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Inhalt des Dokuments

Hemeng Zhou

Lupe [1]

hemeng.zhou@metropolitanstudies.de [2]

Center for Metropolitan Studies
TU Berlin
Hardenbergstraße 16-18
10623 Berlin



  • Dissertation
  • CV


Fast City, Slow Life – Reconnecting with Nature through suitable Urban Agritecture Forms in Metropolises of the 21st Century

There is an old Chinese way of thought from Confucianism and Taoism that focuses on the „unity of nature and men“. Today, however, due to globalization and urbanization, the calmer and quieter life of the past has evolved into an increasingly stressful one, isolated from nature in many metropolises around the world.

This research project aims to combine the two definitions – urban agritecture (urban agriculture + architecture) and urban temporalities (e.g. “slow life”). The focus points lie on the influence of urban agritecture on urban temporalities (Can urban agritecture have a significant impact on a positive development of “slow life”?) and the ecological influence of urban agritecture on metropolises.

My research is divided into two main parts:

Theoretical research:
The developmental process from urban greening via urban agriculture to urban agritecture is very dynamic and demonstrates not only the ideological progress and awareness development of human beings, but also a slow, but ongoing, development of cities becoming healthier.In this part, a complex assessment through data collection, literature review and case studies about this historical development process will be made to compare the functionality of different forms of urban agritecture.

Practical research:

In this part, comparative studies through qualitative methods will be accomplished. Experts engaged with urban agritecture (as well as experts with professional knowledge about specific topics of the dissertation) from different research areas will be interviewed in the cities Berlin, Shanghai and New York.

Urban agritecture by definition is something more than just a place for agriculture. Trying to find the possibilities that urban agritecture will present and its effects on the urban space, as well as finding strategies for the sustainable development of urban agritecture in the future and potentially in the context of „slow life”, is the main goal of this research. A “fast” life tempo does not necessarily mean an efficient life; and effective urban planning does not necessarily correspond with a good quality of life.



Urban studies, urban agriculture and agritecture, urban temporalities, sustainable development


since 05.2015
DFG Fellow at the International Graduate Research Program
Center for Metropolitan Studies, Technical University of Berlin, Germany

Master of Science: urban ecosystem sciences
Technical University of Berlin, Germany

Bachelor of Science in Engineering: urban planning
Tongji University, Shanghai, China


Research Institute ZALF and ISR of Technical University of Berlin
Student assistant: Research position at the “ZFarm: innovation and technical analysis – Zero Acreage Farming” project organized by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Leuphana Digital School, Lüneburg
Student assistant: Development and operational support of the first online course “Think Tank – Ideal City of the 21st Century”

Urban Space Planning & Design Shanghai Co. Ltd
Project Intern: Street design in Jiangyin, China

WWCOT Shanghai
Project Intern: Urban design of the culture center on the Qinglv Road in Zhuhai and the concept plan of the project “Linyuan – New Town” in Daqing, China

Halcrow Engineering Consulting Co. Ltd Shanghai
Project Intern: Tuanbo Urban planning project in Tianjian, China


Participation at the conference: "ZFarming – Städtische Landwirtschaft der Zukunft"

Participation in the film projects “Next”, “Forcing Function” and “Kopfkino (AT)” by Adam Janisch. Developed at the faculty of New Media Studies of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.


Kaifeng, Henan
Field research for urban master planning in the Tongxu County in Henan Province (during Bachelor studies)

Hangzhou, Zhejiang
Field research for the concept planning for Chongxian New Town (during Bachelor studies)

Shanghai, China
Field research for the feasibility of a vertical farm in Shanghai (during Master

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