Dec 2021, Volume 9 Issue 6

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    Kongjian YU

    The international community has made great efforts over the past decades to cope with global climate change. The Paris Agreement highlighted the exigency of „holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.” At present, however, the world’s most effort is devoted to the means of carbon emission reduction, while neglecting adaptation, the other half that „cannot be neglected” in the climate equation. A series of studies have proven the huge potential of nature-based and nature-adapted approaches in building a climate-resilient living environment. In recent years, naturebased green infrastructures and climate-adaptive sponge cities are receiving unprecedented attention. This also poses great challenges and opportunities for landscape architects to develop resilient climateadaptive green infrastructures by leveraging the power of nature through collaborative design with experts from the fields of Geography, Agriculture, Hydraulic Engineering, and Civil Engineering.

    Li JIANG, Song LIU, Chao LIU

    Against the backdrop of global climate change and in regards of urban sustainable development, enhancing climate resilience has become a critical strategy in adapting climate change for urban areas, where blue-green infrastructure is considered an important means. Although existing studies mention that blue-green infrastructure (BGI) can promote urban resilience by increasing its own diversity, flexibility, redundancy, modularization, and decentralization, questions like where to promote, by what specific means to promote and to what extent it could promote to are still lack of scientific exploration, leading insufficient support for applying resilience theory into planning and design practice. This research recognizes the role of BGI in building climate resilience in the key fields of functioning–urban floods, sea level rise, and high temperature and heat waves–and summarizes that the common functioning mechanisms include the biophysical properties of BGI, forming modular units with other infrastructures of similar functions, and the reliance on networked structures to help the system restore its physical functions and social connections as quickly as possible after disturbances and attacks. This paper also analyzes possible obstacles that hinder the promotion of BGI solutions–the lack of data support to BGI functioning mechanism, the lack of comprehensive assessment on ecological-social-economic benefits, and the difficulty in gaining confidence from decision-makers and the public. Finally, this paper proposes countermeasures from aspects of theoretical development, planning practice, and implementation and management, in order to offer insights for building urban climate resilience.

    Yi WANG, Tianxia BIAN, Xianjin HUANG

    Carbon peaking and carbon neutrality have become key agendas for countries to participate in global climate change governance. Research on China’s carbon peaking has a guidance significance for the actions to achieve a nationwide carbon peaking by 2030. This paper builds a STIRPAT model which, in combination with a scenario -setting method, predicts the carbon peaking time of eight comprehensive economic zones in China, and analyzes the possible path of achieving carbon peaking at national level. The result shows a disparity in carbon peaking time among the zones–there are zones that can achieve carbon peaking under baseline scenario; zones that can achieve carbon peaking under conditional scenarios; and zones that cannot achieve carbon peaking under any scenario. In the first group, the zones can achieve carbon emission through both active path (southwest and eastern coastal comprehensive economic zones) and passive path (northeast comprehensive economic zones) according to characteristics of regional socio-economic development. The second group includes two economic anchors (northern coastal and southern coastal comprehensive economic zones) and an energy-exporting center (the middle reaches of Yellow River comprehensive economic zone). Zones in the third group generally witness a late development (the middle reaches of Yangtze River and northwest comprehensive zones). Based on characteristics of regional economy, population, industry, and energy of each zone, this paper proposes an initiative that the achievement of a nationwide carbon peaking should take regional development equity into consideration, and presumes that making each zone adopts differentiated peaking strategies may have a stronger effectiveness in controlling carbon emission growth than making all zones adopt strategies constraining on single factors on industry or energy.


    The Ayamama River in Istanbul has been substantially degraded due to urbanization of the river corridor since the 1950s. Development throughout the watershed and climate change contribute to increasing severity of flash flooding events that threaten life and property in the floodplain. As the intensity, duration or frequency of extreme rainfall events continue to increase with climate change, it is imperative to reduce the risk of urban flooding to vulnerable assets. However, as Istanbul is a city famous for its density and lack of open space, finding suitable relocation sites for at-risk structures, while maintaining access to recreational amenities for the surrounding neighborhoods is a daunting task. The decommissioned Ataturk Airport provides a unique opportunity to re-imagine the utility of urban voids in helping cities adapt to increasing flood impacts. While the current airport redevelopment proposal includes the construction of a massive park and new cultural amenities, such a park lacks sufficient connective infrastructure to its surrounding neighborhoods and does little to alleviate the significant environmental challenges of its neighbor, the Ayamama River. In this paper, we explore the use of the decommissioned Ataturk Airport site to relieve development pressure from the Ayamama River by implementing a novel swap strategy for urban voids. The proposed swap strategy design methodology relocates, regenerates, and reconnects decommissioned infrastructures and degraded floodplains simultaneously. As the impacts of climate change become more prominent, this novel urban concept seeks to initiate a conversation amongst planners and designers around the use of decommissioned infrastructure and large-scale urban voids to help relieve pressure from urban floodplains. Meanwhile, it can make room for river restoration projects without decreasing the quality of life of relocated residents or negatively impacting relocated economic activities by identifying redevelopment sites in close proximity.

    Xiaoqin QIAN, Zhe LIU, Tianyi ZHAO, Hualin BAI, Jiao SUN, Xiao FENG

    Driven by digital technologies, urban forest development is at its height in China. Guided by the theories of nature-approximating forestry, potential natural vegetation and new succession, and by the Miyawaki Method, this paper explores the digital design of nature-approximating urban forest by innovatively applying widely-accepted theories with digital technologies. The paper reviews the evolution of nature-approximating urban forest and discusses why it is essential to introduce digital technologies into this type of forest’s development. Based on the Miyawaki Method, this study proposes a three-step digital design approach to creating nature-approximating urban forest: cognition, simulation, and construction. Also, an empirical study on Xingtai Forest in a Hebei Green Expo Garden is conducted to analyze the digital design methods of nature-approximating urban forest. Steps include 1) cognition of plants to investigate characteristics of natural communities by collecting their key parameters; 2) construction of target communities by simulating natural communities, analyzing and classifying target habitats of designed communities by relevant software, and developing type and pattern designs of target communities; and 3) production of detailed construction schemes by utilizing Grasshopper and Python to generate digital generation clusters, after which planting design drawings and seedling information can be obtained by inputting values of key parameters. This method provides a new perspective on the digital design of nature-approximating urban forest, which helps facilitate urban forest development in an efficient way.

    Yu HAN, Xiao HUANG, Xinyue YE, Bahar DADASHOVA

    Climate change and natural hazards have created multiple impacts on human settlements. Urban planning and design are effective tools in dealing with climate adaptation and mitigation issues. However, climate risk and its impacts are multiscale and complex due to interdependence between urban infrastructure systems. Identifying adaptation strategies to cope with these impacts requires planners to understand potential interdependent and interrelated consequences of infrastructure failure under natural hazards, and evaluate cascading and cumulative effects of climate change. This article discussed opportunities and challenges to incorporate interdependent social and physical infrastructure systems in the adaptation planning and hazard mitigation process, including climate hazard assessment, adaptation goal identification, adaptation strategy development, and implementation. The availability of urban big data and high computational resources will enable urban planners and decision-makers to better deal with those complex impacts from climate change and natural hazards. Successful adaptation planning and hazard mitigation for interdependent infrastructure systems also needs to solve issues in uncertainties of climate projection, institutional barriers of adaptation, and challenges of urban big data. Potential solutions to these challenges would include cooperation among multi-disciplinary experts, coordination between different levels of governments, and developing the ethical framework for data protection and robust methodologies to detect and reduce data bias.

    Brett MILLIGAN, Luyu ZENG, Yiwei HUANG

    Brett Milligan stands out among all the scholars studying the future of the landscape profession in the context of climate change. He studied unique subjects, such as mud and river sediments. His projects often go beyond the usual landscape architecture majors, such as ecological restoration after dam removal and delta habitat creation; His attitude towards landscape is also very characteristic. For example, he treats landscape as a process, believes that people are very important beings in the process of landscape, and that the fluidity of landscape should not be underestimated. Through this article, Milligan points out the responsibility to acknowledge, embrace, and use landscape forces in project planning and design. It is also required to bring about more humility in terms of how we conceptualize the lifespan of a project to cope with climate change impacts. He encourages us to think beyond externalities–such as environment, people, communities, and sediment–as a practice of inclusion, diversity, and justice for humans and others. Relatedly, the public should be included as part of refined transdisciplinary and co-design methods. In the end, he shares his vision of design as a rigorous and unique form of knowledge making through a new Research by Design track.

    Shing Chun Paul CHU

    The historical agriculture intensification has left notable environmental issues pressing to be resolved these days. In this context, rewilding was introduced into science as an eco-centric approach to introduce pristine wilderness back into artificial environment and allow open-ended and continuous natural processes to regain dominance in landscape. This passive management approach flourishes as a result of marginal farmland abandonment across Europe, has meanwhile sparked debate with farmers who live off the land that historically embraces active management. Paddock Rewilding investigates a middle ground to mediate and create synergies in two conceptually polarized value systems of heritage landscape and rewilding to combat the loss of vegetative cover and soil fertility that has resulted from nearly a century of continual harvesting and livestock pasturing. Inspired by the indigenous pathway of „shifting cultivation,” a pilot community in Cambrian Mountains, Wales, UK–Pontarfynach has been selected to demonstrate the idea of Paddock Rewilding and corresponding landscape intervention. The intervention employs timescale, traditional movement of livestock, and the historical rights of the Common land to treat the landscape as a temporal gradient to unlatch the potential land rhythm, and explores how larger territories can be elaborated into a „permanently impermanent” rotational scenario between „Rewilding” and „Dewilding,” to offer a possible alternative to envision a balanced and sustainable land management paradigm.

    Xinyue GONG, Xuesong XI, Xingrun AN

    „School Cotton Field” is a participatory landscape design project jointly initiated by China Agricultural University, Primary School Division of Tsinghua University High School Yongfeng, Primary School Affiliated to China Agricultural University, and other schools. To meet the call for labor education in schools at all levels, as well as the national guidance on strengthening farming–reading education in agricultural colleges, this project proposes to plant cotton, rather than common landscape vegetation underutilized green spaces on campus to create a site for farming–reading education, involving teachers, students, and their parents. The School Cotton Field provides opportunities for activities such as farming and cotton artworks making, establishing an innovative model of farming–reading education based on the Chinese calendar. The project allows students to get inspired for innovation and exploration by farming, and to learn the deep connections between human and nature, as well as the value of living creatures on the land in daily life. It also takes full advantage of the campus landscape to enhance its role in providing labor education, thus to revive the traditional Chinese farming–reading culture on modern campus..