This thesis proposal takes place in a dystopian realm of depleting resources and economic sanctions. The rising cost of oil has made independent vehicles obsolete, reverting people to a pedestrian lifestyle. In this time of scarcity, time is a fundamental resource, with people now living within five-minute districts.
My proposal, entitled ‘Coventry 2050: District 6’, demonstrates an urban scale architectural solution, adapting urban living to survival in this new context. As Coventry did not resolve its air pollution issues the ground floor is consumed with pollutant smog, and is a dangerous place to be. People now live in an elevated position, above the remains of the city, at first and second floor level. New horizontal connections are formed via walkways, and link to existing rooftops. Vertical connections are formed through a monorail system offering access to all levels, including the drone deck, which provides vertical travel to neighboring districts.
This narrative was informed by Arup’s ‘four plausible futures that may exist by 2050’. These are:
1. POST ANTHROPOCENE shows how societal conditions and planetary health might exist in a harmonious relationship, fortifying each other for mutual progress and benefit. This narrative envisages the continued protection of life globally.
2. GREENTOCRACY describes an improvement in planetary health enabled by a dystopian restriction on human society: restrictive living conditions, in which conflict and authoritarian regimes prevail.
3. EXTINCTION EXPRESS depicts a dark future of both declining planetary health and societal conditions. It is questionable how much longer humanity can survive.
4. HUMANS INC. represents our current trajectory; a world in which societal conditions advance at the cost of planetary health. This will ultimately lead to a shortage of resources but not quite to the extremes of Extinction Express.
My narrative exists between Extinction Express and Human INC, demonstrating a heightened reality of Coventry’s current conditions, and aims to provoke conversation in how this dystopia could be avoided.