|Thursday, June 25|
The rise and fall of Shenzhens most vibrant urban space, 19802020
* John Zacharias, Peking University, Canada
In the top-down, comprehensive planning system in China, bottom-up and self-organizing developments are of great theoretical and practical interest. This study considers industrial zone regeneration to other urban use because it represents the tension between these two processes and possible avenues for reconciling them. The Shangbu industrial district was the biggest industrial estate in Shenzhen when China opened up to Western markets in 1978. Its rapid transformation to IT hub, shopping centre and public space from the late 1990s through 2012 made it the most active and vital place in the city. The planning policies that supported this transformation were documented in 2008. Growth in public presence, commercial values and sustainable transport continued through 2014, as documented in a second study. Continued investment in metro, underground space and pedestrianization schemes, however, did not produce the maintenance and growth of the area as Shenzhen’s vital heart, as we see in 2020. Instead, visitors and commercial vitality declined. What happened? Why would supportive policies not produce the desired impact? In this longitudinal study, I consider the relationship between government infrastructure provision, private investment and pedestrian presence. Large, internally integrated projects began to replace the fine-grained texture of uses and their vital relationship with the street environment. The street environment itself was subject to governmental intervention in the form of an elaborate landscaping scheme accompanied by intensive street management. The loss of this vital central place in Shenzhen has not yet been made up with the emergence of another in this city of more than 22 million inhabitants. The study is intended as a cautionary tale for other industrial districts now undergoing early stage transformation.
Building tomorrows peri-urban landscapes with social innovation and prospective design
* Patrick Marmen, University of Montreal, Canada
Sylvain Paquette, University of Montreal, Canada
Philippe Poullaouec-Gonidec, University of Montreal, Canada
While our notion of landscape is generally conceived of in spatial terms, it also informed by a particular combination of temporalities that are expressed in the transformations of the physical and spatial characteristics of territories as well as in the fluctuating social sensibilities of individuals or communities with regard to a given environment. However, such a dual notion of landscape, in other words, one that is both tangible and intangible as well as mutually influencing, is hardly recognized or formulated in urban planning and project approaches. At the same time, the development of innovative know-how as well as socially shared visions of land-use planning require such an approach if they are to culminate in collective and viable projects. This presentation will report the results of a co-construction of knowledge that drew on the perspectives of citizens, urban planning professionals and elected municipal officials of a peri-urban community in the urban agglomeration of Montreal. The planning challenges brought forth by this landscape characterization exercise have, in turn, allowed to set out the terms of a strategic planning vision and to generate proposals for putting this prospective vision into words and images over a medium- and long-term horizon. The use of various methods from social innovation has also allowed to determine the principles and intervention criteria for identifying how to preserve, enhance and develop the territory so as to best guide future municipal projects. In this way, the study shows the potential held by social and cultural approaches to landscape for raising questions about the future of urbanized territories and for inducing scenarios of landscape transformation that are inclusive of multiple perspectives.
Cultural ecosystem services in Scotland: exploring how landscape affects spiritual wellbeing
* Katherine Irvine, James Hutton Institute, United Kingdom
Anna Conniff, James Hutton Institute, United Kingdom
Daniel Fisher, James Hutton Institute, United Kingdom
Inge Aalders, James Hutton Institute, United Kingdom
Sara Warber, University of Michigan, United States
Time spent in nature has beneficial effects on human health and wellbeing. Government agencies, practitioners and researchers are interested in how to integrate these benefits into land management decisions for current and future generations. While the rubric of cultural ecosystem services (CES) is increasingly used to consider this challenge, the conceptualisation of CES is incomplete. Here we consider CES through the lens of spiritual wellbeing, which incorporates relational connections with self, community, the environment, and transcendent other(s). This study assessed the experience of landscape and spiritual wellbeing among members of the Scottish population. We implemented a national web-based survey reaching a geographically representative sample (by local government area) of the Scottish population (sampled by age and sex). We asked participants to identify a specific place where they felt they had had a ‘spiritual (not necessarily religious) experience’. Participants then answered open and closed ended questions concerning the place and their experience, as well as questions about the temporal dimensions of their engagement with the place (e.g. length and regularity of visits). Participants (n=922) were 48% male; all adult age categories were represented although there were fewer younger (16-34 = 25%) than older (35-54 = 37%, 55+ = 38%) individuals who participated. Qualitative data provide rich insight into spiritual experiences. Analyses of quantitative data will further explore the association of landscape, spiritual experience, wellbeing benefit and time related measures. Findings will inform development of spatially explicit maps of CES for decision makers in Scotland. Results will also shape new methods to investigate the spiritual dimension of people-environment interactions to inform CES evaluations. As we face the existential crisis of our relationship with the planet, further exploration of the spiritual aspect of people-environment relations and landscape can provide timely insight.
Strategic organic functionalism: bringing the long-term into Finnish regional land use planning
* Juha Hiedanpää, Natural Resources Institute, Finland
Architect Alvar Aalto made the first Finnish regional plan in 1943. It is said that the river Kokemäenjoki valley regional plan was ahead of its time. It brought regionalism into Finnish planning scheme; it intertwined the rural and the urban; it anticipated the concept of emergence; and it introduced transactive cell-like structure to the planning process. The achievement cannot be nullified although Aalto himself was disappointed to its societal impact. To a considerable extent, the Finnish land use planning legislation has developed towards the direction Aalto anticipated. For example, with the Land Use and Building Act enforced in 2000, land use planning became more strategic and certain procedures for impact assessment and public participation mandatory. In my paper, I will discuss Aalto’s organic functionalism in the light of the Phase Regional Land Use Plan for Natural Values and Natural Resources that is under preparation in SW Finland (2016–2020). A key difference between the two, I claim, is that the river Kokemäenjoki valley regional plan was based on functionalist area reservations, while the current phase regional land use plan on strategic functionalism in its attempt to reconcile societal needs for natural values (e.g. biodiversity), natural resources (e.g. biomass, and possibly also carbon sinks) and recreational opportunities (e.g. nature’s health effects). I will explore these two approaches to integrate nature and society and to bring the long term into regional land use planning. While doing so, I will come to update Aalto’s organic vision of regional planning.