Related Staff : Ivan Valin, Sunnie Lau
Assistant: Liu Dining
Students: CHENG Kwok Cheong Louis; KWONG Kwan Ki Crystal; LIU Yijun Jenny; LU Fan Jimmy; PAN Naijin Pan Pan; XIONG Zhengzheng May; ZHENG Ying; ZHOU Yifan Mia
This thesis initiative builds on a joint research and design partnership between HKU and UC Berkeley to develop policy, planning and design responses to coastal vulnerability in the face of climate change in the Pearl River Delta and San Francisco Bay Area. This collaboration is driven by a set of design interests and research projects at both institutions and themed around transdisciplinary issues of coastal adaptivity, water security, sustainable infrastructure, and urban environmental resilience. Landscape architects and planners have a critical role to play in these dialogues, and the MLA thesis group will contest the boundaries, precedents, and practices of the landscape architectural discipline in order to argue for new roles, new visions, new methods, and new partnerships, thus positioning landscape at the forefront of adaptive design and planning in regions at risk. Beyond physical design, students are expected to address overarching questions of equity, agency, and governance in order to explore how systematic change can be harnessed to sustain appropriate forms of settlement and infrastructural development. Building on themes developed in research seminars in Hong Kong (ARCH7175) and Berkeley, the thesis group will work together with instructors and guest critics to develop an account of the real or perceived environmental risks threatening to undermine the Greater Bay Area’s stability and coherence. The thesis group’s research will also disentangle the region’s fragmented approach to understanding and mitigate these threats. These narratives will guide the selection of a number of sites and strategies to be explored in individual or small group design projects. Our critique will draw in resiliency strategies world-wide, but especially in the dominant discourses emerging in the past decade in competitions and design projects in Europe and North America. To what extent can or should urban resiliency/adaptive strategies be globalized? What lessons are to be found in the PRD’s approach to climate change and how might strategies developed in a densely populated subtropical conurbation?