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Design as Scholarship
The Next Urban H2 Order:
Fuel-Cell Urbanism
Jonathan A. Scelsa & Jennifer Birkeland
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“Fuel-Cell Urbanism” proposes a new water-energy infrastructural urban plan for Tokyo, leveraging its legacy of visionary infrastructure against the contemporary problematic importation of water and energy from its hinterlands. This project interrogates the reciprocal relationship between H20 and energy within the hydrogen fuel cell, proposing a distributed model of shared clean water and energy generation within the public realm of the city. We propose this new infrastructural landscape, implemented at the scale of the urban design block and repeated throughout the metropolis, in contrast to the twentieth-century hydro-based energy generation practices of city-wide regional energy sourcing and individual zero-energy domestic models. Rather, this new block-scale infrastructure fosters a sense of district-scale collective accountability, wherein energy and water are shared resources for those who work and live together within the space of the everyday.

Keywords: architecture, landscape, urbanism and planning, urban, infrastructure.

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