The “Derelict” and the “Abandoned”

MLA Thesis Section (2016-17)

Related Staff : Vincci MAK

Students: CHEUNG Mei Yan Toby; CHEUNG Yan Wa Sarah; QIU Yingyu; WONG Yee Fung Yves

The notion of “derelict” and “abandoned” is often perceived as related to obsolete facilities in the cities and landscapes. It often relates to a by-gone social /economical / political expectation of space, that the contemporary culture no longer desires such design and planning of land as resource. The physical presence of these “derelict” and “abandoned” facilities reminds us of how we used to live, yet it contrasts to the adjacent new development to reflect on our city’s evolution. This is perhaps why the discussion of re-using “abandoned” sites is no longer simply remove everything and start from scratch, but even the “derelict” elements have the value to remind us on our legacy. For example, the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord was an obsolete industrial site, it could have been “abandoned” if it was not turned into a public park. Similar “brownfields” can also be found in other cities. While these sites are contaminated through their earlier functions, they are often being fenced-off and “abandoned” until the remediation strategy is sorted out. Other “derelict” landscapes may include obsolete military facilities, village schools, and etc. Yet, from another perspective, the notion of “derelict” and “abandoned” is not simply just about the past, it is also about the present and future of our cities. With the rapid urban development in many cities, large-scale infrastructures and facilities are required to accommodate the urban needs. Train depots, highway interchanges, waste landfills, etc., are essential components of a city, but because of their vastness and unique spatial requirements, they also alienate themselves from the surrounding landscapes. Although not truly “derelict”, they are perceived as the “no-go-zone” by the nearby communities. Or, in cities where “land” is extremely scarce, some of these supposedly “derelict/abandoned” spaces are in fact occupied informally by groups that are in need of space, perhaps outside of the official operation hours and/or regardless of the contamination conditions of these sites. In China, there are also developments that turn into “ghost cities” and “ghost malls”. What went wrong in our current land planning and/or city development policy that we are creating “derelict” and “abandoned” places for the future? In short, this thesis stream explores how these “holes” in cities offer the potentials to stitch the urban fabric in an innovative way.

Student theses this year included:
“Evoking Collective Memory: Conservation and revitalization of Hong Kong military relics” by CHEUNG Mei Yan Toby;
“Reviving the working waterfront as a landscape frontier: Re-imagining Cheung Sha Wan’s Wholesale Market’s working waterfront” by CHEUNG Yan Wa Sarah;
“Revitalizing Chinese Resource-based Cities in Landscape Planning Vision” by QIU Yingyu; and
“Digital Tree Modelling for Accurate Vegetation Impact Assessment and Valuation” by WONG Yee Fung Yves.

Enlarge Photo: Toby CHEUNG Mei YanEnlarge Photo: Toby CHEUNG Mei YanEnlarge Photo: Toby CHEUNG Mei Yan
Enlarge Photo: Toby CHEUNG Mei YanEnlarge Photo: Yves WONG Yee Fung
Enlarge Photo: Yves WONG Yee Fung
Enlarge Photo: Yves WONG Yee Fung