Jul 2016, Volume 4 Issue 3

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  • research-article
    Kongjian YU
    2016, 4(3): 6-9.
  • research-article
    Shilin XIE,Fei LU,Lei CAO,Weiqi ZHOU,Zhiyun OUYANG
    2016, 4(3): 10-21.

    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.

  • research-article
    Hang LIU
    2016, 4(3): 22-33.

    Harbin Cultural Center Wetland Park was constructed on a degraded urban wetland, with a primary goal of restoring the vegetative landscape of the site — secondary wetland communities consisting of marsh, native herbs, and moisture tolerant trees and shrubs — ultimately establishing and maintaining ecological succession of vegetation communities from aquatic to arenaceous habitats, while celebrating the natural landscape characteristics of the site. This paper reports mainly on the improvement of ecological performance in the park three years after its construction. It also reviews the exploratory plan for landscape protection, construction, and restoration of the wetland park. In addition, this paper demonstrates the unique qualities of the project which distinguish it from common wetland parks, making it a helpful reference for the construction of other urban wetland parks in China.

  • research-article
    Dihua LI
    2016, 4(3): 34-39.

    Habitat and biodiversity conservation has become an important issue across the world. Phenomena such as dropping species numbers, disappearing habitat, and biodiversity loss continue to emerge under the impact of the rapid urbanization and climate change. This paper aims to discuss the problem of fragmentation caused by the disconnect awareness and instruction during the process of habitat and biodiversity conservation. The paper also attempts to diagnose the status quo and challenges China faces in habitat and biodiversity conservation and point out the pressing transformation of responsibilities and roles of designers.

  • research-article
    Warwick SAVVAS
    2016, 4(3): 40-51.

    Due to the pressures of urbanization, land clearing and climate change we are losing urban habitats at an alarming rate. Green infrastructure has a large role to play in biodiversity conservation in Australia. ASPECT Studios and their collaborators from a wide range try to provide ecosystem services in artificial environments through a green infrastructure approach, and by doing so contribute to biodiversity values in our cities.

  • research-article
    Moying WANG
    2016, 4(3): 52-69.

    The city and the watershed are distinct systems of flow that generate shape and structure across the landscape to maximize their intrinsic objectives. How can city form fix the watershed? The framework plan is a U.S. EPA-funded initiative to mitigate severe water management problems in the sub-watershed incorporating Conway, Arkansas. The subwatershed contains polluted headwater streams exhibiting advanced urban stream syndrome contributing to the decline of Lake Conway downstream.

    The framework plan employs green infrastructure incorporating urban rain terrains (based on holding water) and riparian corridors (based on drainage) that deliver ecosystem services. A portfolio of modulated infrastructural retrofits are value-added to conventional infrastructure. The approach provides a novel set of transferable planning tools for urban watersheds, combining a sponge city gradient, a water treatment technologies spectrum, the 17 ecosystem services, and six adaptive infrastructure types. The approach builds a representative cityscape expressive of place-based urban water management.

  • research-article
    Tina TIAN,Moying WANG
    2016, 4(3): 70-85.

    Shanghai spreads across the expansive alluvial floodplain of the Yangtze River delta. Considerable urbanization over the past century has led to environmental degradation and a dramatic reduction of natural habitat in this ecologically complex landscape. Zhangjiabang Park is designed within this context, focusing on the relationship between humans and nature within the ever-expanding megacity. Zhangjiabang is one of eight “green wedges” proposed throughout Shanghai to improve access to nature and, when completed, will be the city’s largest public park. It is an ambitious project, seeking to enhance the city’s microclimate, contribute to regional biodiversity, and improve the quality of life for Shanghai’s 26 million inhabitants.

  • research-article
    Robin SUN,Tina TIAN
    2016, 4(3): 86-99.

    The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is devastated by weather extremes from drought to hurricanes. Fundamental to the Arboretum’s renewal is an exhaustive assessment of the site’s natural and cultural heritage, diagnosis of the climate change impacts, and extensive stakeholder engagement. The plan outlines a more resilient evolution for the Arboretum and is a model for regions facing similar threats.

  • Thematic practices
    Lian TAO
    2016, 4(3): 100-109.

    Rapid urbanization is now being experienced in China's thirdand fourth-tier cities, raising questions of how to balance urban development with natural resources protection. The integration of nature into expanding urban environments is one of the largest challenges facing those cities. Weishan Lake National Wetland Park is an example of how low-impact design strategies can protect wetlands and purify water while functioning as a natural buffer for the city. Conserving the existing wetland and enhancing service facilities can also provide educational experiences and ecological tourism that will help communicate the city’s identity. Meanwhile, the project moves the wetland into urban public spaces in order to build an integrated regional network of ecological and green infrastructure that will contribute to regional ecological improvement while transforming the city into a unique wetland destination.

    Julie D. NETTLETON
    2016, 4(3): 111-119.

    Thousands of years ago, ancient aeolian sands were deposited in the Sydney Basin. A rich diversity of heathland and woodland plants thrived in the impoverished soil and coastal climate, along with many small native animals, birds and insects. This ecological community known as Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub (ESBS) is now listed as critically endangered. My work focuses on a site called North Head Sanctuary, one of the last remaining pockets of ESBS, in the heart of suburban Sydney. Although I grew up in the area, it was not until I became a botanical artist that I understood its fragile beauty and significance. There was no epiphany. Rather, it was a slow but compelling dawning as I saw the site with new and wiser eyes. With its very existence slipping towards extinction, the urgency to keep something of what we still have, and tell its unique story, is what inspires and drives me. This article will discuss my journey of discovery, inspiration, and what shapes the uniqueness of my work.