Design Analytics: Nature, regions, and the erosion of conservation in Hong Kong

Advanced Topics in Sustainability (2017-18)

Related Staff : Ashley Kelly

Course Code: 7307

At the end of 2016, Hong Kong detailed its commitments to the Convention on Biological Diversity through its Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. Given Hong Kong’s unremitting development pressures, both pro-development and pro-conservation groups are now calling for ways to evaluate sites for development based on environmental metrics and new conservation agreements. However, for the built-environment disciplines in Hong Kong, sustainability discourse is predominantly aligned with economic and urban sustainability, rather than the new forms of conservation that contend to use environmental modelling to justify the conversion of conservation uses. For Hong Kong’s urban and landscape resilience, we must ensure the critical and innovative deployment of conservation instruments and tools, including the analytical measure of biodiversity, vulnerability, and ecosystem services, alongside the territory’s increasing politics of sustainability and eco-development. This advanced computation-theory seminar explores the paradoxes of environmental valuation through a combination of computational design and environmental planning. Similar to past “Design Analytics” seminars, we place equal focus on theory in development geography and technological innovation. For term projects, students constructed scenarios at a selection of landscapes across Hong Kong that were converted from conservation uses within the past five years, architecturally documenting their degradation, natural capital, species richness, maintenance, enforcement, and participatory spaces.

Enlarge Photo: Discrepancies in ecosystem service valuation methods for Tai Po, Hong Kong. By AU YOUNG Chung Yan Samantha.Enlarge Photo: Comparing conservation boundaries and study species’ habitat preferences in Lion Rock Country Park, Hong Kong. By CHAN Howe.Enlarge Photo: Landscape model of study species’ habitat preferences in Lion Rock Country Park, Hong Kong. By CHAN Howe.Enlarge Photo: Habitat modelling for conservation analysis and prioritizing conservation resources in Tin Shui Wai and Tsim Bei Tsui Egretry, Hong Kong. By WONG Hiu Yan Monique.Enlarge Photo: Student project map.