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Landscape Architecture Frontiers

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ISSN 2096-336X
CN 1105/TU
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, Volume 8 Issue 5

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EDITORIAL
ON THE “TRIO” OF BEAUTIFUL CITIES
Kongjian YU
Landsc. Archit. Front.. 2020, 8 (5): 4-11.  https://doi.org/10.15302/J-LAF-1-010010
Abstract   PDF (4520KB)

Urban quality improvement and the construction and management of high-quality beautiful cities have been considered a prioritized initiative across China. Beautiful cities are built on the harmony and symbiosis between human and the nature. This only route to sustainable development consists of three dimensions: 1) the deep structure of the beautiful city, i.e. a good site selection that realizes an interwoven pattern between urban matrix and natural ecological network, which could be reflected in spatial configurations of both “the city in nature” and “the nature in the city”; 2) the deep appearance and style of the beautiful city, deriving from the natural topography, process, and climatic conditions to guarantee the ecological adaptation to the nature; and 3) the green lifestyle of the beautiful city, which guides citizens to green living, green traveling, and green consumption so as to reserve sufficient development space for generations. This is the “trio” of beautiful cities. Drawing lessons from the conflicts with the nature in the past civilizations, the ecological civilization is the only way to achieve the human-nature harmony.

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THE LAND OF PEACH BLOSSOMS AND THE ART OF SURVIVAL: MY JOURNEY TO HEAL THE PLANET
Kongjian YU
Landsc. Archit. Front.. 2020, 8 (5): 12-31.  https://doi.org/10.15302/J-LAF-1-010011
Abstract   PDF (24617KB)

On October 8, the 2020 Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) was awarded to Yu Kongjian, professor of School of Architecture and Landscape of Peking University. This highest honor for landscape architects and scholars recognizes their outstanding lifelong achievements. This article is a record of his speech given in the award ceremony that summarized his academic and professional careers. Looking back, Yu held that his village landscape experiences, melded with modern concepts of landscape and urbanism, sustainability and aesthetics, enables him to deal with the common challenges faced by the landscape architecture industry today. At the moment, the global COVID-19 pandemic is a powerful reminder that this is an incredibly sobering time to contemplate the relationship between humans and the nature. He also believed that the pandemic—together with other crises such as climate change—is highlighting the importance of landscape architecture that can not only heal bodies and minds, but also the planet itself.

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PAPERS
GLOCALIZATION-BASED ANALYSIS OF JAPANESE COMMUNITY BUILDING MOVEMENT FROM A MICRO-CONTEXT PERSPECTIVE
Xiang ZHOU, Yuning CHENG, Aya KUBOTA
Landsc. Archit. Front.. 2020, 8 (5): 32-45.  https://doi.org/10.15302/J-LAF-0-020004
Abstract   PDF (5610KB)

This paper first explains the etymological connotation of Glocalization and interprets its authenticity and contemporary significance for studying community building. It argues that understanding Glocalization in specific contexts offers an ideal analysis framework to comprehend the globalization processes of local societies. This paper, by adopting a perspective of micro-globalization, studies the community building in Japan to manifest the influence of the process of Glocalization on Japanese societies. In addition to the political and sociological factors prevalent in the public engagement of community building advocated by western countries, Japanese practice is characterized for emphasizing the cultural significance of the traditional Japanese spatial image. Taking the community building case in Kagurazaka of Tokyo, it illustrates the creative discourse practice in the local community building to probe into the complexity and driving forces in Japan’s Glocalization. In addition, this paper focuses on the role of the localized community in shaping the social relations in Kagurazaka under globalization. By analyzing the contradictions and associations between the bottom-up building and the top-down planning, it discusses the opportunities and challenges faced by the community building in Japan and hopes to offer inspirations for the current community-building movement in China.

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RESEARCH ON THE COMMUNITY CO-PRODUCTION PRACTICES: A CASE STUDY OF LONDON AND CHANGSHA
Qunhui ZHAO, Kai ZHOU
Landsc. Archit. Front.. 2020, 8 (5): 46-59.  https://doi.org/10.15302/J-LAF-1-020037
Abstract   PDF (3770KB)

Co-production, the process where the citizens and the government co-produce the public services, is an essential innovative model on national-social resources integration in the field of Public Administration, responding to the global fiscal austerity. Since the beginning of the 21st century, co-production has become the research hotspot abroad in such fields as urban governance, community governance, and urban planning. There is an absence of studies on the application of co-production in the community planning practices in China. Thus, in-depth exploration on the co-production valuing the whole-process participation is expected. After reviewing the domestic and foreign literature, the author first introduces the connotation of co-production, reviews its key theory implications, and then discusses the roles and forms of co-production in the community planning and community governance practices based on the case study of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and the Fengquan Gujing Community in Changsha City. The research comes up with three suggestions to the current problems in China’s community planning practices: 1) fostering the self-organizations by viewing “the producers as consumers”; 2) empowering communities with “content innovations”; and 3) encouraging value integration with inclusiveness of public values and private values.

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STRATEGIC ANALYSIS OF URBAN INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPE REGENERATION UNDER POST-INDUSTRIALIZATION: A SURVEY AND COMPARISON STUDY OF SAMPLES IN SHANGHAI
Tianqing LUO, Xiuqi GONG
Landsc. Archit. Front.. 2020, 8 (5): 60-75.  https://doi.org/10.15302/J-LAF-0-020003
Abstract   PDF (5355KB)

With the nationwide trend of shifting from industrialization to post-industrialization, Shanghai is one of the first cities stepping into the post-industrialization stage. The large amount of industrial landscapes left over from this transition requires heritage preservation, industrial transformation, and environmental conservation. This paper reviewed the long-term modern industry development of Shanghai and divided its various industrial landscapes into three categories of regeneration: heritage revitalization, site transformation, and environmental optimization. After summarizing the existing constructive guidelines and standards, five sample areas of typical industrial landscapes in Shanghai were surveyed in terms of construction control, supporting service improvement, and industrial structure upgrading, with regeneration strategies suggested for each of them. The results show that the sample area for heritage revitalization needs to prioritize heritage reuse and ecological restoration; sample areas for site transformation should reinforce the improvement of service facilities and public spaces together with establishing the recycling industry chain; and sample areas for environmental optimization have to enhance the ecological performance of green spaces by introducing vertical greening along with energy saving and emission reduction for an environmental quality improvement. In conclusion, strategies for each type of regeneration should vary on a case-by-case basis so as to improve its environment and achieve sustainable development with a synergy in environment, society, and economy.

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ANALYSES OF THE IMPACT OF BUILT ENVIRONMENT FACTORS OF SMALL PUBLIC GREEN SPACES ON PUBLIC HEALTH —A CASE STUDY ON THE OLD CITY CENTER OF NANJING, JIANGSU PROVINCE
Peng GUAN, Xiaodong XU, Ning XU, Wei WANG
Landsc. Archit. Front.. 2020, 8 (5): 76-92.  https://doi.org/10.15302/J-LAF-1-020036
Abstract   PDF (5563KB)

Urban public green spaces significantly impact public health level, where physical, social, and recreational outdoor activities play an important role in improving people’s physical and mental health. In this paper, a total of 35 samples of small public green spaces were selected, and the data of built environment factors and healthy activities of each sample were collocted through ArcGIS analysis, field survey, and mapping. This paper then analyzes the impact of built environment factors on public healthy activities from a planning and design perspective by establishing a ridge regression model, which adopts location factors and functional / spatial factors in small public green spaces as independent variables, and the frequency density of healthy activities as dependent variables. The research reveals that: To location factors, the small public green spaces located near dense residential areas have a much greater impact on promoting public health activities than the ones sitting in dense mixed land use areas; To functional / spatial factors, facilities are the dominant factor that positively impacts users’ healthy activities, particularly the seating density; Reasonably designed small public green spaces or the ones with more open interfaces can effectively encourage people’s healthy activities, while which would be significantly decreased when the green space rate or the path density is excessively high. Finally, the paper proposes suggestions on the planning and design of small public green spaces.

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ANALYSES OF ELDERLY VISITORS’ BEHAVIORS TO COMMUNITY PARKS IN SHANGHAI AND THE IMPACT FACTORS
Jiayi JIANG, Ming CHEN, Junhua ZHANG
Landsc. Archit. Front.. 2020, 8 (5): 94-109.  https://doi.org/10.15302/J-LAF-1-020038
Abstract   PDF (13090KB)

As more and more regions step into the aging society all over the world, research on the relationship between population aging and urban development becomes more extensive. Shanghai, one of the densely-populated cities, is faced with severe population aging problems. Focusing on the disparities between the city’s central and outer districts, this study evaluates elderly visitors’ behaviors to community parks in Shanghai and related impact factors via mobile phone signaling data (conveying the spatiotemporal behavioral patterns of the elderly) and a multiple linear regression equation. The researched factors included popularity density, the traveling distance from the elderly’s living places to community parks, urban facility density, etc. The results suggested that both the total and elder population density, and the traveling distance had significant impacts on the elderly’s visiting behaviors. Moreover, the impact mechanism differ between the central and outer districts. Therefore, specific planning and design guidance for different districts should be proposed to optimize the community park layout so as to promote community support for the elderly care and health justice.

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VIEWS & CRITICISMS
QUALITY, CHARACTERISTICS, AND IDENTITY PROTECTION OF URBAN SPACE IN THE INTERNET ERA
Hao LI, Guo CUI, Xiang ZHOU
Landsc. Archit. Front.. 2020, 8 (5): 110-119.  https://doi.org/10.15302/J-LAF-1-030021
Abstract   PDF (4293KB)

In this interview, three scholars discussed the problems in China’s urban renewal practice in the Internet Era and the context of inventory development. They first reviewed the factors that impact the characteristics and identity of urban space, and pointed out that urban renewals should not neglect the social, cultural, artistic, historical, and ecological qualities of space. They then underscored the aesthetic education will be future research and practice interest in the field of urban renewal. They noted that, under the impact of “attention economy” and ”online influence,” urban spatial construction across Chinese cities would be homogenized, compromising the diversity of spatial characteristics. Nonetheless, urban planners and designers can leverage the online platforms as communication channels and resources for the protection of spatial characteristics and identities, and to foster new urban development paradigms. In addition, the scholars believed that the public should have a greater discourse power in urban renewals, which requires the the promotion of Community Co-building Initiative, and designers’ efforts in promoting related research and education programs. In the end, they discussed the challenges faced by the protection of historical sites, including the outdated urban governance methods, flawed urban development institution, and the lack of funds due to the slowdown of economic growth. They also encouraged designers to respond to these challenges with long-term, proactive, and innovative perspectives, truly meeting citizens’ daily needs, improving urban governance methods, optimizing urban renewal mechanisms, and impelling the growth of local economy.

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THE LIMIT TOWARD EMPTINESS: URBAN VOIDS AS PUBLIC SPACE
Sergio LOPEZ-PINEIRO
Landsc. Archit. Front.. 2020, 8 (5): 120-129.  https://doi.org/10.15302/J-LAF-1-030020
Abstract   PDF (6714KB)

Cities are spatial aggregations of capital and culture that host and serve a vast array of different and often contradictory publics. For this reason, cities need spaces that accept and encourage multiple types of representations and forms of expression: planned and spontaneous, regulated and unregulated, permanent and temporary. This essay argues that emptiness is a spatial quality that can satisfy these needs and that urban voids are a paradigmatic example of empty spaces. The term “void” implies that these spaces are emptied of the value typically associated with cities as places of capital accumulation. But this emptiness (of capital, real estate value, efficacy, or production) is what enables other sensibilities and opportunities to emerge. In other words, a lack of value is what makes these vacant spaces appear as marginal, and this marginality is precisely what gives the urban voids the possibilities for publicness that other urban spaces do not have. Despite the social opportunities offered by urban voids, the evanescence of emptiness ultimately exposes the limits of urban voids.

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THEMATIC PRACTICES
THE OVERALL IMPROVEMENT OF URBAN GOVERNANCE IN PUBLIC REALM DRIVEN BY MICRO REGENERATION ACTIONS: MASTER PLANNING OF THE OVERALL IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVE FOR TIANHE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT, GUANGZHOU
Huaichun XU, Junyi LIN, Jun ZHU, Anzhuo CHEN
Landsc. Archit. Front.. 2020, 8 (5): 130-147.  https://doi.org/10.15302/J-LAF-1-040020
Abstract   PDF (35084KB)

By analyzing master planning of the Overall Improvement Initiative for Tianhe Central Business District, Guangzhou, this paper focused on the overall improvement initiative driven by micro regeneration in the urban public realm. To deal with challenges such as a variety of issues, multiple stakeholders, and long time span in this initiative, the planning team came up with a systematic roadmap including three stages, i.e. fundamental principals, design strategies, and implementation measures. In response, they built a goal-oriented Holistic Quintuple-Value System, drew Three Urban Public Realm Maps on urban governance, and launched the pilot action projects based on the “Influence-Complexity Matrix”. Additionally, the team valued public participation and feedback, and played diverse roles, e.g., consultant and organizer for public participation events, promoter for communication of communities, and propellant for project implementation. The Initiative has been reviewed and legalized in 2019, wherein, the implemented ones by stage since 2020, not only enhance the regional governance in Guangzhou, but offer references to urban governance and space quality improvement of the built areas in downtown metropolis of the same kind.

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GOVERNANCE AND REBIRTH OF URBAN INDUSTRIAL WATERFRONT: LANDSCAPE PLANNING AND DESIGN FOR THE PORT OF HOUSTON, USA
WANG Na
Landsc. Archit. Front.. 2020, 8 (5): 148-163.  https://doi.org/10.15302/J-LAF-1-040021
Abstract   PDF (27447KB)

With the increase of population in big cities, urban industrial districts are constantly seeking new development to realize the conversion from single-functional to multifunctional systems, to equip the city with diverse public spaces. The Port of Houston operates at the dynamic confluence of industry, transportation, and ecological systems, and has been a major driver of Houston’s economic growth over the last century. However, behind the prosperous economic growth, the port suffers from the isolation with the surrounding communities. Based on the “2045 Port Houston Master Plan,” the Landscape Planning and Design for the Port of Houston project focuses on urban space activation and ecological environment restoration through landscape planning and design methods, while facing the challenges of ecological environment, urban spatial pattern repositioning, and other urban issues. The project is expected to build an economically, socially, and ecologically healthy industrial waterfront zone. Port Houston, beyond its primary function as an economic driver, becomes a more visible and substantial force in urban governance of advancing the region’s activation and resilience.

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EXPERIMENTS & PROCESSES
EXPERIMENTS & PROCESSES THE ERA OF MASS-AUTHORSHIP
LU Xiaoxuan
Landsc. Archit. Front.. 2020, 8 (5): 164-165.  https://doi.org/10.15302/J-LAF-1-050027
Abstract   PDF (899KB)
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URBAN REGENERATION WITH COMMUNITY BUILDING: DASHILANR MICROREGENERATION HANDBOOK
LYU Wanyue, GUO Wei, FANG Binxi, ZHANG Yijia
Landsc. Archit. Front.. 2020, 8 (5): 166-179.  https://doi.org/10.15302/J-LAF-1-050025
Abstract   PDF (25845KB)

In recent years, in the context of the transition from urban construction to inventory development, landscape architects have begun to explore an urban micro-regeneration mode with gradual, small-scale interventions based on community building. Through the lens of Landscape Architecture, the project elaborated in this article focuses on everyday landscape, explores strategies for improving urban spatial quality in public space, and discusses the ways that landscape architects engage in public participation and community building. Taking Dashilanr neighborhood as the testing ground, this project experimented on a public space microregeneration framework and an innovative public participation mode based on pop-up practices. In response to current spatial problems in Dashilanr neighborhood, the project team proposed a regeneration framework of 5 strategies for public space: activity implantation, traffic improvement, greening promotion, rainwater management, and event and industry planning. As a test to the framework, project presentation and feedback, interactive experience, community building, and other functions were integrated into temporary urban space installations in the pop-up spaces. Combined theoretical framework with practical experiences, this project paid attention to the discussion of propagation effects and discipline boundaries, so as to compile the Dashilanr Micro-Regeneration Handbook, which provides an experimental sample for the inventory planning of Beijing’s old city.

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THE ACCELERATED SMART(-IFICATION) OF CITIES POST-COVID-19
Christopher KELLY, Liam MOURITZ
Landsc. Archit. Front.. 2020, 8 (5): 180-187.  https://doi.org/10.15302/J-LAF-1-050026
Abstract   PDF (10477KB)

Governments, developers and big-tech companies have become enamoured with the possibility of the smart city: an efficient, convenient (and profitable) “smart” metropolis to help accommodate and optimize rapid urban growth. While it is tempting to wash renders of future cities with the typical smart city visions of drones, segways, and shiny reflective glass towers—the reality is that good (smart) cities incorporate a bottom-up messiness and urban vitality which is fundamental to the overall thriving of the city.

In Hassell’s competition winning scheme for the Xinqiao District in Shenzhen—the design team explored the ideas that a smart and innovative city that first and foremost uphold—a place which fosters inclusivity, diversity, collaboration, and resilience. Now through times of ongoing uncertainty in the COVID-19 era, Hassell’s design team expects an even greater adoption of smart cities rhetoric as a form of necessary urban surveillance and to manage and support communities and the containment of the COVID-19—building urban resilience against big disaster events, enabling adaptive environments that can re-calibrate, reorganize, and evolve in real-time as needed. Can urban designers go beyond resilience to imagine cities which thrive and grow out of disaster events?

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