Lectures: Two sessions / week, 3 hours / session
The studio will focus on the district of Gaoming, located in the northwest of the Pearl River Delta (PRD) - the fastest growing and most productive region of China. Gaoming is one of the districts within the Foshan Municipality, which has a total population of about 5.5 million. Foshan Municipality is a rapidly developing urban area that will assume an important role as the PRD continues to integrate economically and socially. A new role for the integrated Delta is emerging after its recent designation by the Central Government as the economic engine for a large part of Southern China consisting of nine provinces and two Special Administrative Regions.
The District has recently completed a planning effort in which several design institutes and a Hong Kong planning firm prepared ideas for a new central area near the river. The class will complement these efforts by focusing on planning and design options on the waterfront of the proposed new district and ways of integrating water/hydrological factors into all aspects and land uses of a modern city (residential, commercial, industrial) - including watershed and natural ecosystem protection, economic and recreational activities, transportation, and tourism.
Gaoming District has been historically an agricultural area with green rolling hills and paddy fields. It is located on the West branch of the Pearl River with water access to all of the major cities in the Delta and inland to Guangxi. It has only started to industrialize after Liberation with mostly light industries such as textile and garment plants.
Gaoming District has a population of about 250,000 with a planned doubling of its size in the next few decades to fulfill its role in the on-going urbanization of Foshan Municipality and the PRD. The district is presently engaged in planning for and defining its future as a balanced city with industry and agriculture while maintaining a strong emphasis on sustainability and environmental quality. It is acutely aware of the environmental degradation that has taken place in the rapid industrialization of the cities in the eastern PRD and wants to plan the city so that it learns from the earlier mistakes.
The studio's pedagogic objective is to introduce students from different backgrounds to the issues that can be addressed through good design and planning, as well as to techniques and values that must be engaged in that task. Beyond this educational purpose, there is also a wider important public objective attached to the studio. Typically, there has been a concerted effort to stimulate public understanding and debate about a current design or policy issue in that locale. Thus, the studio will work with clients, including officials of Gaoming District and planning consultants who can benefit from the proposals that the studio generates. Student teams will produce design and policy recommendations including methods of implementation.
The Studio's objectives include:
The District of Gaoming and Foshan Municipality.