Approaches to disaster prevention have changed over the generations in China. From an integration and appreciation of urban landscapes that doubled as fire and flood prevention strategies in ancient China, to new national and local legislation, planning and construction for disaster prevention and response should be better integrated in urban landscapes and city planning. This paper summarizes historic and contemporary strategies for better implementation of strategies for disaster response and prevention into urban green spaces in Chinese cities.
This paper provides an overview of the establishment and history of the Japanese disaster refuge park system, the current state of the system, and planned future developments. Urban parks, as places of disaster refuge, have been significantly important, and recognized as such, since the Great Kanto Earthquake of Tokyo in 1923. In response to this earthquake, a system of shelters and escape route were established. The modern Japanese disaster refuge system is tied to the period following the Osaka-Kobe Earthquake in 1995. During this period, urban parks became the center of disaster reconstruction and renovation, transfer stations for rescue materials, and shelter from fire of urban blocks. Additionally, this paper elaborates on the necessity for integrated planning and construction of disaster refuge spaces in urban design, and speculates on future park developments. Finally, the paper offers a critique on the limitations of urban green spaces to also function as disaster refuge areas. Landscape Architecture can play an important role in disaster-prevention and response, daily park use, park management, and increased community awareness and social resiliency.
“Haze” reduces visibility when fine air particles build up in the atmosphere. This interview introduces the main concepts and methods of measurement for haze control and the PM2.5 reduction mechanisms of plants. It also gives an overview of recent research progresses made, such as “Technology Development and Demonstration of PM2.5 Control in Beijing Forestation Projects” and “Technology Development and Demonstration Applications on Dust Pollution Prevention and Control in Beijing”.
“INDA” is the International Program in Architecture and Design at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. Since its first intake in 2006, INDA has quickly grown to be one of the largest and most successful architecture schools in Southeast Asia. With a focus on design innovation, the school aims to prepare its graduates for high-level international architectural practice. In this article we explore processes of investigation and experimentation that characterise the program at INDA, and show how activities such as workshops, traveling studios, and design build projects enable students to develop an international outlook. We also address ways in which the core curriculum helps students to understand the relationship between architecture and other design professions, especially landscape architecture and urban design.
In February, 2011, Christchurch experienced a devastating earthquake. The “Cardboard” Cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand, is the transitional cathedral built post the earthquake, and opened in August 2013. Designed by architect Shigeru Ban, the cathedral was formed with paper tubes and containers, and can provide seats for 700 people. It is the first public building to be completed post earthquakes and greatly benefit the city in its recovery.
A new library and community center, nicknamed the PINCH, and built after the Shuanghe Village was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 2012 demonstrates the need for community spaces and participatory design in post-disaster landscapes. As part of the rebuilding effort, the government built an open plaza, however it lacked program or activity. In response, the PINCH provides direct access from the houses to the public library and provides meeting spaces, play areas, and reading zones.
Yushu County in Qinghai Province is geologically prone to earthquakes, and after the most recent Yushu Earthquake in 2010 a large number of people had to rebuild their homes. During this reconstruction period, subsistence needed to be maintained through landscape. Combining theory with practice, this essay focuses on the planning and construction of the Zhaxike Wetland Park disaster prevention system.
Sasaki’s master plan for the Cedar Rapids Riverfront is a vehicle to revitalize the city and the region, which was devastated by a flood in 2008. Thousands of community participants gave feedback on the city’s parks and recreation needs, culminating in a comprehensive plan that provides a blueprint to guide decisions about investments along the Cedar River for years to come.
Within the Sandy-affected region, New Jersey's communities of Jersey City, Hoboken and Weehawken are susceptible to both flash flood and storm surge. As integrated urban environments, discreet one-house-at-a-time solutions do not make sense. What is required is a comprehensive approach that acknowledges the density and complexity of the context, galvanizes a diverse community of beneficiaries, and defends the entire city, its assets and citizens.
Texas, USA is undergoing critical water challenges due to immense groundwater deficiencies. Alternative methods to integrating design with Low Impact Development need to be explored to stymie this condition. This projectapplies an approach to design whose concept / program is reinforced by projected environmental and economic performance measures of proposed stormwater infrastructure. The focus is to maximize the relationship between cultural and hydrological systems.
Saline Joniche is an 8 km long coastal area in southern Italy along the Messinastrait and near the Etna volcano. Saline Joniche is a rich landscape, but has suffered continuous degradations as a result of industrial activities. The time has arrived to restore a healthy environmental balance and create a renewed ecosystem. The goal of this project is to transform Saline Joniche into a global model for sustainable ecological restoration and post-industrial use.
The 1/2 Stadium is located at a middle school in western Beijing. We used a discontinuous and circular architectural form in order to make the site a unique system, defining a clear architectural that strengthens the integrity of the design. This combination of uses and casual flexibility creates a new type of stadium model – the 1/2 Stadium.
As the force field of urbanization grows in complexity, variety, scale, and rate in the early decades of the 21st century, designers, urbanists, and policy-makers alike must develop new theoretical and methodological approaches. This article demonstrates the use of landscape as a primary framework for theorizing contemporary urbanization and developing pre-emptive design strategies through a discussion of a design research report on the risk of death by landslide in Medellin’s Aburra Valley. Landslides in these geologically hazardous slopes have killed 784 low-income residents in the past 80 years, and by 2030 nearly 350,000 residents will be at risk.
Shifting Ground, a collaboration between the think-tank URBAM of Eafit University in Medellin and the Social Agency Lab of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, proposes landscape-based strategies for redirecting urbanization processes in order to avoid further disasters in the valley and simultaneously produce new economies. Landscape is used as a research and design framework and takes into account the geologic makeup of the slopes, regional hydrology, local economies, and the flow of settlers relocating to the slopes.
In 2006 Pt Lapindo Brantas began exploratory drilling for natural gas outside of Sidoarjo, a small town in East Java, Indonesia. Its activities created a mud volcano which continues to erupt today and has displaced thousands without compensation and submerged villages, factories and agricultural land. This disaster persists and has created a new reality for its residents where corruption rules politics and government and design specialists and other experts exacerbate it. This extended case study is then related to a recent exhibition Contingency Plans: Or, Living with Unstable Grounds which analyses in depth similar contemporary landscapes which I argue can be productively understood in terms of contemporary landscape genres of noir and dark comedy of errors.