Restoring the balance. We are all travellers.

The way we inhabit space is a primeval reflection of how we conceptualise ourselves, the ties between us humans and other plant and animal species. This is a time of transition; faced with the startling fragility of our ecosystem we are urged to move from a pattern of dominance, exploitation and dualisms towards a model of symbiosis, care and unity in diversity.

Unexpected situations encountered the last few months during the lockdown of the cities. The earth looks healthier than before, less air pollution, less mobility among different cities and countries and wild animals are taking over cities after a long period of civilisation.

Animals and nature can find their own healing way without interruption from human. It is a good time to reset and rethink our urbanisation and how we can really co-exist with nature and animals. And how to contribute to our living surrounding instead of depriving it. One of the reasons for hope is the resilience of nature.

Landscape design can serve as a paradigm for a new kind of city making. Cities that grow like gardens can support environmental restoration while providing people with a sense of ownership that has nothing to do with property. This will introduce a dynamic interaction between humans and the built environment through daily acts of care. As an overlay to the existing city landscape, soft and flexible structures will appear.

Continuous growing organisms generate connectivity and harmony between the city, nature, and its inhabitants. As floating islands these ‘balloons’ are a reinterpretation of Laputa as a resource generator, a mean of co-existence. The Laputa facilitates the overconsumption problem and help to rethink the relationship between nature, animals and built environment and release the pressure on the ground.

We can reconnect the (bio)diversity of the city by creating a platform for coexistence. A bridge is a manifesto for a new connecting public space for the city where everything comes together, where a past event is commemorated and a future one is expected. It’s heaven and earth. It’s a place for the humans as it is for the birds as we all are travellers.

© 2020 Urban Echoes. All rights reserved. Team: Jolijn Valk, Hiu Yu Ong, Katerina Vlachmpei, Lucía Trinidad Polito.