BELONGING

How We’ll Live and Neighbor in the Near Future

By

Angela Cravens

– VOL. 4

It’s not every day that people get to dream up a new city of five million… but a new project launching in China gives us some fascinating clues about how we’ll be living, working and neighboring in the not-so-distant future.

Fans and followers of the architectural world are buzzing about a proposal for a new city near Beijing, called Xiong’an New Area. It’s proposed as a “self-sufficient city” and gives some interesting clues about how we’ll live in the near-future. And we’re pleased to see more than a few similarities to our lives at Venn. 

1. We’ll prioritize green living

City blocks in Xiong’an New Area are designed around courtyards with native plants and garden plots. Apartments, designed for all income levels, use 80% less energy than average, with on-site solar power and large balconies with built-in garden boxes. And the streets are designed for biking and walking—cars quite literally take the backseat.

Image of neighborhoods in the future coworking spaces

The Venn Coworking Space in Bushwick allows Neighbors to work close from home, providing a dynamic, social, and safe place to work during the pandemic and beyond.

2. We’ll still be working from home.  

Apartments have been designed with space to work from home, including coworking spaces in each building. (No word on whether their coworking spaces have gourmet coffee, however. Venn may have the angle on that!) For those who don’t work from home, the city is designed for easy transport, similar to Paris’ ideal of the 15-minute city. Everyone can reach their daily needs by biking or walking. 

We love hearing how a city of the future gives us a glimpse into the trends that will define global cities in the future. Especially when it sounds a lot like how Venn Neighbors are already living today.

3. Lockdowns, if they continue, will look a little different.

Designed while the world was in global lockdown, part of the city’s self-sufficient model includes preparation for future outbreaks. If necessary, residents can live and work at home in comfort. Terraces double as landing pads for drone deliveries of goods. And local food production means there’s never a shortage of fresh food. With 3D printers onsite, residents can access tools and make their own repairs without leaving home.

Image of neighborhoods in the future local produce

In Kansas City, Neighbors incorporate simple sustainability best practices into their daily lives, like buying local produce and supporting urban farming initiatives.

4. Localism will be more important than ever 

Lead architect Vicente Guallart, whose Barcelona firm won the international competition for the project, wrote the book The Self-Sufficient City in 2012, arguing that even as we’re globally connected, it’s still important to produce resources locally—from energy to things. The city addresses the climate crisis by including plans for greenhouses and gardens that will grow 40% of the food needed for a vegan diet. Each building will also have markets where residents can sell locally-grown produce to their neighbors. Not so different from our own Venn Marketplace.

Greener. Healthier. More connected. We love hearing how a city of the future gives us a glimpse into the trends that will define global cities in the future. Especially when it sounds a lot like how Venn Neighbors are already living today. Cutting-edge? That’s just our everyday.