London: A new “smart city” in China is to have a state-of-the-art neighbourhood designed to cope with a future pandemic outbreak.
Architects working on Xiong’an, a new metropolis outside Beijing, have been commissioned to make blocks of apartments specially equipped to allow residents to continue to function under lockdown conditions.
Each flat comes with a large balcony to allow access to the outdoors, and communal work areas big enough to maintain social distancing. Vegetable gardens, greenhouses and rooftop solar power will help residents maintain self-sufficiency in the event of large-scale disruptions to food chains and electricity supplies.
Past pandemics have played a major role in urban design. The cholera outbreaks of the 1800s, for example, where infected water lay in haphazard, unpaved alleyways, influenced the grid-design system of modern American cities, whose neat layout also made water piping simpler.