On Ecological and Social Infrastructures — Editorial of the No. 5 Issue for 2014, Landscape Architecture Frontiers
By Kongjian Yu
Few sayings have inspired me or come close to expressing the desire to rebuild society as a beautiful ecology as, "mountain inmy view, water in my sight, and home in my deep heart" (words by Chinese Central Government).
In October, I was invited to do a site investigation in Jinhua, my hometown. Jia’ai Xu, the parentlike city secretary, thoughtfully arranged a visit to the ancient Dongyu Village, my home village, where I was born and grew till I left for college in 1980. During my visit, the usually quiet village was vibrant and streets were packed with people. The scene was moving. Suddenly everything felt familiar: the courtyards of the ancient houses, the steps of the alleyways, the entrance ground in front of the village, the square in the village, and the ancestral hall of the family.... No matter who I ran across: the boy who bullied me, the girl on whom I had a crush, the "activist" who persecuted my parents during the Cultural Revolution, the member of "The Management Committee of the Poor and Lower-middle Peasants" who deprived my right of education, or the benefactors who helped my parents when they were suffering, welcomed me with tears in their eyes. I was filled with humility. The saying a "smile can melt away allies and enemies" could not of felt more true.
Since this trip, I have been thinking, what makes the nostalgia of home after 30 years away make you forget the ups and downs? How can belonging and self-identity live well beyond the friendships between people? Perhaps the answer is simple. We have viewed the same mountains, drank the same water, shared the same alleyways, walked the same roads, and been sheltered by the same trees. We are connected to the landscape beyond a place of mind; we have shared a feeling of the landscape. We are strongly connected by the network consisting of rich landscape, social, and cultural experience and memories. The social and ecological infrastructure of Dongyu Village was beautiful. It was there before the year of 1980, and appears in my dreams from time to time. To the north of the village is the Wujiang River — the mother river of Jinhua. The river meets the Qujiang River at Lanxi, flows into the Fuchunjiang and then Qiantangjiang River. The Wujiang River was wide and open and filled with dozens of boats. Mountains framed distant scenes. Waterfowl sat on the shoal, where my friends and I raised buffalos. During the spring floods, when the shoal disappeared and carps jumped from ponds to fields, the villagers would work collectively to catch the fish. During the dry summer, pumping stations and water channels supported the village.
Baishaxi Stream (the White Sand Creek) is a major tributary of the Wujiang River, originating from the southern mountain area, with willows and shallow pools. Except for several days in the spring flood season, the stream was visibly clear, and sunlight reaches all the way to where fish and crabs could be seen. The stream had long been a place to gather and play. During the Han Dynasty, 36 weirs were constructed on the stream and 36 channels were diverted to irrigate tens of thousands of agricultural fields. The channels became the lifeline for villagers, and through collective agreement they began to regulate distribution and usage. Channels brought the stream into the village, where it formed seven ponds. The village was made up of over 200 homes in several neighborhoods — each with a pond in the center. The ponds were not only a source of daily water use, but also provided aquaculture for the locals. The camphor trees provided shade around the ponds, and they naturally became places for daily gathering and night chatting. These beautiful landscapes that I have experienced, together with other villagers, is the foundation of my nostalgia and memory of landscape; these landscapes appear in my dreams and the nostalgia grows deeper and deeper throughout the years.
I therefore felt sad when I saw the Baishaxi Stream embanked and engineered. I felt sorrow when I saw the ancient weir being replaced by cemented and rubber dams. I felt grief when I saw the willows being removed from the waterbed, the shoal being destroyed, the ponds being filled, and the wildlife disappearing. Ironically, everything has been completed in the name of "Hydrological Infrastructure Development". I was at a loss when I saw that the channel diverted from the Baishaxi Stream was choked with trash, that the seven ponds in the village had been filled, the camphor tree near the village gate had been cut, and the forest in front of the village had been destroyed. All in the name of "Civil Infrastructure Development". In reality, real infrastructures — the ecological and social infrastructure, the landscape infrastructure that everyone relies on, and critical for natural process, biological process, social process, and ecological process — have disappeared.
My mother river, the Baishaxi Stream, is not a simple stream but an ecological infrastructure. It provides essential supplies, it carries of lives, culture, aesthetics, and enlightenments for people throughout the watershed. It is a social infrastructure, an experienced network, and a carrier for the endless memoires. All of these have inspired me the solution to rehabilitate her: Rebuilding society, as rebuilding ecology, should start with the rehabilitation and construction of these essential ecological infrastructures.
Editorial (by Kongjian YU)
Inside Out or Outside In? — Rethinking Peri-urban Landscape Management (by Simon SWAFFIELD)
Comparing Ancient Water Infrastructure for New Cities (by James L. WESCOAT, Jr.)
Views and Criticisms
Strategies Responding to the Urban Construction in China’s Economic Transformations (by Ke FENG)
Interpretation of the Urban Chaos in China (by Difei JIANG)
Isla Palenque Eco-tourism Master Plan, The Republic of Panama (by Design Workshop, Inc.)
Inside-Outside: Master Plan for Raviradan in Vaasan, Finland (by Mandaworks, Hosper Sweden)
The Trees — A New Mixed-use Urban District in Mumbai, India (by Sasaki Associates, Inc.)
Zhangmiao Exercise Park, Shanghai (by Archi-Union Architects)
The Lun Dao Garden at the International Horticultural Exposition 2014 Qingdao (by Runheng Group)
Landscape Design of Roof Garden at the Third Office Area of Fangshan District Government, Beijing (by Landscape Architecture Corporation of China)
Tagus Linear Park, Portugal (by Topiaris)
Experiments and Processes
Graphic Adaptation (by David Buckley BORDEN)
Shekou: New Modes of Development (by Long ZUO, Alejandro LARA)
【英文刊名】Landscape Architecture Frontiers • Socio-Ecological Infrastructure for New Urbanization
【作者】西蒙•斯沃菲尔德（Simon SWAFFIELD）、小詹姆士•L•威斯科（James L. WESCOAT, Jr.）、冯科（Ke FENG）、蒋涤非（Difei JIANG）等
Inside Out or Outside In? —Rethinking Peri-urban Landscape Management
作者：西蒙•斯沃菲尔德 Author: Simon SWAFFIELD
As urban economies grow worldwide, and cities expand geographically, peri-urban management is being more widely recognized as a significant policy issue. At the same time however, new edge conditions are emerging within urban regions, due to economic re-structuring and retreat from areas at risk due to natural hazards associated with climate change. This paper reframes consideration of peri-urban landscape management to include intra-urban edge conditions, and examines the challenges and opportunities of urban edges as an emerging feature of 21st century urbanization. Drawing upon the case of Christchurch, New Zealand it argues for an approach that combines conventional spatial strategy with a values-based perspective. Adoption of a more explicit landscape based framework of peri-urban management will require a parallel commitment to the development of landscape scale partnerships that can provide long term continuity of vision and policy in urban edge situations.
Key words ...
Peri-urban Landscape Management; Intra-urban edges; Christchurch; Governance Framework
Comparing Ancient Water Infrastructure for New Cities
作者：小詹姆士•L•威斯科特 Author: James L. WESCOAT, Jr.
When developing water infrastructure for new cities, it is useful to compare the water patterns and performance of distant cities in earlier times. This paper takes its inspiration from research on ancient urban water systems in China which it compares with ancient water infrastructure in South Asia and North America. In each case, there is a wealth of archaeological, historical, and geographical evidence, which is only occasionally drawn upon to inform new urbanization in the 21st century. Positive examples include the enduring emphasis on urban siting, watershed protection, stream restoration, floodplain management, and post-disaster reconstruction. Infrastructure failures include water depletion, degradation, disasters, and destructive conflict that have in some cases contributed to the abandonment of cities. The paper offers six principles by which comparative study of ancient water urbanism can have relevance for contemporary urban landscape design challenges.
Key words ...
Ancient Water Infrastructure; China; South Asia; North America
Strategies Responding to the Urban Construction in China’s Economic Transformations
作者：冯科 Author: Ke FENG
Whether it is determined by land prices or from the perspective of urban construction, future urbanization will experience a number of changes. Planners and designers should have a greater dialogue with history, and have a greater understanding of what should go and what should stay, rather than only meeting current and immediate design needs. We need to leave something to be developed in future!
Key words ...
Economic Development; Urbanization; Land Price; Planning Mechanisms
Interpretation of the Urban Chaos in China
作者：蒋涤非 Author: Difei JIANG
With a population of 1.3 billion, it has not been easy to achieve the level of urbanization that China has today. However, Chinese cities are facing a severe problem — lack of diversity of cityscape. China’s cities are almost homogenous across the country. That is not saying they only have one appearance; instead, they have assorted mixes of aggregated chaos. Contemporary Chinese cities tend to mimic each other and look alike. Homogenization of cities has become a negative side effect of urbanization, and this is going to be the core issue to face in the future of the urban development in China.
Key words ...
Urbanization; Cityscape; Urban Chaos; Urban Characteristic
Isla Palenque Eco-tourism Master Plan, The Republic of Panama
作者：Design Workshop设计事务所 Author: Design Workshop, Inc.
Isla Palenque, in Panama serves as a model for geo-responsible design practices throughout Central America, drawing upon natural, human-made and cultural patterns. The project preserve 85 percent of the island for a nature sanctuary, examines bioclimatic strategies for site-planning decisions, explores methods of agro-tourism to decrease imports and develops water and energy management plans that reduce dependency on nonrenewable resources. The project challenges existing governmental regulations, redefining regional development and conservation standards.
Key words ...
Eco-tourism; Bioclimate Design Strategies; Resort; Panama; Agrotourism; Education
Inside-Outside: Master Plan for Raviradan in Vaasan, Finland
作者：Mandaworks建筑设计事务所、Hosper景观设计事务所瑞典办公室 Author: Mandaworks, Hosper Sweden
Our proposal looks to build from historical grid to create a contemporary framework that connects the site to its context, sponsors diversity within the block, and takes on the 21st century’s challenge for holistic sustainability.
Key words ...
Historical Grid; Sustainability; Connectivity; Hierarchy; Diagonal Connection; Diversity
The Trees — A New Mixed-use Urban District in Mumbai, India
作者：Sasaki设计事务所 Author: Sasaki Associates, Inc.
Sasaki’s master plan for The Trees transforms a decommissioned Godrej soap manufacturing complex into an urban district that captures the kinetic energy of the city. The project will pave the way for a mixed used, vibrant, and livable new district that proactively engages the city. The plan creates a robust framework that fosters social, cultural, economic, and environmental cohesion in a people-centric and community-oriented design.
Key words ...
The Trees; Brownfield Regeneration; Transformation of Urban Space; Complex; Mixed-use; Stereoscopic Garden
Zhangmiao Exercise Park, Shanghai
作者：上海创意国际建筑设计有限公司 Author: Archi-Union Architects
The design of Zhangmiao Exercise Park shows an attitude towards city regeneration: forming urban space from the citizens’ spontaneity. Through combining the existing functions of the site, and investigation and analyze of site space and citizens’ real needs, the design team provided an alternative plan for this urban greenspace transformation project, and a dynamic place for public activities.
Key words ...
Urban Green Corner; City Regeneration; Citizens’ Spontaneity; Scientific Popularization
The Lun Dao Garden at the International Horticultural Exposition 2014 Qingdao
作者：润衡集团 Author: Runheng Group
The Lun Dao Garden takes inspiration from the life and respect to nature, ecological protection, and human activity to create a space that supports a variety of functions. With the theme “High Chair", "Garden Table", and "Plant Show", the garden seeks to explore more design methods than seen in traditional landscape design. The Lun Dao Garden is an iconic event landscape design.
Key words ...
Idea Exchange; High Chair; Garden Table; Plant Show; Event Landscape
Landscape Design of Roof Garden at the Third Office Area of Fangshan District Government, Beijing
作者：中外园林建设有限公司 Author: Landscape Architecture Corporation of China
The design of the roof garden of the third office area of the Fangshan District government takes a minimalist approach. Based on the various functions of the space, four themed gardens were designed, namely “Xinyu Garden”, “Xuanju Garden”, “Lingting Garden”, and “Yousi Garden”. The project throws new light on ways to resolve common issues — such as loading, drainage, and water proofing — in the construction of roof gardens.
Key words ...
Roof Garden; Simple Design; Load; Drainage
Tagus Linear Park, Portugal
作者：Topiaris景观设计事务所 Author: Topiaris
The Tagus Linear Park was conquered by the surrounding communities of the industrial private sector. For the first time, people of adjacent urban communities are given recreation and leisure opportunity in direct contact with the riverside, which was until recently blocked by large industrial lots. The park safeguards the existing natural systems and promotes the ecological regeneration of damaged areas.
Key words ...
Transformation; Riverfront Space; Linear Park; Recreational Facility
作者：大卫•巴克利•伯顿 Author: David Buckley BORDEN
One of the biggest challenges to the eco-city is a lack of cultural cohesion among non-designers. In particular, without a shared awareness and heightened value of ecology, long-term design-driven sustainable practice remains out of reach. To support successful eco-centric design, landscape architects must not only educate the general public, but must also make ecological issues relevant and accessible to non-designers.
The cornerstone of my creative practice is communicating ecological issues with a imaginative combination of art and design in order to fill the gap left by traditional landscape visualization techniques. My “artistic” graphic communication approach is an adaptation of many conventional landscape communication tools such as the diagram, map, model and perspective rendering. The power of this creative approach is evident in my recent project “The Forman Watercolor Diagrams”, in which I re-present Richard T. T. Forman’s seminal landscape ecology diagrams. By employing an evocative combination of old and new media, the visualization of specialized landscape knowledge is not only accessible, but also inspirational.
Key words ...
Ecology; Graphic Communication; Visualization; Creative Process; Practice
Shekou: New Modes of Development
作者：左龙、亚历山卓•劳拉 Author: Long ZUO, Alejandro LARA
A striking aspect of China’s recent modernization and urbanization has been a high rate of obsolescence, and redevelopment and renewal have become an increasingly large part of China’s developmental agenda.
Aiming at the Shekou Industrial District in Shenzhen, one of the earliest excursions into modern industrial and urban development since 1978, the issue to be confronted in our studio is how should Skekou District comport itself and be reconfigured to best leverage the obsolescence rate of the plant sites and other facilities while undergoing new development.
The concept of our project is to position the Shekou Peninsula as the link between Qianhai and Shenzhen by gradually adapting and transforming the existing fabric. The design targets the obsolescence through a highly programmatically mixed urban fabric, an overlap of districts, various urban anchors, dynamic transitions and most importantly, the dethematazation of the current urban planning trends. The new Shekou Peninsula will serve not only as an amenity for Shenzhen and Qianhai but also a destination for Hong Kong and the new towns developing across Shenzhen Bay.
Key words ...
Obsolescence; Dethematazation; Organic Grids; Shekou; Phasing; Post Industrial Redevelopment