Yiying Tang

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City of Generations

City Complex

In the future city, the resident population will inevitably face a more severe and absolute separation of generations, which is both a spatial separation and a cultural barrier. In Chinese culture, people’s ideals of urban life are the “great harmony”, that is: treat our elders as they ought to be treated, as well as the elders of others; treat our young as they ought to be treated, as well as the young of others. The city’s TweakCube should accommodate people of different ages and create cultural bonds to narrow the distance between hearts. In different generations, cultural genes that resonate with each other connect everyone in the city. Extract these fragments, we could form “cultural clues” to connect the maze of the city. This is where we use the “mixed-age cultural community” as an entry point and call it “City of Generations.”

Site Analysis and Demographic Structure

Yangliuqing is a famous historical and cultural town in Xiqing District, the western suburbs of Tianjin. Being out of the range of Tianjin’s main urban area, Yangliuqing is a Desakota region faced with problems such as the complexity of the population structure, diversity of public demands, and instability of social relations. However, these weaknesses also show the potential of the place, as Yangliuqing could play the role of a satellite town aiming to carry our traditional culture forward. Based on its complex population and multifarious requirements, the town could be relaunched as a promised land and adapted to the cultural needs of different groups of people.

Due to the well-developed automobile industry in Xiqing District that attracts more productive forces, the current age composition shows there is more young blood in this region. Different ages have their specific physical and mental needs but could be classified into five branches: residence, media, tourism, healthcare, and education. As time goes by and the aging of the population intensifies, middle-aged people and the elders will increase in Xiqing District. Therefore, we should not only attach importance to the requirements of younger people, but also meet the demands of the aging generation, and create spaces satisfying pertinence and universality.

Block Division Method and Demand Analysis

According to the analysis of demographic structure, our concept is to divide the site into 4 parts according to different periods of life: childhood, young adulthood, mid-adulthood, and old age. Each divided block serves for basic living needs of the target age group, as well as provides corresponding cultural media space as the clue of this block. The cultural clue of each part links together and forms a linear space in the air, connecting groups of different ages physically. Furthermore, it provides opportunities to establish cultural communication and interchange between generations, attempts to break the barriers between generations in terms of functional sequence, and brings people’s thoughts closer. It blurs the boundaries of activity space, attracting users to flow into cultural areas of different ages and form a vivid daily life scene.

In order to make each block better correspond to its aimed age, and create accommodate living and cultural spaces, we extract core demand elements of different periods of life. People aged 0 to 20 years have a strong requirement for educational and outdoor recreational space, along with emerging cultural space such as high technology and new media; people aged 20 to 40 years, pay more attention to living qualities and possess stronger purchasing desire; for people aged 40 to 60 years, their concern shift from themselves to their families, and pursue further career development; for people aged above 60, they think more about physical and mental health care and retire life.

Form Generation

According to the demands of users of different ages, we treat 4 blocks distinctively. In the children’s block, we emphasize the sense of enclosure. The young adult block is more vertical, embedded with linear street to break through. Mid adult block uses platforms and stages to provide users with exhibition and performance spaces. Lastly, in the elder block, natural affiliations is the theme of this part, to attract people to have conversations with the green land.

Programming Analysis

Cultural Corridor

A cultural corridor threads most cultural media spaces in the community. Strolling through the corridors, people of all ages can find their cultural communities that bring a sense of belonging. Additionally, activities are developed while ages and experience are growing. For instance, the comic, e-Sports community represents the group of 0-20. Shopping streets represent the group of 20-40. High-end art appreciation and cutting-edge technology sharing community are represented by the group of 40-60. The farmland and Chinese medical acupuncture community is represented by a group of 60-80.

Programming Section

Except for the flexible layout, this cultural clue, which is adaptive to the age of the crowd, is also rich in altitude changes in order to give people various experiences. Along the circle of a lifetime, the entire cultural line winds up and down. The cultural corridor is slowly rising from an early age and reaches its peak in youth age. Then, it gently declines from middle age and achieves a livable, community-friendly landscape in old age areas. Besides, cultural media activities are proposed to be developed with demographic growth, according to the culture of different times in which different groups of people live.

Flow Analysis

The four zones in the city correspond to four different age groups (<20, 20-40, 40-60, >60) and correspond to Tianjin’s four traditional spatial forms: field, street, courtyard, and stage. Through different programs, the relationship between age and specific space is established. The similarity of programs in the same block can effectively promote peers’ social interaction and strengthen the formation of a stable cultural circle and a sense of belonging. However, in each district, there are some comprehensive programs that engage in the lives of other age groups and require people of all ages to participate. These integrated areas promote the flow of people of different ages in other zones so that each area’s activities are not closed. These nodal spaces facilitate the flow of people in different districts, thereby gradually dissolving the generation gap, forming a positive and stable mixed-age community, and strengthening and generating their own culture through daily life.


The whole site has a variety of green spaces embedded in different areas: ground, rooftop, or transition passageway. The ratio of green space on the site is 35%. Residents and visitors could participate in farm works, learn agricultural knowledge in Urban farm areas, enjoy leisure time at recreational green fields, and take different activities on rooftop green spaces. Besides, The farmlands on the children’s block and old age block constitute an adequate food supply system, with a farmer’s market and distribution center to further process.

Rainwater collection systems are combined with buildings’ roof systems to meet with sustainable requirements. Farmlands also use drip irrigation technology to save water and energy. Water featured landscape makes use of recycled water from daily usage to manage. Building material selection follows the principle of using local environmentally friendly materials. In order to achieve a zero-energy city, solar panels, and windmills are placed on rooftops to generate energy.

Demographic Trend

Demographic trends show the changes of population structure over time, the aging of the population will become an inevitable problem. Our design provides a prospective solution. First, the old age block has a sufficient facilities system including residence, recreational and exercise space, and a health care department. It meets with the inclination that the elders prefer to live in an environmentally exquisite place. The site also provides them with opportunities to participate in collective activities to relieve the feeling of loneliness.

Besides, as a part of the micro-city, the elders are encouraged to have conversations with people of different ages, as cultural clues and blurring boundaries could provide them with new-world experiences. The elders could interact with children on activity bridge, learn how to use applications on mobile phones, watch a famous symphony in the auditorium, communicate their feelings with the middle-aged people, or teach young adults how to make the Yangliuqing New Year Woodblock Print at commercial street.

Design Team: Yiying Tang, Jie Liu, Shijia Liu, Yuchen Gao