Year 3 Studios 2011-12

Landscape Planning Studio – Desertification and Greening Beijing

Course Title: Landscape Design Studio V (on going)
Teacher: Dorothy Tang

Course Description
The semi-arid region of Beijing is under great threat of desertification with the advance of the Gobi Desert from the northwest. It is believed that over grazing and poor soil management in neighboring provinces is the cause of this phenomenon. In response, the city of Beijing has planned two green belts that surround the city in hopes to mitigate the sand storms and combat desertification. However, in a city where water resources are scarce, is afforestation the answer to desertification? What forms of urbanism could take advantage of the changing ecology of the region to remain economically productive? How does a regional landscape as a whole address the issue of environmental degradation with the allocation of landscape resources? Can landscape planning be systemic, yet flexible at the same time?

Students begin their exploration through the representation of natural landscape patterns and the forces that generate them. They then employ these new representation strategies as a tool to understand their respective sites, all areas under great development pressure in the greater Beijing area. As the underlying forces for landscape change are revealed, students then develop tactical strategies that address environmental issues through the design of specific systems. The last phase of the project explores the future of the various sites through the deployment of these systems in a larger territory.

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