Related Staff : Dorothy Tang, Pat Xiao
Course code: 4715/7343
Course Title: Mapping Sponge Cities in the Pearl River Delta
Following the deadly Beijing Floods in 2012, discussions in urban planning and design shifted to alternative solutions for urban flood management in existing cities, especially in the context of increased storm patterns due to climate change. President Xi Jinping announced a new urban concept—the Sponge City—at the 2013 Central Working Conference of Urbanization (中央城鎮化工作會議) that changes the current instinct to move rainwater immediately from the cities through pipes and drains, to creating spaces that absorb rain like a sponge to lessen urban floods downstream. In 2016, thirty pilot cities received significant central funding to retrofit their drainage infrastructure through this new program.
This course follows the Sponge City Movement in the Pearl River Delta and understands landscape as a receptacle where socio-political processes and technological experiments of watershed governance are physically inscribed in the spaces and materiality of the city. Following an introduction in Hong Kong regarding the theoretical and technical aspects of landscape infrastructure, students will visit pilot Sponge City projects in Shenzhen and Guangzhou to study how the implementation of this alternative form of infrastructure impacts everyday urban life.