Art&Writing 2nd Place: Green Email

By Emily Pan 2023-11-16 17:04:54

[Email from Aisin Hang, Director of Architecture at EPCON, the country’s leading sustainable infrastructure firm, to Mayor Henry Westman of City A]


February 3, 2040






Subject: City A’s Design


Dear Mayor Westman,


As you may know, the world’s population is projected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050. 70% (6.7 billion) are estimated to live in cities. Resources are growing scarcer each year and our duty as architects is to ensure each city can sustain itself and the population it hosts. We’ve designed City A with Sustainable Development Goal 12: Sustainable Cities and Communities in mind.


Our main focuses were environment, civic lifestyle, infrastructure, and natural resources.


  1. Environment:
  1. Ecology: We envision a city that is built to coexist with nature. Given that the B River runs down northeast from the top, with deciduous forests on the left bank and wetlands on the right, we will build as concentratedly as possible 7,500-10,000 persons/km2) to limit external impacts on nature. City parks will be installed within 3 km radiuses of each other, and only endemic plant species will be used in xeriscaping systems (gardening systems that require little to no irrigation).
  2. Carbon neutrality: Incorporation of green roofs, green buildings, and urban farms will minimize carbon circulation. We believe in using bamboo, recycled plastic, cross-laminated timber, and adobe–low-carbon materials in the infrastructural construction.
  3. Waste and drainage: We will continue to offer the Shanghai-based option of sorting trash into three categories: wet waste, residual waste (non-biodegradables), recyclable waste, and hazardous waste. Installation of bioswales (run-off channels that filter rainwater), absorbent rain gardens, percolating streets, and pools will improve groundwater levels and better the current gutter drainage system.
  1. Civic lifestyle:
  1. Food: Urban farming will include produce grown in biomorphic (artificial and natural) gardens that use hydroponic (horticulture grown without soil) technology. These are underground soil-free farms that use advanced LED lighting and geothermal heating.
  2. Mobility: High-speed trains capable of reaching 600 miles an hour, electric buses, and futuristic drones will be responsible for intraregional transportation. Interregional travel will be closely connected by rail to limit urban sprawl. Self-driving cars will be electric or solar powered, and traffic routes will minimize congestion.
  3. Livability: Low-rise buildings will be erected for maximum sunshine exposure, allowing humans to synthesize a healthy level of Vitamin D. Buildings will be separated intergenerationally. Accommodations for the disabled and elderly will be made within residential buildings.
  1. Infrastructure:
  1. Infrastructure: Water filtration and inclusion of the natural landscape will be taken into consideration for city construction. Modular interiors will also help conserve energy. Solar panels and rooftop farming will be implemented. Additionally, seismic dampers and flood gates will be built to thwart natural disasters.
  1. Natural resources:
  1. Water: Rainwater cleansing via filtering gardens, semi-permeable streets, and pools will supply the water usage of the city and lower carbon emissions.
  1. Energy: Solar energy and wind turbines, installed on building surfaces, will power the city. Infrastructure with natural lighting and airflow will limit energy waste. Note that a smart grid and meter survey will need to be taken to better estimate how storages of thermal and electric energy will adapt in the future.


We hope this review was thorough and adequate enough to fulfill your expectations. Should you choose our firm to renovate accordingly, the expected completion date of this project is April 2050.


Please do not hesitate to put forth any concerns you have about this project and our firm.



Aisin Hang,

Director of Architecture at EPCON




Works Cited:

Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. (2022, December 22). Hydroponics. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from

Green Initiatives. (2020, July 16). One year of waste segregation in Shanghai: Success or failure? Green Initiatives. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from

GreenMatch. (n.d.). Sustainable and smart cities around the world. GreenMatch. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from

Kang, Y.-K. R. (2007, February 25). Heating performance of horizontal geothermal heat pump system for Protected Horticulture. Journal of Biosystems Engineering. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from

Malhotra, R. (2021, May 28). Features of the future sustainable city - RTF: Rethinking the future. RTF | Rethinking The Future. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from

Stabley, J. (2022, September 5). What is xeriscaping? how you can turn your lawn into a sustainable oasis. PBS. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from

Treat, J. (2019, April 26). Cities of the future. National Geographic. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from

United Nations. (n.d.). Sustainable development goals. United Nations. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from



Written by: Emily Pan, 16, Concordia International School Shanghai