Effective classification of landscape photographs is a vital step in data processing and environment analysis. With the popularity of crowdsourcing geo-information, an increasing number of studies have used geotagged photographs to visualize how people perceive and interact with destinations and explore the aesthetic, cultural, and recreational value of the areas. In recent years, machine-learning algorithms for image recognition have dramatically improved the efficiency of the assignment of keywords and provide possibilities for the automatic classification of numerous photographs. However, the applicability of such methods for the practical landscape classification is still not clear, especially for the photographs presenting a homogeneous landscape that has similar characteristics. This study developed a semi-automatic classifier for homogeneous landscape photographs by using Google Cloud Vision API and multi-level hierarchical clustering. The classifier was applied to the classification of urban riverscape photographs, which is a typical example of homogeneous landscapes in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, Japan. The riverscapes can be classified into 9 characteristic groups by the classifier and the visual impression of these groups matches well with our intuitive feeling. A confusion matrix showed that the overall accuracy was 82.61%, indicating a strong agreement between the classifier and manual classification. Therefore, the classifier is practical for classifying homogeneous riverscape photographs. Such methodology also provides the possibility of public participation in the assessing process, which, in turn, contributes to urban tourism management.
Placemaking of public open spaces, such as community parks and streetscapes that are foundational to residents’ daily social and recreational life, can significantly influence their site experience. Scholars have explored the influence of such kind of experience on users’ behavioral, physical, and mental conditions from multiple perspectives including attention restoration and stress reduction. However, the findings are seldom applied in practice to convey certain design concepts. This article introduces the landscape design project of Parkhill Commons in Shenzhen. The project team reviewed relevant research findings, and characterized the health-promoting restorative environment and social-capital-friendly communities. Accordingly, strategies for activity zones, planting design, service facilities, and slow-traffic neighborhoods were proposed to enhance site experience and serve nearby residents by creating vital and pleasant community-level public open spaces, and to maximize the social benefits and reinforce community cohesion. After completion, the project team has investigated the site usage and the public’s evaluation, in order to stimulate reflections on design strategies. Results from the questionnaire survey and field observation show the effect of placemaking strategies on users’ site experience. This article provides references for placemaking practice of community-level public open spaces and is expected to help bridge the gap between theoretical research and design practice.
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.
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.
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.
Ensuring human wellbeing and promoting ecological health are two central objectives in contemporary landscape architecture practice and adaption to climate change. Cognitive sciences recognize that affect and emotion play a critical role in human decision-making. This article describes how aesthetic experiences could affect decisions that support or undermine ecological health. While the wellbeing benefits of pleasant landscape experiences have been demonstrated empirically, aesthetic experiences may or may not promote ecological health. The question of how to better align the two remains under debate and investigation. Building on the concept of cultural sustainability, this article elucidates how aesthetic experiences can be used in design tactics to encourage societal acceptance for highly functioning ecosystems that otherwise may be destroyed or resisted for their unappealing or unfamiliar appearance. With examples from China and the United States, this article illuminates how fine-scale, immediately noticeable landscape characteristics, such as “cues to care,” can change perceptual and affective responses to promote ecological health. This article invites readers to reflect on what role aesthetic experiences may play in conserving, restoring, and creating ecologically sound landscapes as we face new challenges in the urban era of climate change, and how design can help construct aesthetic experiences with immediately noticeable landscape characteristics.
The lately published The City of Imagination by Valerio Morabito challenges the pictorial idea of landscape interpretation and explores the possibilities of storytelling to read and represent the landscape that focuses on the literary and communicative aptitudes of Landscape Architecture. The article reviews the book from the perspective of history, epistemology, method, and reception regarding its literary root, which is notably inspired by Italo Calvino. The review consists of four sections: First, word and image: the historical exemplars of landscape representation between pictorial and verbal tradition. Second, memory and foresight: the authenticity of travelogue and Morabito’s method of working with his travel memories. Third, truth and myth: how Morabito applies the cognitive imperfection in storytelling to his empirical approach that counterbalances the positivist reading of the landscape. And fourth, form and language: the tension between the formal autonomy and the bardic tradition in the visual language of Morabito. The article approaches and further opens the essential dialogues between the palpable existence and fictive landscape, the interpretation and consumption of the thick meanings in human inhabitation, and the cognitive antinomy and reconciliation of positivist and humanistic stances in the discipline.
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.
Residential green spaces are one of the most frequently used urban green space types. Aiming at filling a gap in the existing greening indicators with considerations on the spatial differences of residential green spaces, as well as to inform the improvement of urban green space service, three greening indicators, i.e. residential unit’s green coverage rate, green view index, and park ratio within a 500 m service radius, are proposed in this paper. This study selects 14,196 residential units in built area of Shenzhen City in 2017 to measure the greening rate and the geographic spatial factors of the units upon multi-sourced geographic databases such as land cover maps and street view images. The research reveals that: 1) the three indicators can all independently measure the greening rate within or around residential units; 2) the studied residential units are low in residential unit’s green coverage rate and park ratio within a 500 m service radius, but high in green view index; 3) there are significant disparities of the greening rate and the surrounding parks in 500 m service radius among the studied units, and among different housing property rights, showing a disequilibrium in green space service; and 4) the greening rate of residential units is mainly impacted by factors such as development intensity, types of housing property right, altitude, and location. In conclusion, it is suggested that urban green space layout should prioritize improving the spatial distribution and layout of residential green spaces, especially for the socially vulnerable population. Finally, the study points out that the park ratio within a 500 m service radius can be adopted as a supplement to existing greening indicators for residential areas.
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.
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.
Natural environments can provide individual cognitive benefits, and naturalness is often regarded as a valued property of environment. This research focuses on the visual perception of naturalness and investigates the impact of waterscapes of varied naturalness levels on people’s cognition, by proposing and verifying two hypotheses: 1) subjective restoration varies across waterscapes of varied naturalness levels; and 2) waterscapes of varied naturalness levels affect people’s working memory accordingly. Through a between-subjects experiment, participants in this research were randomized into three experiment groups (waterscapes of high, medium, and low naturalness level) and the control group, and the Perceived Restorative Scale and the Restoration Outcome Scale are introduced to measure the subjective restoration of the environment. The running memory accuracy, shifting cost, and Stroop task indicators are used to measure an individual’s working memory. According to the characteristics of waterscapes of varied naturalness levels summarized upon the research and the findings on the corresponding cognitive benefits, suggestions are concluded for optimizing resource allocation and investments in landscape design practice, as well as guiding visitors’ usage of waterscapes: 1) waterscapes are recommended in spatial creation for their productive cognitive benefits, if financial and ecological conditions permit; 2) in terms of cognitive benefits, waterscapes of high naturalness level are conducive to high subjective restoration and enhanced inhibition function of central executive system; 3) waterscapes of medium naturalness level can lead to a relatively high subjective restoration and improved updating function of central executive system; and 4) waterscapes of low naturalness level can bring about a better attention restoration and better performance on shifting function of central executive system.
The knowledge integration of Cognitive Sciences and other related fields supports the rethinking of environmental aesthetic experience. Compared with the explicit logical reasoning, aesthetic judgment is an implicit way for the brain to process information based on personal instincts or experiences. As a rapid information processing of the environment, the experiencing of beauty facilitates individuals’ cognition of environmental information and their prompt making of beneficial behaviors for survival. Compared with human’s instinctive love to the nature (or biophilia), our attitude and preference towards natural landscapes is more complicated. Seemingly complex environmental perceptions can be simplified and measured promoting corresponding research and designs. Meanwhile, the multidisciplinary integration provides insights for technologies including Artificial Intelligence and helps people obtain external information through different input channels. In this issue, LA Frontiers attempts to encourage researchers to explore a more profound understanding of environmental perception. The combination of scientific knowledge and technology can contribute to the creation of intelligent built environment that can actively respond to people’s needs.
„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..
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.
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.
Outdoor environments with quality landscapes can benefit people’s physical and mental health. Real-time assessment on individuals’ environmental affective experience can improve the scientism in measuring the quality of outdoor environments. Existing measurement methods are often insufficient for the cases of a larger site area or sample size. The machine visual cognition of Artificial Intelligence can realize the recognition of facial expressions and the changes in video images, which supports high-precision and long-cycle measurements on individuals’ affective experience in outdoor environments. Taking an urban community square as the study site, this research simultaneously collects participants’ facial data from video images and their electrodermal activity data, wherein Convolutional Neural Network algorithm model is trained with a deep learning algorithm, i.e. codec–SVM optimized model, whose reliability is tested through an additional experiment. The research reveals that: 1) The accuracy rate of the main and additional experiments in measuring individuals’ affective experience is 82.01% and 65.08%, respectively; 2) The additional experiment verifies the application potential of the codec–SVM optimized model; And 3) the model works more effective for outdoor scenarios with varying usage behaviors and open views. Therefore, machine visual cognition can be used for emotion measurement in a larger site area or sample size and contributes to the effectiveness of landscape optimization efforts, especially as an instrumental tool to study the affective experience of the ones who have communication or reading disability. The findings also demonstrate the model’s great potential in building Smart Cities with refined public services.
City governments are embracing digital technologies to improve hard and soft urban systems, so as to create and improve urban experiences, foster an entrepreneurial city, as well as devise novel services that can improve the livability of citizens and boost the local economy. Unlike traditional infrastructure and urban systems, which tend to be natural monopolies, data-driven digital platforms can engage multiple stakeholders simultaneously. This article, introducing the notion of hybrid urban digital integrated systems, proposes a methodology aims at the integration of digital and physical elements in urban environments. We based our discussion on the work developed by students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Senseable City Lab, which focused on the integration of the digital-technology-based solutions in Carré Laval of the city of Laval, Canada. As the result of the workshop, six projects have been developed by students, namely, “Activating Surface,” “Infinite memories,” “Fora,” “iTable,” “MinecARft,” and “Foodprint.”These designs aim at promoting civic engagement as intrinsic elements of the re-appropriation and redesign of this severely underutilized site. The human-centered designs rooted in specific context will help digital technologies embedded in the city and increase the attractiveness of the city to local and new stakeholders.
What is the agency of color in comprehending urban landscape space? How could we use ethnography and fieldwork as a method of design research? Why is Design Anthropology considered an emerging field bridging description and action? The color of green in urban environments is sometimes not that green environmentally. This review targets the book Paradoxes of Green: Landscapes of a City-State in which this paradox can be well observed in an arid city-state—Bahrain of the Gulf region. Based on a year-long fieldwork informed by walking, the author Gareth Doherty read the layers of green and different hues in Bahrain’s urban landscape. With nuanced observations and encounters, Doherty interpreted a thick description of this arid geography, its cultural history and the present values of greening the city. The book considers white and beige the environmental colors to facilitate the possibilities of green in Bahrain. Situated in Landscape Architecture, Urban Studies, and Anthropology, this multidisciplinary piece of work would inform both academics and broader audience on understanding the urbanism of landscape around us and how „green” plays the role in it.
After two years of sporadic lockdowns, northern Laos has fully reopened to travelers. However, communities have shown indifference to ecotourism recovery that provides ecological services; prioritized alternatives such as rubber concession are diminishing indigenous sociocultural values and turning ancestral soils into exploitative grounds in exchange for economic returns. Disappearance of historical traces may ultimately homogenize communities’ indigenous sociocultural significance. In light of such fragility, Development Detours offers an adaptive framework of landscape genealogies by using two tailored formulas externally and internally. The proposal constructs resilience by detouring development progression, interconnecting nodes of chronicle as a rework of presence. Two villages along the Nam Tha River, namely Sin Oudom and Khon Kham, were selected for their ongoing frictions. While formula one emphasizes „differences” between livelihoods by reconnecting nonlinear spatio-temporality into discursive viewpoints, formula two delineates „collectiveness” by acknowledging myths, traditions, and legacies of practices as a celebration of identities. By utilizing account as a forward-minded approach, history is adapted to the present.
With blessed assets in natural resources, cultural legacy, and climatic conditions, a number of regions throughout China are qualified as world-class residential tourism destinations. However, for years, single-purpose tourism-oriented development modes, extensive infrastructure construction, and generic land development strategies have irreversibly destroyed a large number of vernacular natural and cultural landscapes. The author holds that with the increased urbanization level, people’s growing demand for a good life and aesthetic opportunities will boost residential tourism in the near future. To seize the opportunities in current infrastructure construction, it is necessary to plan and build a new type of infrastructure system for vast areas of China where world-class tourist and residential destinations can be created based on vernacular natural and cultural landscapes, and to develop related rural land use strategies proactively. In this essay, the author proposes Three Suggestions to Achieve a World-Class Tourist City to the Guilin Municipal Government, and advocates that in the context of the upcoming infrastructure development and the ongoing rural revitalization, it is the time to build future world-class residential tourism destinations by constructing a new type of infrastructure system. These suggestions can also provide reference for decision-makers of other areas with the same potential.
The risk of larger, more intense, and more frequent wildfires is growing across the world, especially in the Mediterranean Basin and regions of the world characterized by dry, hot summers, fire-prone and fire-adapted vegetation, and a build-up of fire fuels. These increased wildfire risks point toward a need for more effective and multi-beneficial management techniques. This paper explores two techniques aimed at reducing wildfire risk and bolstering wildfire adaptation through the act of shepherding: 1) „Fire Flocking,” a technique that employs the rotational grazing of animals in overgrown forests to reduce fuel loads and create a bio-based economy, and 2) „Infrastructure Shadowing,” a technique that develops a grazing program under high voltage power lines to reduce the risk of ignition. The study employs a descriptive case study methodology that combines a comprehensive literature review, stakeholder interviews, and spatial analysis; and evaluates the two cases to ascertain technical successes and challenges. While grazing systems are complex and have many variables needing to be considered, findings from the study suggest that creative and strategically designed grazing practices can slow the spread and decrease the intensity of wildfire events in a cost-effective manner, create desired habitats by developing mosaic-like landscape patches, and increase wildfire awareness. While it is clear that more experimentation should be done to explore how grazing can reduce wildfire risk, this study reveals the potential of multifunctional land stewardship practices to foster regenerative, evolutionary pathways with wildfire.
Knowledge workers drive social and economic development in contemporary cities but often exhibit poor psychological and physical health because of sedentary work, long-term and intense mental labor, and high-level occupational competition. Thus, providing high-quality restorative green spaces in knowledge workers’ proximity to promote their health and well-being has become an important and pressing need. Although the multiple health benefits of proximity to green spaces have been highlighted, the existing planning and design practices are not well supported by scientific theories and evidence. This study interprets the health benefits of proximity to green spaces in work environments considering four theoretical mechanisms: stress reduction, attention restoration and landscape preference, physical activity promotion, and sensory enrichment through an integrative literature review. Next, the paper identifies the key environmental characteristics of green spaces that can enhance the health and well-being of knowledge workers. In addition, it develops a set of criteria for evaluating the restorative capacity of existing sites and a set of guidelines to design restorative nearby green spaces, and proposes a simple paradigm to connect interdisciplinary research and practice.
In the field of Landscape Architecture, design as research has been frequently addressed in the academic discourse. This article provides a snapshot of how design practice at Stoss Landscape Urbanism contributes to the discourse through applied practice and implementation as a research enquiry into the dynamics of and human response to the everchanging environment. This „design as research” in daily practice emerges as three episodes: 1) demonstration of ideas through experimentations and garden installations; 2) environmental and social dynamics as both research interests and tools with which to tackle challenges in urban environments and change over time; and 3) digital fabrication with biological materials as a tactile media to explore curiosity and creativity in design. The use of these tactics and tools offers a fresh perspective on the conventional definition of research and the methods and means through which designers continue to develop and test innovative solutions to social and environmental challenges. Looking retrospectively at the progression of applied research and its influence on projects across scales, Stoss provides insights into design process and reinforces the importance of continued exploration and testing within design practice.
Urban streets support citizens’ daily commuting and social and recreational activities. Streetscape is also a visual resource and an important part of urban landscape appearance. Serving as an important ecological base and natural components of urban spatial structure, mountains often determine a city’s spatial layout and landscape identity so as to promote mountaincity integration. The study focuses on the historic downtown of Jinan, a typical mountainous city, analyzes the landscape aesthetic visual characteristics of street pedestrian spaces, and measures their landscape visual aesthetic quality by using panoramic images; the research then evaluates the visibility of high-visual-aesthetic-quality urban mountainous landscape to urban streets; finally, based on the overall landscape visual aesthetic quality evaluation results of urban street pedestrian spaces, the paper proposes a series of optimization suggestions of the streets at different levels to improve the harmony with urban mountain landscapes. The study hopes to provide a reference for the creation of mountain–city-integrated urban landscapes, as well as the healthy and sustainable urban development.
Mise-en-Scène is a design research project in the form of a book that expands the ways in which we think about the creative roles of publication and communication, and about our connections as a discipline to the issues and world around us. Taking from its title, Mise-en-Scène is an arrangement of the actors and sceneries that constitute our cities and lives.
This project is characterized by four features. Communication—Distinct from a design monograph, Mise-en-Scène is a collaboration between landscape architect Chris Reed and photojournalist Mike Belleme, directed towards a general audience. Arrangement—An arrangement of photographs, drawings, models, sketches, essays, literary excerpts, and community engagement quotes from designers, activists, and ecologists, offering greater multiplicity to the narrative and provoking new associations across cities, projects, and experiences. Perspective—A reflection of how Stoss Landscape Urbanism observes, investigates, and engages with our urban landscapes. Opportunity—Mise-en-Scène puts forth a new model of integrating interdisciplinary perspectives, as well as public audiences, within the formation of design research.
Built and speculative works, from Reed and the practice of Stoss, spatialize how these conditions coalesce—whether at the scale of a bench or the entirety of the city fabric. And through a foregrounding of human connection, rather than design, Belleme’s photography elucidates both the quotidian and fantastical occupation of these urban landscapes.
To balance the ecological–aesthetic relationship in urban river ecological restoration, the research analyzed the ecological aesthetics performance of related practice. By defining „ecological aesthetic preference” and establishing a triple framework of ecological aesthetic preference on urban riverfronts, the research summarized three major factors that impact ecological aesthetic preference. With the Urban River Survey method, 24 typical river section samples in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province were selected. Through correlation analysis and optimal scaling regression model, relevant characteristics and influencing mechanisms were analyzed. The results include that: 1) Individuals’ ecological awareness and knowledge level has the most significant impact, followed by ecological factor characteristics of riverfronts and individuals’ social–cultural characteristics; 2) The respondents having higher cognition on ecosystem services show a stronger aesthetic preference for urban riverfronts; and 3) Vegetation characteristics impact ecological aesthetic preference more than material and physical habitat characteristics, and different combinations would lead to various overall benefits of urban riverfronts. Therefore, urban river ecological restoration should better integrate ecological values and aesthetic values by flexibly combining spatial elements, meanwhile fully consider social demands for urban riverfronts, to promote people’s ecological awareness and knowledge level and provide them with better landscape perception of ecosystem services.
Located in Wilmington, Delaware, along the shoreline of the Brandywine Creek in the Greater Philadelphia/Delaware River Watershed, this project responds to a specific and critical need for the site as prioritized by multiple stakeholders. The project applies an innovative approach for quantifying increased flood resilience while simultaneously reducing contamination levels through the implementation of green infrastructure. To solve joint issues related to increased flood risk concurrent with higher potential for exposure to environmental contaminants transported in flood waters from adjacent industrial sites, brownfields, and combined sewer overflows, the research team develops a phased approach to decreasing stormwater runoff and pollutant loads on a 130-acre (52.6 hm2) site along the Brandywine Creek, applying the Long-Term Hydrologic Impact Assessment (L-THIA) model to quantify design impacts and performance of a master plan. Overall, the proposed master plan can reduce stormwater runoff and pollutant loads to levels significantly less than existing conditions or the current land use plan. Further, this research is unique in that it uses outputs from the L-THIA to compare existing conditions, effects of the current comprehensive plan, and impacts related to the proposed neighborhood-scaled master plan to evaluate the effectiveness between each scenario.
Green View Index (GVI) is a core indicator to measure urban quality. Identifying proper ranges of GVI has become a significant proposition in Landscape Architecture to design environments that can increase individuals’ pleasure level. However, quantitative research on the pleasure level impacted by varied GVIs is still inadequate. This research explores the changes of pleasure level through EEG data collection and questionnaire survey under panoramic scenarios with different panoramic GVIs, which can represent more environmental elements than two-dimensional images. By adding shrubs and trees gradually, this experiment precisely set five scenarios with the GVI changing from 0 to 30%, 60%, 90%, and 0. Research results show that 1) individuals’ pleasure level dropped to the lowest when they first enter the scenario with a panoramic GVI of 0, but when panoramic GVI increased from 0 to 30% and to 60%, the pleasure level increased and finally researched the highest; 2) in an environment with a panoramic GVI of 90%, individuals’ pleasure level significantly reduced, while some participants self-reported the sense of fear and oppression; and 3) when shifting panoramic GVI from 90% to 0, the bright and open space increased participants’ pleasure level. All these findings reveal that individuals’ pleasure level reached the highest under the scenario with 60% panoramic GVI; extremely high panoramic GVI may lead to negative emotions; and landscape with carefully designed panoramic GVIs can improve one’s pleasure level. Future research may probe into the relationship between GVI and individuals’ pleasure level from more perspectives to provide reference for the design, optimization, and evaluation of outdoor urban greening.
This article maps out landscape architects’ expertise in multidisciplinary, comprehensive climate adaptation discourse. Systemic frameworks and process-driven approaches in contemporary Landscape Architecture discipline can become a powerful tool for harnessing unprecedented solidarity for climate actions across fields. However, landscape expertise is still largely ignored or marginalized in real-life climate discourse dominated by policymakers, scientists, and engineers. This study addresses this gap in understanding landscape expertise through design research projects over the past two decades. The article theorizes a body of landscape architecture projects in the past two decades, and proposes three terms—spatialize, synthesize, and speculate—for describing the landscape expertise in multidisciplinary, comprehensive climate adaptation projects. „Spatialize” refers to landscape architects’ capacity to construct knowledge through strategically displaying „data” through critical cartography. „Synthesize” is the ability to envision multispecies entanglement by combining cultural, ecological, historical, biological, and political lenses through material practices. „Speculate” means to understand landscape design as a long-term practice with repeated operations, and, thus, to design is to deploy a speculative framework that generates knowledge through practice.