Dynamic City Foundation:
The Chinese Dream

The Dynamic City Foundation is a research and design institute focused on the rapid transformations of China's urban landscape.

In 2003 the DCF has started the Urban China 2020 project; an in-depth study what the effects of China's flash-urbanization are and how designers can respond to this process. To achieve this an online collaboration platform has been established BURB.tv for open-source research and design. The objective to build four hundred new cities by the year 2020, as formulated by the former Chinese Minister of Civil Affairs, provides this project with its research framework and its name: UC2020. Central question is how to benefit from the dynamic forces at hand?

In a multidisciplinary team of sociologists, planners and designers the DCF does research and develops a catalogue of design prototypes suitable for the increasingly market-driven conditions of the PR-China. Goal is to achieve strong cities in a clearly defined network by the year 2020. The work will be presented in the form of models, workshops and a video-installation. In addition a number of descriptive essay will be produced.

Who we are

The Dynamic City Foundation (DCF) is a international, not for profit organisation which goal it is to promote, widen and stimulate knowledge and research of architecture and urban design with a special focus on rapidly changing environments. Furthermore, DCF stimulates innovative projects, research and activities that contribute to the understanding of and develop proposals that can respond to dynamic urban conditions. A central objective of the DCF is to investigate the processes that can facilitate a dynamic density. This is an urban environment that can maintain its proportions and ideal compactness as it grows or diminishes.

DCF: Chairman: Neville Mars, Secretary: Mads Farsoe, Financial Affairs: Qauthar Saleh, Public Affairs: Saskia Vendel UC2020 team:, Louis Coulomb (civil engineer), Amy-Xiao Huan (management assisant), Reineke Otten (designer/photographer), Qauthar Saleh (economist), Saskia Vendel (architect), Martijn de Waal (journalist/historian)


In 2008 THE CHINESE DREAM, a society under construction was published

China is in the midst of breakneck transformation. The last 30 years of astonishing economic growth and political and cultural reform have been driven by the world’s biggest ever urban boom. The new China is now halfway built: within the next 30 years the world’s most populous nation will most likely take centre-stage as a global superpower, with hundreds of millions of new urbanites flooding into the rapidly swelling cities. But this process — presenting no less than the construction of a new society — is taking place almost without time to think. The present is so all-consuming that fast realities threaten to eclipse the slow dream of tomorrow.

Taking as its starting point the goal announced in China in 2001 to build 400 new cities of 1 million inhabitants each by 2020, or 20 new cities a year for 20 years, the book explores the hopes and hazards of dreaming on such a scale. The question being asked is in fact no less than how to build a new utopia. But is China mortgaging its present for a promised future, and doing so at the same time that current speeds of construction eclipse any real forward planning?

The Chinese Dream is a visual tour de force, both encyclopaedic in scope and holistic in approach. Cutting across all levels of scale — from individual to nation — and backed by a truly multi-disciplinary team (encompassing architecture & urban planning, politics, economics, arts & culture, environmental concerns, and sociology) the book synthesizes a vast body of research to tackle the big questions of today, and to unpack the paradoxes at the heart of China’s struggle for change.

Assembled over a four year continuous presence in China, the book lays aside over-exposed starchitect projects, and looks instead at the enormous wave of anonymous buildings currently reshaping the landscape and fabric of China itself. Bold texts, self-critical design proposals, exploratory photoessays, a unique glossary, and an innovative survey of China’s young middle class, reveal China in all its astonishing diversity: from the glitziest megamalls to the gloomiest slums, and from the rural fringe to the mushrooming village. Featuring thousands of photographs, drawings and computer graphics, this is space as you have never seen it before: brash, outlandish, and very Chinese.