Landgrab City

“Landgrab City” is an installation commissioned by the Shenzhen/Hong Kong Biennale of Architecture/Urbanism 2010 and is located on Shenzhenwan Avenue (Nanshan), a busy shopping district in the city of Shenzhen. Conceived as an investigation of the full extent of Shenzhen’s spatial footprint, the installation is comprised of two parts: a map of one of the city’s dense downtown areas, home to approximately 4.5 million people, and a plot of cultivated land divided into small lots. This land is a representation, at the same scale as the map, of the amount of territory necessary to provide the food consumed by the inhabitants of the portion of city sampled in the map, projected to 2027—the year China is expected to overtake the US as the world’s leading economy. Each lot represents the extent of a single food group’s footprint: vegetables, cereals, fruits, and pasture (for livestock), among others.

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