Sep 2017, Volume 5 Issue 4

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    Kongjian YU
    Mingjian ZHU, Xuesong XI, Yanyan LI

    Currently, sea level rise becomes one of the biggest threats to biodiversity conservation in low-lying coastal areas, and coastal conservation areas need to be optimized to the rising sea level. This paper introduces the case of the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve in Florida, which shows that the key conservation areas adaptive to sea level rise can be identified by modeling with integrated protection planning. Combining the American case’s lessons, the paper further comes up with suggestions on biodiversity protection adaptive to sea level rise for China’s coastal cities and regions.

    Xianyao CHEN

    Global climate change has a broad and profound impact on human social and economic development. As one of the most distinguishing observations of climate change, sea level rise exacerbates marine disasters such as storm surge, coastal erosion, and seawater intrusion, which threaten the socio-economic development of coastal areas. As an expert on global climate change, the interviewee noted that ocean plays an absolutely dominant role in global climate system, and further emphasized the non-synchronicity and nonuniformity of global sea level rise. He also pointed out that basic research on global climate change needs to be more extensively applied in climatology, disaster prediction and control, urban planning and design, and other disciplines, in order to provide scientific support on risk assessment and management for urban construction of coastal regions.

    Guosheng LI

    As coastal urbanization, reclamation, aquaculture, shoalreinforcement, and oil exploitation have intensified over the past few decades, China’s natural coastline has shrunk. The man-made coastline now accounts for more than 40% of the total national coastline. Such intensive development has disturbed the natural landscape and ecosystem of the coastal zones. This interview introduces the overall ecological situation of China’s coastal areas including changes in the major delta areas of China. It stresses that development of coastal areas should be coordinated to best balance economic growth and ecological protection. It encourages the establishment of a nation-wide ecological monitoring and assessment mechanism that will help respond to pressing issues including climate change and sea level rise.

    Baokui LIU

    Since the introduction of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative by President Xi Jinping in 2013, a series of relevant policies have profoundly influenced the development of coastal cities in China. The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road promises an open and inclusive new cooperation platform. It will help form a regional cooperation, which is driven by the key coastal cities and coastal economic zones. The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road brings new impetus to the development of coastal areas, leading to profound changes in regional agglomeration, industrial organization patterns, population migration, ecological protection, and other aspects.

    Jeffery CARNEY

    In recent years, challenges of storms, land loss and sea level rise are getting more and more serious in the coastal areas. Since its founding in 2009, the Coastal Sustainability Studio (CSS) of Louisiana State University has been trying to use innovative approaches to foster resilient coastal communities and ecosystems. This interview focuses on CSS’s way of building teams, transdisciplinary collaboration, and their practices on large-scale planning in coastal areas, etc. As is stated by Jeffery Carney, director of CSS, climate change is increasingly recognized as a huge factor in coastal community design and is affecting inland regions as well, which has become a global issue to be seriously concerned. Carney also suggests that it is the duty of landscape architects to put the complexities of the ecosystem into a human context. Only with the application of systems thinking and with collaboration with a diverse team, can we realize design and development in productive and responsible ways.


    “2050: An Energetic Odyssey” is a research by design on the possibilities, opportunities, and spatial implications of the realisation of large-scale harvesting, transportation and storage of renewable energy sources on and around the North Sea. This project demonstrates the role the North Sea could play in meeting the globally agreed two-degree target.

    Europe has committed to reducing green house gas emissions by 2050 by 80% ~ 95%. Commissioned by the Internationale Architectuur Biennale Rotterdam 2016 (IABR 2016), H+N+S made a plan for the North Sea together with Ecofys and Tungsten Pro, in which renewable energy sources are utilised. This plan outlines how that might look in practical terms and what the effects might be for nature, fishery, harbour development, economies, and recreation.

    Gina FORD, James MINER

    The Gulf State Park Master Plan — a strategic framework for this beloved 6,150-acre park in coastal Alabama —offers a new model for addressing increasingly complex environments. The dynamism of the landscape, its context of emerging adaptive management techniques, and the need to accommodate built-in early action strategies allowed for a new kind of master plan, one where implementation and strategy co-existed and informed one another in real-time. We provide an overview of the master plan vision, examine its early action elements, and explain the value of engaging in planning and design implementation concurrently.

    McGregor Coxall

    Each year more than 50 million birds make the return journey from the Antarctic reaches to the northern tip of the earth along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) seeking food and shelter. As one of the nine global north-south fly ways, the EAAF is now the world’s most threatened due to the loss of bird foraging habitat by coastal urbanization. One in five globally threatened water birds including the Black-Tailed Godwit fly the EAAF but they are suffering rapid declines in population.

    In a bid to increase critical bird habitat on the shores of the Bohai Bay in China, the Asian Development Bank encouraged the Port of Tianjin to embark upon an international design competition for a wetland bird sanctuary on a degraded land fill site in Lingang. McGregor Coxall won the first prize in the competition with a proposal of establishing the world’s first migratory “Bird Airport” — a 110-hectare wetland park and bird sanctuary. With some birds flying non-stop for more than 11,000 km and up to 10 days without food or water, the airport will be a crucial re-fueling and breeding stop on the EAAF.

    SCAPE Landscape Architecture DPC

    How can we connect citizens more directly with their immediate environment? How can we anticipate rising sea levels and increasingly intense storms, but also revive waterbodies, and connect people to the shore? Living Breakwaters is an innovative coastal green infrastructure project that was selected as one of the winning projects of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Rebuild by Design competition that aims to answer these questions. The project is being implemented by the New York State Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery with 60 million USD of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding. Planned for the Raritan Bay and Staten Island, Living Breakwaters links in-water infrastructure with on-shore education and outreach, to help reduce risk, enhance ecosystems and foster stewardship.

    Xiaoye XING

    The Galician Coast, located in the west coast of Spain, is characterized by the long, sinuous coastline with complex hydrological configuration, where fishery and aquaculture are the pillar industry. Quilmas is a small village of only 170 inhabitants on the coastline. Though with a long history of aquaculture and beautiful natural scenery, tourism is not well developed here due to limited transportation. However, an alien turbot farm dominants half of the shoreline in Quilmas, becoming the potential threat to local ecosystem, without providing adequate job opportunities. The farm still intends to expand in Quilmas. Thus the municipal made the best of this chance and reached an agreement that the farm has to partially devote to public space to get the permission. This project starts with transforming the farm to an eco-friendly plant, and aims to establish various aqua-scape typologies that integrate economics, ecology and landscape, and also to stimulate tourism by integrating cultural heritage and natural heritage.

    Alexandra MEI

    The format of the guidebook carries potential for landscape architecture as a practice of inclusion, participation and social engagement. Here, the guidebook is a medium for a native American coastal community to challenge the boundary lines placed onto its island by the Army Corps of Engineers. The Biloxi Chitimacha Choctaw tribe on the Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, forced to leave their island for a land-locked parcel farther north because of sea level rise, will eventually lose their island to state property as this mark rises with the sea in the next fifty years. In response, the project uses the guidebook to suggest acts of community resistance against this water mark, obscuring and blurring the boundary so that the tribe will maintain ownership of their land and have a reason to return after they leave. Through conscious choice of representation style and sensitivity to the process of design, the project provoked questions of community, resistance, and “design for the other.” Here, the role of landscape architecture is critical of the boundaries placed onto land, and the uses of the guidebook can help to embrace community engagement and agency.

    David del VALLS

    Different from current architectural practice, this project emerged in parallel to a larger research investigation and takes a personal approach to site-specific artistic work through a cartographic exploration. The Isleta is a small fishing neighbourhood located in an undefined space between the city, territory and landscape. A growth limit set by Confital’s protected area and the city of Las Palmas has forced people to live hand to mouth by limiting access to the environment. We immerse ourselves in the environment, but we also need it to survive. It is not continuous, it is made of pieces, fragments, and patchworks. These pieces are the essential parts of the feeling and the life of the neighbourhood, the city, and the landscape, telling stories about the past and nostalgia of the shore. The project looks at these spaces, the landscape of preexisting elements, and focuses on establishing a dialogue with the whole territory, with all the elements that materialized and dematerializing into the landscape through minimum interventions.