Landscape Architecture Frontiers

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Sponge City and LID Technology — Vision and Tradition
Wolfgang F. GEIGER
Landsc. Archit. Front..  2015, 3 (2): 10-20.  
Abstract   PDF (14986KB)

The meanings of Sponge City and LID Technology are explained followed by an analysis of the Sponge City and LID ideas in Chinese and world history. Recent developments of planning and design techniques for LID are summarized. Effects and limits of Sponge City and LID are explained on behalf of Chinese and international examples. Further some advice for best planning and design strategies including principles for merging technical and landscape / urban planning issues are given. Finally, experiences with practical designs and different projects are reviewed, highlighting what is needed to improve practice of Sponge City and LID theories.

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The Role of Biophilic Design in Landscape Architecture for Health and Well-being
Landsc. Archit. Front..  2015, 3 (1): 54-61.  
Abstract   PDF (10321KB)

As of 2007, over 50% of the global population is now urban. With more global urbanites, has come increased urbanisation and displacement of green space and natural environments from our urban centres. Biophilic design aims to restore natural stimuli in our built and designed environments to protect, maintain, restore and enhance our physiological, cognitive and psychological connections with the natural world. As part of a wider salutogenic approach to health, biophilic design has the potential to catalyze landscape architecture into playing a central role in public health of urban environments.

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Bombs, Wood and Gold: Synchronizing the Processes of Mining and Demining in the Post-war Landscape of Laos
Xiaoxuan LU
Landsc Archit Front.  2013, 1 (2): 140-149.  
Abstract   HTML   PDF (2043KB)

The project poses a new linkage between resource extraction and post-war metal cycling economies, strengthening a livelihood that heals a war-scarred landscape. It proposes a strategy of "demining bombs by mining gold". The bomb-soaked landscape of Laos, which has 80 million unexploded bombs left over from the Vietnam War, provides an opportunity to rethink the processes of mining. Simultaneously, mineral exploration and excavation processes become mechanisms of rehabilitating and reconstructing the hazardous ground.

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The Effect of Landscape Patterns on Avian Communities during Summer Months in Beijing’s Urban Parks
Shilin XIE,Fei LU,Lei CAO,Weiqi ZHOU,Zhiyun OUYANG
Landsc. Archit. Front..  2016, 4 (3): 10-21.  
Abstract   PDF (2369KB)

Parks are among the most important green spaces in urban landscapes, making them hotspots for urban biodiversity research. The scale and spatial patterns of these urban landscapes suggest best practices for avian communities. This study considers the landscape patterns of Beijing’s urban parks and their relationship to avian species abundance and density. The study analyzed high-resolution satellite images, with an accuracy of one meter, from 29 urban parks during the summer months. The research showed the average size of Beijing’s urban parks to be small (with an average size of 13.9 hm2), with woodland landscapes as the most common landscape typology (with an average of 74.7%). In the analyzed parks, the patch density was high, with an average density of 8.63 per hectare, while the contagion index was low, with a 63 on average. Additionally, the number of avian species found in each sample park was low, with only 13.2 recorded on average. Spearman correlation analysis showed that avian species abundance were positively correlated with park areas, along with the landscape contagion and the proportion of woodland landscape, and negatively correlated with patch density, SHDI, and SHEI. Finally, the analysis showed a correlation between small patch size and low species diversity. The conclusions drawn can help provide guidance and reference for avian urban park planning and design.

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Water Square Benthemplein in Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Landsc Archit Front.  2013, 1 (4): 136-143.  
Abstract   HTML   PDF (2233KB)

The design of Water Square Benthemplein is an innovative twofold strategy that combines water storage and improves the quality of urban public space. Most of the time the square is dry and used as a recreational space for youth sports and play. When confronted with heavy rainfall, the square changes from its usual appearance and function, becoming a temporary rainwater storage facility. Three basins were designed to collect rainwater: two undeep basins will receive water for the immediate surroundings and one deeper basin will only receive water when it is consistently raining.

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Jinkui LI,Dihua LI
Landsc. Archit. Front..  2015, 3 (5): 26-31.  
Abstract   PDF (906KB)

This dialogue took place under the background of the ”new urbanization” referred by 18th CCP Report. Jinkui Li and Dihua Li first looked back the history of China’s urbanization, then discussed the typical urban morphologies and related contributing reasons, the different urbanization stages, the difference and shift between the western and eastern China, and finally, predicted and explored the issues and opportunities that would be brought by the “new urbanization” in China.

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Kongjian YU
Landsc. Archit. Front..  2019, 7 (6): 1-6.
Abstract   PDF (6043KB)

The author first examines the origin and development of the international Citta Slow movement, and points out that the growing Citta Slow movement in China can be understood as a New Ruralism Movement for urban residents and the vision of Citta Slow in China is a romantic ideal of the Beautiful Countryside. The article then argues that slowing cities which operate at a moderate speed can create more pleasant and livable environments through the smart use of space, an energy-saving development, and harmony between man and nature. Finally, in the critical period of Beautiful China Construction and the new stage of China’s urbanization, five principles are proposed for designers and developers to apply into planning and design of slowing cities.

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Examining the Relationship between Landscape Architecture as well as Urban Design and Architecture
Delin LAI
Landsc Archit Front.  2013, 1 (1): 78-82.  
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1776KB)

An overview of the development of picturesque aesthetics in the late 1800s, particularly its influence upon urban planning and architectural design in the 20th century, will shed light on our understanding of the interaction and connection of landscape architecture, architecture and urban design disciplines in the development of modern architecture; further, it will drive us to rethink the significance of landscape architecture in the contemporary study and construction of built environment. The developing history of picturesque aesthetics in the 20th century has witnessed the interaction among the disciplines of urban design, architecture and landscape architecture. It will further inspire us to think “crossing boundaries” between different disciplines on the variety of new issues associated with the living environment of human beings.

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Comparing Ancient Water Infrastructure for New Cities
James L. WESCOAT, Jr
Landsc. Archit. Front..  2014, 2 (5): 56-68.  
Abstract   PDF (6630KB)

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.

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Landsc. Archit. Front..  2019, 7 (3): 12-31.
Abstract   PDF (3476KB)

The both polycentric governance and Living Labs concepts are based on decentralized participatory planning, co-design, and decisionmaking. While the concept of Living Lab is still emerging, the Isar-Plan (2000 ~ 2011) pioneered the approach for selecting, co-designing, and implementing nature-based solutions along the Isar River in Munich, Germany. Despite multiple governing authorities involved in the decisionmaking process of the Isar-Plan, the polycentric governance that led to the success of the project has to date not been analyzed. This paper presents the results of an ex-post-analysis of the Isar-Plan restoration planning process based on stakeholder interviews and a literature review. The contribution describes the evolution of Isar-Plan governance arrangements and discusses the Living Lab approaches to cooperative governance. The analysis demonstrates how polycentricity facilitated trust, learning, and the co-design of a resilient waterscape. The paper concludes that Living Labs can be a way of applying polycentric governance when autonomous and multi-scale decision-makers are collaboratively involved in the design of policy solutions, and vice-versa.

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Cited: Crossref(3)
The Instrumentality of Data Used for Design: Exploring the Sustainable Meanings of Urban Orders in the New Data ENVIRONMENT
Landsc. Archit. Front..  2015, 3 (3): 10-19.
Abstract   PDF (1427KB)

City is a complex, self-organized system, in which various sub-systems interact with each other whereby urban orders emerge dynamically. Due to lacking of sufficient knowledge about the urban system, urban planners and designers had to work within a simplified concept framework. This oversimplified methodology has been influencing the debate about the urban sustainability. Although the so-called new data environment now provides possibility to acknowledge this kind of complex interrelationship, future-proofed theories and methodologies of urban planning and design are still deficient in related practices. Base on the quantitative understanding of urban orders, this paper aims to explore the issues on understanding the relationship between the urban orders and the meaning of sustainability in the new data environment, to establish a methodological framework of data augmented sustainable planning, and to reassert how to achieve the value rationality in urban planning and design through the exploration on instrumental rationality.

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Birmingham Railroad Park, USA
Tom Leader Studio
Landsc Archit Front.  2013, 1 (1): 91-101.  
Abstract   HTML   PDF (6325KB)

Through a cohesive team of consultants and an extensive public/private partnership, this project reused the materials recovered from the warehouse and brick-making site, created knolls and views taking advantage of the topography, and built sustainable features and multiple design scales of program usage for visitors.

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Borders as Urbanism: Redrawing the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Republic of Korea
Dongsei KIM
Landsc Archit Front.  2013, 1 (2): 150-157.  
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1925KB)

Despite the increasing number of borders and tensions in the rapidly globalizing world, designers’ understanding of the agency within the borders’ “construction-operation-deconstruction” process has been limited. Within this context, a brief reflection of how the new conceptual framework of “Border as Urbanism,” one which understands a border as a complex spatial condition that emerge from a series of continuous spatial negotiations is outlined. The origin, intention, and the larger background of the research are described. The evolving representations of borders in urbanism from an “object” to a “process” and current trends and conditions of borders within geopolitics are additionally unfolded. This then leads to how the “four lenses” of “History-Barrier- Flows-Global” are formulated as a result of this interdisciplinary synthesis, and this is applied to one of the most militarized, effective, closed border in the world, the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

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Representing Complexity
Frederick STEINER
Landsc Archit Front.  2013, 1 (6): 44-63.  
Abstract   HTML   PDF (2767KB)

Ian McHarg helped build the foundation for geographical information systems (GIS) through his refinement of map overlay methods. McHarg’s use of map overlays in revealing ecological relationships and landscape patterns is arguably the most important representational tool and strategy for design since Filippo Brunelleschi’s refinement of perspective around 1413. In addition to overlays, McHarg employed other representational tools to analyze landscape complexity and to present how planning and design interventions interacted with biophysical processes and geological features. Spatial analytic strategies and representational techniques that focus on landscape complexity can expand the applicability and saliency of geodesign. This expansion could be similar to the influence of overlays to the creation of GIS. The other representational techniques employed by McHarg and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania and Wallace, McHarg, Roberts and Todd (now Wallace Roberts & Todd, WRT) include: maps, transects, diagrams, bird’s eye perspectives, block diagrams, drawings, and photography. Each of these techniques will be introduced as they were used by McHarg then discussed for potential geodesign applications. A more comprehensive exploration will help expand the potential of geodesign and also acknowledge McHarg’s broader contributions beyond map overlays.

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Towards a Visual Voice for Smells
Landsc. Archit. Front..  2016, 4 (4): 131-141.  
Abstract   PDF (1059KB)

Smells are whimsical creatures. As errant hitchhikers of rides on air currents, they appear to defy being tied to a location, yet our nuanced perception of olfactory knowledge is often linked with place.

My work considers smells as entities and speculates on their patterns of movement and their interactions. Smell is under-represented in the Western world. In order to raise awareness about the value of understanding “smell,” my research seeks strategies by which we can share and explore the everyday odours within both local and exotic urban smellscapes.

This article traces the exploration of global cities through the noses of local inhabitants, and uses map-making as a means of communication; whilst also exploring my personal motivation for undertaking this research.

As a graphic designer, I utilise the design process as a methodology; each new piece of work is an iteration on a previous piece.

Smellscape maps use “ex-formation” as a communication design method to render the seemingly “known” as “unknown” so as to encourage discussion and dispute over the possibility of mapping smells and to encourage experiential learning in situ through personal experience. To sniff is to know.

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The University of Technology Sydney’s Alumni Green, Australia
McGregor Coxall
Landsc Archit Front.  2013, 1 (3): 124-130.  
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1269KB)

Traditionally, the world’s leading universities have included a spacious quadrangle at their hearts, often forming the epicenter of campus life. UTS is on a fast track program to modernize its dislocated urban campus and the Alumni Green project will be a key symbol for this expansion being accessible 24/7 to both students and the city at large.The design proposal explores an innovative interpretation of this historical landscape element through a new quad which is created through two simple moves: the Treillage — a functional lung — and the Grillage — s permeable living skin.

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Jia YUAN, Lian CHEN, Jiaqi LUO, Guanxiong ZHANG, Fengyi YOU
Landsc. Archit. Front..  2020, 8 (3): 44-57.
Abstract   PDF (24712KB)

Plant communities in mountainous cities play significant roles in revetment protection, sediment interception, water purification, ecological buffer, biodiversity conservation, and landscape quality improvement. Meanwhile, the local complex hydrologic conditions may pose adversity stress to the structure, function, and ecological process of these plant communities. This paper introduces the restoration practices of river revetments in the Jiulong Waitan section of Chongqing employing ecological planting strategies. First, a technical framework was proposed for the re-establishment of riparian herbaceous communities as the multilayered semi-natural meadows that were planted by strips and zones upon hydrologic conditions. Second, principles and modes of these ecological planting practices were elaborated. Third, an evaluation on the communities’ performance indicated that they could adapt to the complex hydrological conditions in mountainous cities, including sharp rise and fall of river level during summer floods, high temperature, and storm runoff. This study may provide a scientific reference for riverfront landscape optimization of the main stream of the Yangtze River, and a paradigm for the ecological conservation and the establishment of ecological barrier for the upper reaches.

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Taro Zheming CAI
Landsc. Archit. Front..  2020, 8 (3): 102-113.
Abstract   PDF (23580KB)

Nature is a cultural construct, and a symbolic form to our cultural landscape. It plays a critical role in the profession of Landscape Architecture, shaping both the practice in the constructed environment as well as the conception of landscape in Pedagogy. This article evaluates contemporary landscape architecture practice in the U.S. through the lens of planting design and ecological design approaches. This retrospect situates selected individuals and their practices in the field of landscape architecture in the past two decades, in parallel with the evolving ecological understanding. These individuals and their works demonstrate the changes in planting design and ecological thinking in the professional practice, and most importantly how these changes contribute to current ecological design methodologies, landscape aesthetics, and public perception of landscape. In addition, the article aims to illustrate a shifting conception of Nature over time and in different cultural context, in which different conceptions of Nature facilitate various approaches to addressing environmental issues. By situating in such context, the article hopes to provide a critical view of contemporary American landscape architecture practice and the current ecological agenda, in order to enable discussions regarding the professional practice in the future.

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Six Questions towards a Sponge City — Report on Power of Public POLICY: Sponge City and the Trend of Landscape Architecture
Xianming TU,Tina TIAN
Landsc. Archit. Front..  2015, 3 (2): 22-31.  
Abstract   PDF (8978KB)

In December 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke at the Central Working Conference of Urbanization where he highlighted the significance of "building Sponge Cities where stormwater can be naturally conserved, infiltrated, and purified". Since this announcement, Sponge City construction has increased throughout the country. In October 2014, following publication of "Sponge City Construction Technology Guidelines", the Ministries of Finance, Housing and Urban-rural Development, and Water Resources collectively initiated a Sponge City pilot program. In conjunction with future development of Sponge Cities, the policy will gradually and eventually become a local government decision-making from a central government decision-making. Most recently, scholars, planners, and designers from economics, planning, landscape, and water conservancy met to discuss public policy regarding Sponge City implementation, future problems, and potential solutions. Based on the discussions of the forum, six questions are summarized towards the related issues of Sponge City construction.

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The New Geographic Landscape
Landsc Archit Front.  2013, 1 (1): 42-54.  
Abstract   HTML   PDF (4011KB)

From the overexertion of technological engineering and the inertia of urban planning, the revival of geography and the recent emergence of ecology across the design disciplines are redrawing the contours of current practice, and opening new territories of research - from landscape architecture, to landscape urbanism, to landscape infrastructure. In response to the predominant challenges facing urban regions today, this new geographic optic opens the potential for the design of "infrastructural ecologies", involving dynamic configurations of live, biophysical processes in relation to the basic, technological management of waste, water, energy, food and mobility systems that underlie urban economies today. Operating as urban infrastructures, these new landscape geographies provide synthetic strategies that can shape, direct, influence and respond to the most pressing challenges of 21st century urban culture, ranging from changing climates, resource flows, and population migrations.

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Slow Down: Minghu Wetland Park in Liupanshui, Guizhou
Kongjian YU
Landsc. Archit. Front..  2014, 2 (2): 130-137.  
Abstract   PDF (1937KB)

Through a series of regenerative design techniques, particularly measures to slow down the flow of stormwater, a channelized concrete river and a deteriorated peri-urban site have been transformed into a nationally celebrated wetland park that functions as a major part of the city-wide ecological infrastructure planned to provide multiple ecosystem services, including stormwater management, water cleansing, and recovery of native habitats, as well as a creation of a cherished public space for gathering and aesthetic enjoyment.

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The Overlapped City: Redefining Energy Landscapes in the Post-fossil Era
Landsc. Archit. Front..  2014, 2 (3): 138-147.  
Abstract   PDF (1561KB)

Throughout the history of human civilization, changes in energy systems have always led to fundamental transformations in the landscapes of human occupation. In the new era, the logic of energy production and distribution will start having a significant impact on the spatial organization of the urban growth. Given the low power-density and flexible scales of renewables, cities that so far have been solely energy consumers face both the challenge and the opportunity of accommodating energy production within their boundaries. Energy is not only a spatial project but would increasingly become an ecological project, revolutionizing deeply how we should redefine the interaction between inhabitation and environment in the future. New models should go beyond purely technical advances to embrace broader political, social and cultural dimensions. “The Overlapped City” explores the morphology and synergetic spatial strategies of resilient post-fossil cities across three scales: redefining urban boundaries and urban clusters, energy infrastructure framework and a new set of urban codes (Fig. 1).

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Dialogue with the Local Government: Zhenjiang’s Sponge City
Jian HU,Dihua LI
Landsc. Archit. Front..  2015, 3 (2): 32-39.  
Abstract   PDF (7006KB)

Zhenjiang City is located at the confluence of the Yangtze River and the Grand Canal in Jiangsu Province. Faced with water logging and non-point pollution in the urban areas, Zhenjiang has begun to incorporate low-impact development (LID) strategies to address rainwater management issues in built areas. In this dialogue, Professor Dihua Li raises important points about urban policy, public participation, and financial support for Sponge City construction. Jian Hu, Director of Zhenjiang Drainage Management Division, responds from the governmental perspective, explaining local difficulties in Sponge City implementation and sharing Zhenjiang's experience and lessons in their practices.

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Contemporary Landscape Design in China
Xin WU
Landsc Archit Front.  2013, 1 (1): 68-72.  
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1385KB)

Being interdisciplinary is a way of thinking, and need to realize the specificity of the discipline and its limits; need to jump the fence in order to engage other disciplines. The central concern of design is not to match up the logic or expectation of a particular discipline, but to based on the issues and to search for possibilities. A good designer should have curiosity, openness and broadness as well as the capability of synthesizing his / her knowledge and experience into design.

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Landscape Performance: Quantified Benefits and Lessons Learned from a Treatment Wetland System and Naturalized Landscapes
Landsc Archit Front.  2013, 1 (4): 56-69.  
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1514KB)

Landscape performance, as defined by the Landscape Architecture Foundation, is “the measure of efficiency with which landscape solutions fulfill their intended purpose and contribute toward sustainability.” It is becoming a popular research focus in recent years; and its theoretical framework is built upon the sustainability triad: environment, economy and society. Through the quantification of environmental, economic and social benefits of a built landscape, its performance can be determined. This paper presents results from a landscape performance investigation and the lessons learned from a 3,200-acre master planned community that employs a treatment wetland system and naturalized landscapes. The research team identified environmental, economic and social metrics, and then collected data that reveals the performance results of the installed systems. Water quality, soil fertility, and herbaceous plant diversity were investigated. In addition, the research team quantified potential and actual benefits, including sequestration of carbon dioxide, and cost savings through the use of reduced mowing, fertilizer use, and reduction of irrigation with potable water. Environmental, economic and social benefit results are discussed. Lessons learned from management and maintenance issues during and post construction phases are summarized.

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Special Focus on 2013 Geodesign International Conference
Luqi WANG, Mengxi LI, Xiaojie HAN, Yao YAO, Xu ZHANG, Xianming TU, Tina TIAN, Xia LI
Landsc Archit Front.  2013, 1 (6): 76-101.  
Abstract   HTML   PDF (2552KB)

28th~29th October, 2013, the Geodesign International Conference was held in Peking University. The conference included keynote speeches, lighting talks and conference proceedings, discussing the geodesign's concept, framework, promise and practice around the theme “Geodesign: Maximinzing Beneficial Impacts”. This article collects the important speeches of this conference.

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Landsc. Archit. Front..  2019, 7 (2): 8-21.
Abstract   PDF (1613KB)

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is profoundly changing our cities with a series of disruptive technologies, characterized for the boom of Internet industries and the everyday application and wide integration of intelligent technologies. Individuals’ traditional mechanical thinking has changed into a mindset based on big data, whose cognition also relies more and more on a combination of both virtual and physical reality experience. At the same time, cities, where we live, are witnessing a significant revolution in resource utilization, societal conditions, and spatial use. Along with the surge of new technologies and new data represented by computer technologies and multi-source urban data, the (new) Urban Science, as a transdisciplinary combination of urban computing, Artificial Intelligence, augmented reality, and human-computer interaction, rises over the past decade. Research institutions and programs on the (new) Urban Science are flourishing globally, and increasing related degree programs and courses are offered by colleges and universities worldwide to respond to the needs of this new era.

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Novel Urban Ecosystems: Concepts, Definitions and a Strategy to Support Urban Sustainability and Resilience
Landsc. Archit. Front..  2016, 4 (1): 10-21.  
Abstract   PDF (1135KB)

The 21st century is already known for unprecedented and fundamental changes and new trajectories — think climate change, global economics, migration and population growth. The world is now predominantly urban and will become increasingly so until mid-century when global population is expected to stabilize at around 70% urban. The world has entered a new geological era, the Anthropocene, in which the impacts and artifacts of humans are recognized as a geologic force. In this “Century of the City,” for the world to be sustainable and resilient, cities must be an essential part of the solution — and novel urban ecosystems will play a fundamental role. A new conception, definition, and typology of 21st century “novel” urban nature is proposed here as the basis for a novel urban ecosystem strategy to provide essential ecosystem services to support urban sustainability and resilience. This proposed novel nature strategy is informed by landscape and urban ecology and collaborates systematically in “designed experiments” with urban landscape architecture practice. Designed experiments on novel urban ecosystem are necessary to: 1) monitor the performance of innovative designs to provide essential ecosystem services; 2) to mitigate the inescapable ecosystem disservices; and 3) to build public understanding and support for new types and new models of novel urban ecosystems.

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Defining Local Identity
Yuhan SHAO, Eckart LANGE, Kevin THWAITES, Binyi LIU
Landsc. Archit. Front..  2017, 5 (2): 24-41.
Abstract   PDF (1321KB)

This study aims at providing a formal definition on local identity to clarify the confusion in the field of landscape study. The study first introduces different levels of identities in landscape research. Then the second part reviews relevant definitions to identify their relations and common factors to clear confusions on local identity. The third extracts, formalizes and reorganizes the common factors into a new framework to represent elements that contribute to local identity and form a formal definition of local identity. The paper also concludes their important meanings to both landscape research and practice.

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Eco-low Carbon Urban Planning Methodology
Landsc. Archit. Front..  2014, 2 (3): 70-75.  
Abstract   PDF (1297KB)

There is an increasing realization that the new type of urbanization requires a new type of urban planning. The new type of urban planning puts eco-low carbon objectives front and center, with strong emphasis on integration (technical, process and conceptual), understanding local context, human scale development in harmony with nature, strong place making, and partnering to finance eco-low carbon development through green credit initiatives. In this context, the Eco-low Carbon Urban Planning Methodology is necessarily quite strategic and high-level. The core emphasis is on providing a clear framework and a practical, step by step approach.

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