The Asian city grows denser by the day.

Where densification is unplanned and under-regulated, there is a sense of overwhelming crowdedness and heightened perception of risk. The city feels less inclusive, public spaces are lost.  There is less water and greenery to share. In the hyper-dense city, the poor suffer the most. There is insufficient investment in resource and mobility infrastructure, especially in low-income areas. There are too few opportunities to make a living.

Density however can be an opportunity. The compact city can be lively and energetic, with businesses and trades thriving on a large consumer base. Urban culture emerges organically, creating a vibrant sense of place.

The FuturArc Prize 2019 asks you to investigate what it means to live in a hyper-dense city in Asia, one with no less than 100,000 people per square kilometre.

This is a quest for balance and reciprocity. Buildings in this context cannot be seen in isolation; they must engage the wider logic of the neighbourhood. Neighbourhoods must leverage on, and contribute to, the city. The production and distribution of energy, water, food must be decentralised. Networks for the movement of people and biodiversity must be unified.

But how is this done? What is the right mix of activities and programmes? How does a new neighbourhood fit into the urban system-of-systems that already exists? What new systems does it bring into the picture? What does hyper-density look like? How does it feel to our senses?


Select a site within your city in Asia that is approximately 1km2 in size.

Redesign this to accommodate no less than 100,000 people, who must live and/or work here.

The total built-up area within this site should not be less than 2.5 million m2.

The redesigned neighbourhood must do the following:
1. Produce energy, water and food
2. Offer inclusive and accessible public space to all groups in the community
3. Offer space to non-human species and perform ecosystem services
4. Engage the wider city in positive and generous ways