Nov 2017, Volume 5 Issue 5

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  • research-article
    Kongjian Yu
  • papers
    Xiang ZHOU

    Community building aims to emphasize and celebrate social, political, and cultural value of neighborhoods. As a major way in the neighborhood conservation in Japan, neighborhood conservation-based community building was generated in the process of historic neighborhood protection developing from static preservation to dynamic conservation. Starting with a review on the history of the protection system of traditional quality in Japan, this paper puts its focus on the evolution of the protected targets — from only single objects to whole communities — and the approaches applied in the neighborhood conservation-based community building. Taking the empowerment and public engagement of neighborhood conservation in Fukushima, Yame as a case study, this paper studies and reveals the significance that provides reference to the development and protection of the historic neighborhoods in China. Finally, the paper argues that encouraging public engagement and motivation of civil organizations in the empowerment is crucial to the physical and cultural conservation and renewal of the historic neighborhood in the current social and political context of China.

  • Views & Criticisms
    Meng YU

    Currently, in China, rapid urbanization has caused many urban issues including lack of quality urban spaces and distinctive urban identity, declined ecological environment, and insufficient public services. Besides, these problems are increasingly complicated due to the different stages and conditions of urban development and different city scales. This interview starts with the topic of how to improve living quality of existing urban spaces, and Meng Yu, the interviewee, expounds the current situation, progress, and solutions regarding governmental guidance and urban planners’ intervention, and the innovations in technology and mechanism. Then Yu elucidates the evolutional laws of urban growth and the necessity of establishing new towns and sub-centers of metropolises, emphasizing the significance of integrating and coordinating different city functions at a regional scale as well. The interviewee also stresses that despite varying difficulties in both demolition of urban villages and renewal of old residential areas, the consensus among plural agents will play an increasingly weighted role in future China.

  • Views & Criticisms
    Jason HO

    Jason Ho, the interviewee, founded Mapping Workshop in 2013, offering an alternative option for interpreting city and urban space with a unique agenda of “observation — mind mapping — representation — curation.” In this interview, he shares the intention to launch Mapping Workshop and interprets “urban acupuncture” based on his practice. Having been long focusing on studying negative urban spaces, Ho indicates that the hidden order behind the chaos in a city generates vigor and maintains the city safe. The interview also covers the topic of community empowerment, in terms of which Ho believes that how to negotiate and coordinate with different stakeholders will be the biggest and most difficult issue to urban designers in future community empowerment in China.

  • Views & Criticisms
    Niall KIRKWOOD

    This interview focuses mainly on the post-industrial regeneration and brownfield remediation with the influence of global climate change and the application of technology in landscape architecture teaching and practices. Although climate change is largely regarded to be negative, Professor Niall Kirkwood suggested that we should consider its impacts dialectically in much longer time frame. With the development of science and technology, brownfield remediation in the new era should utilize new technologies with old ones and encourage extensive community participation. With regard to the teaching of technology applied in landscapes, Professor Kirkwood also introduced the differences of five types of courses. In addition, he stated that in landscape architecture design, nothing could be absolutely original. Only with a wide range of experiences and engagement in different types of projects, could landscape architects be confident in their design conception and its evolution as a material reality.

  • Thematic practices
    Studio Gang

    Developed as part of a comprehensive framework plan, the Northerly Island project transforms a man-made peninsula on Chicago’s lakefront into a 91-acre public park that functions as a living ecosystem. The design embraces the site’s artificiality, constructing a topography and landscape that encourages wildlife to occupy it — over time, creating an amplified, biodiverse ecosystem whose various habitats and architectural features offer people multiple ways to engage nature in the city.

  • Thematic practices
    Ran GENG, Fei SHAO, Yaqi ZHANG

    This project focused on how to celebrate the spirit of the heritage site on a damaged base where the original texture of rice fields and pond systems were replaced with hardscapes; how to integrate the agricultural landscape with tourism; how to explore landscape elements and design methods that improve the local ecosystem; and, how to reestablish a sustainable and healthy relationship between human and land. Through the minimum intervention on the surroundings of the core heritage area, the restoration of the moat waterfront, and the creation of the outdoor rice field museum in the south, the transformation of Chengtoushan National Archaeological Site Park explores an innovative way for landscape protection and design of heritage parks.

  • Thematic practices
    ASPECT Studios

    Bowden’s new main park is the central and single largest public space located within the Bowden redevelopment in South Australia. It makes a significant step in realizing the vision for Bowden of creating a diverse and exciting new community on the edge of Adelaide’s CBD. Bowden Main Park provides a green oasis in the heart of a 15-hectare urban infill development that will become Adelaide’s most densely populated urban district outside the CBD, and an area projected to house a wide ranging demographic from students to young families, first home owners and retirees. Bowden Main Park is an example of how thoughtful and considered design can connect people, enhance the social and recreational fabric of the city and provide an authentic destination within the new and still establishing community.

  • Thematic practices
    Jun-Hyun KIM, Galen NEWMAN, Hejing FENG, Jeremy MERRILL, Jonghoon PARK, Jiahe BIAN

    This project is to develop a comprehensive master plan incorporating key principles of sustainable urbanism for a business district in Houston, Texas, USA. The main design objectives are to create a livable and sustainable urban business center, to promote economic growth and to implement a streetscape design guideline to promote walkability and bikeability.

  • Thematic practices
    Atelier Starzak Strebicki

    The aim of the project was to change the monumental scale of Liberty Square into human scale. During summer and winter, Liberty Square remains unused, where the concrete surface as well as the lack of greenery curbs the spontaneous actions of city dwellers. In the frame of Generator Malta, an initiative undertaking the tradition of street theater, the square is changed into a lively public realm. Dividing this large area (more than 4,000 m2) into smaller zones and designing places for particular activities helped to establish accessible friendly space for everyone. Different types of urban furniture, including round or rectangular tables and benches, and soft waterproof pillows, help define specific zones for children, temporary cafe and restaurant, music and theater stage, and workshop space. In effect, the Liberty Square becomes a prototype of an urban interior of community activation.

  • Thematic practices
    Xiaohui LV, Xiran XU, Yang ZHANG, Jing JIA

    To address the problems of lacking traffic planning, informal street vending, and deficient public space and amenities in the Haebangchon neighborhood of Seoul, South Korea, this project proposes a micro-renewal plan of “flexible construction” to transform the neighborhood in a bottom-up way. This costefficient approach of modular design will alleviate these conditions and improve neighborhood vitality. The project aims to develop a more resilient and sustainable spatial design for urban renewal.

    Mariana SIQUEIRA, Isabel SCHMIDT, Alexandre SAMPAIO, Amalia ROBREDO

    Right at the center of Brazil, covering almost 22% of its area, lies the world’s most biodiverse savanna, the Cerrado. Despite of the richness and beauty of its flora, Cerrado’s landscapes are not as celebrated as the country’s rainforests, and tend to be neglected in cultural expressions.

    Historically, ecological restoration and landscape design projects have considered only the trees of the biome, leaving behind grasses, forbs and shrubs that not only characterize the savanna, but also represent more than 60% of the diversity (close to 7,000 species) of the Cerrado, which hold many fundamental ecological functions.

    This situation is now beginning to change. This article presents two interrelated projects, Restaura Cerrado and Jardins de Cerrado, which focus on different plant forms (herbaceous, woody and liana species) in restoration and gardening initiatives. Two experiments are conducted with efforts to explore new possibilities of understanding the Brazilian savanna and of working with it.