Volume #18: After Zero
Originally a wacko, hippy-esque ideology, ‘sustainability’ – aka ‘eco-friendly’ or ‘green’ – has now become globally accepted. But as what – an environmental urgency, a political issue, a technical problem, a historic destiny, a new world order? And what are the consequences of this acceptance?
The sustainability consensus is dangerous since the concept has no political content and can be used for any cause. Carbon neutrality and zero emissions are like magic formulas, cover-ups for complicated ethical questions about the inequalities in our societies.Yet striving for zeros or hiding in neutrality does not lead to a better life in a more desirable house in a superior city for everyone. After Zero is not about design inspired by the fear of tsunamis or Katrinas. Volume proposes an understanding of our society beyond zero. To kick off we discuss two perspectives: sustainability in a post-capitalist city and the potential of urban agriculture.
Volume#18: After Zero
ISBN 978 90 77966 18 1
Price: € 19,50
Release: December 2008
Editor-in-chief: Arjen Oosterman
Contributing editors: Ole Bouman, Rem Koolhaas, Mark Wigley
Feature editor: Jeffrey Inaba
Editorial Consultants: Carlos Betancourth, Thomas Daniell, Bart Goldhoorn, Markus Miessen, Kai Vöckler
Design: Irma Boom and Sonja Haller
Publisher: Stichting Archis
Volume #18 includes contributions by
Jago van Bergen, Stefano Boeri, Clare Butcher, Katrin Bohn and Andre Viljoen, Steef Buijs, Christophe Catsaros, Thomas Daniell, John E. Fernández, Aetzel Griffioen, Andrew Herscher, Scott Hocking, Joost Janmaat, Sherry Lassiter, Aric Mayer, Christien Meindertsma, Koert van Mensvoort, Monica Nouwens, Michela Pasquali, Marjetica Potrc, Panayiota I. Pyla, Gianluigi Ricuperati, Mireille Roddier, Harriet Russell, Debra Solomon, Tokyo Genso, Michael Stanton, Peter Trummer, Piet Vollaard, Ronald Wall, Slavoj Žižek
As you may know our exhibition The Good Cause is currently on show at Stroom in The Hague. This spring Stroom will be hosting a side program accompanying The Good Cause, that consists of a number of tours, a congress, an Archis RSVP Event and a number of expeditions. Most of the events are free of charge.
Last month we officially launched Volume’s 39th issue, ‘Urban Border’. In the past weeks we have published a selection of articles, and for those who are interested how the issue looks and feels we have uploaded a preview. Enjoy! Click here to learn more about Volume #39.
Shenzhen is currently upgrading its industry; this results in empty factory buildings and huge demographic changes within the migrant population. It also implies a transition from a blue-collar to a white-collar society. Shenzhen’s economic success is based on cheap labor. Nonetheless, blue-collar migrants are considered to be both problematic and vulnerable. But do we really understand and appreciate the economic and social value of the current generation of migrants in Shenzhen? ‘Da Lang Fever’ is a story about the potential of a self-organizing migrant society in the neighborhood Da Lang. It showcases the empowering nature of bottom-up activities for migrant workers.
According to official statistics China’s urbanization rate was 52.57 percent in 2012, but according to China’s Hukou system this number nowadays is still below 35 percent! The discrepancy is caused by at least 250,000,000 peasants without urban Hukou status living in urban areas, the so-called floating population. Without urban Hukou they cannot equally benefit from urban amenities such as education, employment, medical care, retirement programs, affordable housing, and other basic public services. In fact these urban-based peasants are excluded from living a complete urban lifestyle. Although China sees it as its primary task “to civilize the whole nation by turning its agricultural population into orderly citizens”, urbanization seems mainly used as an engine to stimulate economic growth. An essential tool to guide urbanization is the process of converting rural Hukous into urban Hukous. However, this process is complex, and receives loads of critique, nationally and internationally. There seems to be no easy solution, especially since economic forces are overruling the people’s quality of life.
It’s rare that a city’s birth certificate survives, but here it is: a map of Hong Kong full of marks and notes. It is an intriguing document, but our attention should go to the upper left corner, where in the ‘white space’ of mainland China the Shekou peninsula is encircled as the new harbor and industrial location of what was to become the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone; conveniently situated and easy to control. The map with personal marks and handwritten notes makes history tangible. It all started with an idea and a location.