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2nd Ring Beijing 2049

The vision is set for 2049, 100-year anniversary of communist China, with the hope for injecting idealistic and forwarding thinking into today’s architectural discourse, which is more often than not driven by the practicality of past decades’ economic boom and the fashionable form making. 

Radically departing from the current mode of urban development, this research project investigates the possibilities of transforming a unique member of Beijing’s ring road highway system, the 2nd ring road, into a park zone with normal urban streets and active urban life, by 2049. 

The 2nd ring road of Beijing was built on the site of the old city wall demolished in the 1950’s. It is the beginning of Beijing’s outward thrusting ring road highway system which now has 6 complete rings and a 7th in the formation. Yet it is the most unique one by history and the very one not genetically wired as a highway. Once it was the edge of the city demarcating the city from the outskirts, now it is by all means a gigantic barrier right in the center of the city. 

The project explores the possibilities of transforming the 2nd ring road into new kinds of urban spaces, turning it from the biggest polluter and barrier into a linear green lung for the city. It will also provide much needed public facilities to boost a healthier and more joyful urban life. Ultimately all of us have no choice but to find ways to live collectively in cities with finite resources.