Eco-cities and the Chinese Dream:
Understanding Ecological Civilization and Environmental Urbanism in China

Experiencing Landscape Architecture in China

ARCH 4715| Special Topics in Sustainability
Topic| Eco-cities and the Chinese Dream: Understanding Ecological Civilization and Environmental Urbanism in China
Credits| 6
Program Director| Pat Xiao
Date|June 17-July 8, 2019
Location| HKU Campus, and on-site fieldwork in Pearl River Delta.Enlarge photo: ARCH4715 Special Topics in Sustainability

A first-hand experience in engaging with the Chinese landscapes and the locals who live/work with the land, helps students to develop critical views on the past and future development of China. This course aims to provide such direct Mainland China experience for students, to equip them for future career in the region.

The environmental cost of the economic miracle in China has become the central debate in the discourse of China’s rapid urbanization. President Xi Jinping’s essential announcement in 2013 — ‘to speed up the construction of ecological civilization and a beautiful China’ at 3rd Plenary Session of 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (第十八屆三中全會) — indicates that the focus of China’s urbanization turns towards a more sustainable model. Numerous municipalities have worked with developers and experts to plan for eco-cities to follow the central government’s guideline. China has already made a list of 284 Eco-cities across the whole nation by 2015.

This course will look at the processes and subjectivities in China’s Eco-cities construction to unpack the symbolism of Eco-city within their specific contexts and understand how the anticipation from several social forces interacts and pushes the projects to different outcomes. Following introductory lectures on campus regarding the socio-political and technical aspects of urban landscape construction, students will have the chance to interview different agencies (local government officials, international design firms, developers/engineers, and citizens) and conduct on-site research in some pilot Eco-city projects in Mainland China. The course aims to analyze how the urban environment is envisioned and reshaped as a test bed where economic and political benefits are pursued through professional knowledge in the context of the ecological crisis.

Senior year students in Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Urban Studies, and other disciplines in the built-environment.

Programme Fee
HKD 13,000

Application Deadline
Non-local students: 31 March 2019 (student visa application takes 10-12 weeks to process)

Online Application