized, messy, and purposefully chaotic. To do this would be to resist a financial climate that is pressing for higher returns.

换言之,我们必须在经济的规模和效率,以及有目的地性的‘打破秩序’之间寻求平衡。要做到这一点,就要对迫切追求高回报的金融环境说不。

The Harder Road Less Travelled 难走的路

By consciously making things easier, we are also giving ourselves a pass to be less creative and perhaps less interesting. Some keys to great placemaking in cities include diversity, culture, community, authenticity, and the opportunity to encounter something unexpected. There’s nothing more exciting than discovering a quality experience. While some great moments are skillfully orchestrated, many have been borne out of constraints either natural or contextual. In the green-fields of new worlds, we can’t have “boring” or worse… “soulless.”

在选择那条’更容易走的路‘的同时,我们也给自己颁发了一个‘减少创造力‘的通行证。在城市中进行’场所塑造‘的一些关键因素,包括多样性、文化性、社区性、原创性以及不期而遇的惊喜。没有什么比发现高品质体验更令人兴奋。巧妙地精心策划精彩的瞬间,需要跳脱出自然或环境的限制。 在新世界的待开发地带,“无聊”或更糟......“没有灵魂”,这些词汇是不会被允许的。

Iteration 城市迭代

This is a particular challenge today where we see whole cities or new districts being designed at once, without the benefit of organic growth over time. Organic growth provides new opportunities to evaluate prior decisions and make adjustments that can lead to memorable moments of creative rule-breaking and unexpected results.

当下的城市或者新区,没有经历时间洗礼下的有机发展,这对我们来说是一项特殊的挑战。通常,城市在有机发展的过程中,会给我们机会评估此前的决策是否正确,并及时调整发展方向,从而带来打破常规的意想不到的惊喜。

Sensible Solutions 解决方案

This is not a call for the return of ego-driven architecture. It is a plea to put more burden on infrastructure planning and depart from the rigidity of the pro forma. Rather than adhering to a prescribed set of principles, we have an opportunity to embrace real data about the ways in which people use successful spaces — allowing us to make informed decisions and predictable impacts without limiting the creative and random aspects.

我们并不是在鼓吹烙印建筑师自我价值的建筑形式。我们倡议强调基础设施规划,并且降低对财务预测的考量。比起刻板的遵循某些既定的规则,我们建议采信关于人们如何使用空间的更加真实的数据,让我们在不限制创造力的前提下做出更加明智的决策和预测分析。

This is particularly relevant to people-centric design. The Gensler Experience Index helps to quantify the key attributes of successful spaces — ranging from public spaces at the city scale to specific user environments, such as retail stores. The Experience Index provides designers, developers, and stakeholders valuable understanding on what key elements to utilize for maximum effect.

这与‘以人为本’的设计尤其相关。《Gensler体验指数报告》有助于量化成功空间的关键属性,从城市维度的公共空间到特定的用户环境,如零售商店等。‘体验指数’帮助设计师、开发商和利益相关者更好的理解哪些关键要素可以最优化体验的效果。

New Outcomes 城市出品

For sure, it is attractive to avoid the angst of a challenging process, or the risk of uncertainty. But through research and the skilled application of that research, we can make informed decisions as opposed to guesswork.

固然,我们的研究结果可以帮助避免挑战或者不确定性带来的焦虑和风险。但更加重要的是,通过研究和对研究成果的熟练应用,我们可以有的放矢的做出明智的决定,而非臆测。

Therefore, we must have the willingness to seek more person-to-person connections through compelling urban experiences. Being responsibly efficient shouldn’t trump taking an informed leap of faith in order to transform our city outputs from waste, pollution, and urban sprawl to energy, knowledge, and skills. These are the byproducts of a truly “people first” city.

因此,我们必须愿意通过恰当的城市体验寻求更多的人与人之间的联系。追求更有意义的‘效率’,我们不能放弃打造美好城市的信念,将城市的产出物从废物、污染以及城市的无序扩张,转变为能量、知识以及技能,这才是一个‘以人为本的’城市出品。

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Peter Weingarten
As Co-Regional Managing Principal for Gensler Greater China, Peter directs our firm’s strategic project and client activities in the region. His outgoing and passionate leadership style brings talented individuals together in a collaborative structure that fosters innovation, opportunity and value creation. Contact him at .