Socio-Technical City by UNStudio

An integral vision to deal with future urban growth and sustainability

Project Specs


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Appreciation towards UNStudio for providing the following description:


With Socio-Technical City, UNStudio – in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of experts – has created a new urban vision for the ‘Central Innovation District’ (CID) test site in The Hague.



The CID test site covers a 1 x 1 km area in the centre of The Hague; currently a major infrastructure hub within the triangle of the Hague Central Station and two nearby stations, but in the future vision of the Socio-Technical City it becomes a green, self-sufficient double-layered district, where a new urban layer of housing, offices, urban mobility and park-like public space is composed over the existing train track infrastructure.

future vision of the Socio-Technical City :a green, self-sufficient double-layered district


未来之城|The City of the Future

能源、食品和交通领域的重大社会转型如何在我们的城市以一种既具有前瞻性又具有吸引力的方式实现?这是社会技术城市设计愿景的基础。UNStudio对海牙的愿景是为“未来之城”所做的研究之一,这是BNA Research(荷兰皇家建筑师协会)、代尔夫特理工大学(Delft University of Technology)、三角洲都市协会(Delta Metropolis Association)、多个荷兰市府(包括阿姆斯特丹、鹿特丹、海牙、乌得勒支和埃因霍温)以及政府部门(包括交通和运输、环境和食水、基础设施和水源管理及室内部门)的联合倡议。

How can the major social transitions taking place in the fields of energy, food and mobility be realized in our cities in a way that is both future-proof and attractive? This is the question that underlies the design vision of the Socio-Technical City. UNStudio’s vision for The Hague is one of the studies made for ‘The City of the Future’, a joint initiative by BNA Research (the Royal Institute of Dutch Architects), the Delft University of Technology, the Delta Metropolis Association, the municipalities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Eindhoven, the Directorates-General for Mobility and Transport, the Environment and Water, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the Ministry of Interior.

▼未来城市,city of the future


The project started in January 2018, when 10 multidisciplinary design teams were tasked with investigating new ways of city-making using five test locations in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Eindhoven. These teams included landscape architects, urban planners, mobility experts, experts in the field of circular economy, energy transition, future strategies, big data, smart cities etc. The teams worked on a level playing field together with municipalities, stakeholders and experts in the field of important innovations.


社会技术城:对未来关键转型问题的回应|Socio-Technical City: a response to key transition issues for the future

UNStudio的社会技术城概念结合城市未来面临的两大挑战 — 城市化和可持续发展 — 并专注于以下问题:尽管未来密度极高,但像CID这样的区域如何才能实现自给自足及能源平衡? 这样的市区是什么样的? 您如何将生活和工作所需的技术连接到那里?

UNStudio’s concept for the Socio-Technical City combines the two largest challenges facing the future of cities – urbanisation and sustainability – and focuses specifically on the questions: how can an area like the CID, despite extremely high density in the future, be self-sufficient and energy-neutral? What does such an urban district look like? And how can you connect the technology that is required with the people who live and work there?

▼社会技术概念城市面临的问题领域, problem areas in Socio-Technical City


门户:接合和创新的催化剂|Gateways: Catalysts for encounter and innovation


With the elevated urban layer covering the existing railway tracks, UNStudio’s urban vision distinguishes a number of technical ‘domains’, which refer to the major transition issues of our time: energy, circularity, mobility, climate adaptation / water management and food production. These domains are then each envisioned as ‘gateways’: physical architectural interventions that offer practical solutions to the problems as well as functioning as attractive symbols for the specific themes – a geothermal power station as an icon for energy transition, a (Hyperloop) station as a landmark for mobility, a Biopolus water treatment plant as a symbol for circularity.

▼门户将社区与人们联系起来,gateways connect neighbourhoods and people


In this way, the Socio-Technical City bridges the gap between infrastructure and technology on the one hand, and quality of life and social well-being on the other. The model of the gateways is based on the idea that interaction is a requirement for innovation. The gateways form catalysts for meeting; they connect neighbourhoods and people and thus form breeding grounds for innovation.


移动性门户:大都会超级枢纽|Gateway Mobility: the Metropolitan Superhub


The concept for the gateways is inspired by the location itself. The existence of three intercity stations within walking distance of each other presents an unprecedented opportunity to transform this area into one Metropolitan Superhub; a system of closely linked terminals, comparable in size to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. It also provides an opportunity to create space for new forms of sustainable mobility such as the Hyperloop, with a free floating system of electric scooters, and possibly self-driving pods, interlinking the different modes of public transport.

▼大都会超级枢纽内部,interior of Metropolitan Superhub


Following the construction of the elevated urban layer, the Metropolitan Superhub can gradually become a city centre. The city grows all around it and connects to this layer, while creating a level of density that is unprecedented in the Netherlands.

▼超级枢纽整体规划,overall plan of Metropolitan Superhub


地热能源厂门户:能源大教堂、城市桥梁、冬季花园及初创企业的共同工作空间|Gateway Geothermal Energy Plant: an energy cathedral, city bridge, winter garden and co-working space for start-ups


▼能源门户构想,vision of energy gateway

The geothermal energy plant is the central location of the energy supply and as such is an important gateway for the CID. Research shows that the use of heat pumps, Heat & Cold storage systems, optimum insulation and solar panels are not enough to fully supply a compact area such as this. In order to make the district self-sufficient and energy-neutral, a solution was found by way of a system of ‘energy exchange’ with the surrounding districts. The geothermal energy plant draws energy from a hot water reservoir that is 2.5 kilometers below ground and supplies it to the surrounding low-rise districts. In return, the low-rise districts generate a surplus of energy via roof-mounted solar panels that can be delivered to the new high-rise buildings.

▼能源分析图,energy diagram


The energy gateway is not only a geothermal power plant, but also a bridge that connects neighbourhoods, a winter garden and co-working space for start-ups. But above all it is a symbol for energy transition: an energy cathedral.

▼作为空间连接桥梁的能源门户,energy gateway is a bridge that connects different spaces


Biopolus门户:城市灌溉系统,包括河谷、供水广场、运河和瀑布|urban irrigation system with wadis, water squares, canals and waterfalls

在社会技术城市,Biopolus形成了另一个门户,一个提供当地食物和饮水供应的循环系统。Biopolus确保来自新建城区的废水得到净化,同时释放的养分被用于种植农作物。 污水通过管道泵送到最高层,然后通过各种净化过程流到最低水位,产生饮用水,然后再次进入系统。 本地化循环就此完成。然而,Biopolus不仅仅是一个净水工厂,它也是一个城市农场、垂直公园和循环经济的象征。

▼Biopolus门户全景,view of the Biopolus gateway

In Socio-Technical City the Biopolus forms another gateway, a circular system that provides local food and water supplies. The Biopolus ensures that the waste water from the new part of the city is purified and the nutrients that are released are used for the cultivation of crops. Waste water is pumped through tubes to the highest level, after which it flows to the lowest level via various purification processes, producing drinking quality water which then enters the system again. The localised cycle is complete. The Biopolus is however not merely a water purification plant, it is also an urban farm, a vertical park and an emblem of the circular economy.

▼食物和水供应的循环系统,a circular system that provides local food and water supplies


气候适应门户:供水广场|Gateway Climate Adaptation: Water plazas

气候变化是该地区的主要风险因素,如洪水和过热。 目前雨水、污水和中水都通过一个排水系统处理,而在社会技术城市中,它们被分成列到不同的系统。污水通过地下管道排出,但相对干净的雨水会被重新使用,用于公共空间的水景中:这是运河、供水广场和瀑布的灌溉系统。

Climate change presents significant risk factors for the area, such as flooding and overheating. Where currently rainwater, waste water and grey water are all disposed of through one drainage system, in the Socio-Technical City this is separated into different systems. Waste water is drained through underground pipes, however the relatively clean rain water is re-used and made visible in the form of water features in public spaces: an irrigation system of canals, water plazas and waterfalls.

▼包括运河、供水广场和瀑布的灌溉系统,an irrigation system of canals, water plazas and waterfalls

UNStudio: Ben van Berkel with Lars van Hoften and Dana Behrman, Maria Zafeiriadou, Ren Yee, Chen Shijie, Qiao Xu, Nina Soltani, Takumi Kozuki,
模型组|Model Team: Patrik Noome, Bart Bonenkamp
门户效果图|Gateway visualisations: by Plompmozes

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