Wednesday, 11 February 2009

500 hectares - the project

The notion of a 500 ha project derives from Cutrufo’s proposals for a Disney inspired theme park of this size on an undisclosed site on the margins of Rome.  What alternative uses or infrastructure could be proposed for such a large area of the city?  You are free to be as realistic, polemical or visionary as you wish.  You might find inspiration in existing urban elements that we visited, such as Hadrian’s Villa, EUR, or the Vatican; in the competition project for Coney Island; or in the major project that you are currently developing.
The project jumps in size from the very specific individual propositions and detail studies that you have made so far, and concerns city planning at the largest, most broad brush scale. 
The site that is offered for this project is the outskirts/periphery/margins of Rome as shown on Google Earth.  An alternative basis for a project that would engage in a historical dialogue with the city is the 1816 Plan Topographique de la Campagne de Rome that is available on the shared folder.  If appropriate to your main project, an alternative 500 ha site located elsewhere may be proposed.

500 ha = 5 sq km = 5,000,000 sq m
Rome has an average population density of 2,105.5 per sq km.  At this density, 500 ha is sufficient space for 10,527 people.
500 ha = 1,236 acres (UK) = 1.93 sq miles
500 ha = MMMCMLXVIII or 3,968 actus quadrati (Roman acres)
500 ha = the area of central Rome shown in this Google Earth image:

500 ha = one theme park
For a topical comparison, the slums of Mumbai that feature in the film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, and which have been proposed by Prince Charles as a viable model for urban housing, accommodate half a million people in an area of 520 acres (only 210 ha!).
See articles here and here from the Guardian for more information on Mumbai slums.
Introduction – 10.15 am, Wednesday, 11. Feb
Pin-up/review – 1 pm, Thursday, 12. Feb
(roughly 20 hectares per hour)

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