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At present main there are two major schools of landscape urbanism: one is the “school”, due to the limitation of its national conditions, not like China there are so many construction of new urban opportunities, so they in the practice of China’s most only stay in the land of the city and park transformation (such as Paris villette park, when the city park in Toronto and New York landfill transformation, etc.), it caused many scholars misunderstanding, thought landscape urbanism is just study the new concept of city parks. However, the research object of landscape urbanism should be the whole city, not just the park.

The second school of landscape urbanism is the “structural school” represented by AA in the UK. Their problem is that although the whole process of analysis and design seems very dynamic, the final product is static and will not change with the change of site and environment. I think the key to landscape and urbanism is to make people more focus on the process of the evolution of the whole city because of urbanization is not the end of the (open – endedness).

Some argue that the urban design of qianhai new town in shenzhen, recently awarded by James Corner, is as epochal to the theory of landscape urbanism as the Parc DE la Villette design competition in France nearly 20 years ago, in which the architect won a project that should have belonged to the landscape architect. This is not only because the landscape architect won the project that should belong to the architect this time, but more importantly, “landscape” was expanded from the “park” as a part of the city to the surface of the whole city for the first time, becoming the link and Medium of all elements of the city. Different from previous practices in North America and Europe, it should be said that qianhai new city in shenzhen by James Corner is a real practice of landscape urbanism.


Scapecity refers to a living Field state composed of thick and accumulated patches and overlapping corridor networks based on the principle of ecological planning, and is a spatial form and structural pattern proposed for urban physical space. Proposed by some people above “landscape city” and the so-called “pan-landscape”, “garden city” is a completely different concept, the latter is just a kind of appearance, the so-called visual aesthetic. Meanwhile, “landscape city” is different from the popular “eco-city” and “low-carbon city”. While they sound right and beautiful, my biggest puzzle with them is what these “eco-cities” and “low-carbon cities” actually look like. In other words, what is the structure and shape of such cities? Because we know that people have a deep understanding of visual, intuitive things.

“Landscape city” is the study of the physical space (structure and form) of the city, because the superstructure of the city: society, economy, politics and culture are all based on this physical space. “Thickened ground”, “landscaped architecture” and “landscape infrastructure”, these “stacked” + “closed” overall landscape forms not only represent comprehensiveness, but also provide efficient and reasonable spatial organization and connection (horizontal and vertical). As an urban design based on landscape urbanism, “landscape city” is not only a declaration but also a methodology. Through it, we can carry out the practice of landscape urbanism in part of the city (university campus) and in whole (construction of new town and so on). A common feature of these practices is that they all attempt to combine ecology with urbanization and start with the creation of comprehensive public Spaces rather than single buildings, roads or parks, as urban life is defined by public Spaces.

Landscape urbanism originated from the critical thinking on many problems of post-industrial society in European and American countries, developed from the sensitive part of interdisciplinary, and emphasized landscape as the most important means to organize urban space development in the future. Landscape urbanism emphasizes urban planning based on “design” to coordinate the urban and ecological process through “design”, instead of passively dividing regions and nature reserves, fully respecting the evolution and development of the natural ecosystem in the site, and reducing the impact of human activities on the site development.

China cannot follow the fashionable concepts and copy western theories, because China’s national conditions and foreign countries are very different. Some people think that there is basically no urbanization abroad now, while China is in the early stage of urbanization; While most western metropolises are seen as places to live for lonely individuals and suburbs as ideal homes, China’s “urbanites” are symbols of status, status and wealth. While many cities in Europe and North America are losing population, China’s urban population is growing rapidly. There are a large number of abandoned land in western cities, and basically do not have so much in China’s urban land, if any, is also a very brief, therefore, is the result of western landscape urbanism theory, every country is limited by its national conditions, there are many needs further perfect place, need according to the national conditions in the construction, combining theory and construction.


Beatly, Tiomthy, Planning for sustainability in European cities, in The City Reader, pp446-457


Waldheim, Charles, Landscape as Urbanism, in The Urban Design Reader, 2nd Edition, pp. 534-543


One response to “The difference of landscape urbanism”

  1. This article made me re-focus on landscape urbanism, knowing that it understands the city as an ecological system, and through the construction and improvement of landscape infrastructure, the function of infrastructure is combined with the social and cultural needs of the city. Landscape doctrine is not only a green scene or natural space, but also a continuous surface structure.
    For example, the social, aesthetic, and ecological functions of urban infrastructure should provide people with more social value. This requires us to re-examine the special projects to reduce their negative impact on the city from congestion, pollution, and noise. The influence is liberated, making it a part of urban living and living, so as to improve the quality of life, meet the needs of public life, improve the regional ecological environment, and enhance the economic value of land. For example: flowing landscapes, moving landscapes, landscaped cities, and the practice of landscape urbanism is that they all try to combine ecology and urbanization, and take the creation of comprehensive public spaces as a starting point, rather than a single building, Roads or parks, because urban life is defined by public space.

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