RESTARTING SUCCESSION:Ecological Restoration of Mountain Edges

Tongji University, Shanghai, China
Group Work with Wen YANG & Wenxin DENG

Studio: Ecological Planting Planning

Boundary usually has the most diversified landscapes but also manifests as vulnerable under intensive disturbance. In the face of this challenge, the Jinan Forested Region, located at the intersection of Jinan and the southern mountain area, has seen an ongoing fragmentation due to the increasing timber demands and the unguided development of real estate since the 1950s. Nowadays, the fragmentation is confronting the region with an urgent issue of biodiversity decrease, which exerts a detrimental influence on the natural succession of the forest ecosystem. Addressing the succession crisis in this project, we attempted to deal with the problem of how to restart the succession through planting planning as a positive intervention, how to balance the environmental and social needs.

Geographical Analysis
Analogy to the Restoration Strategy
Human beings have exerted a catastrophic impact on the forested land of interests. Without positive intervention from human, it will take a long term for a barren area to restore to an advanced forest system. We therefore decided to combine the natural succession with human intervention in the whole restoration process, which is similar to the process of plant cell division in the biological context.
Diagram of Restoration
The restoration process consists of two primary steps. Step 1 represents the procedure to reset the land, to clear the negative influence that human has once cast on the land, and to help the region regain its capability to regenerate and success by itself(we term the status as “k”). Then, as plant cells will grow into various functional cells under different motivation factors, we plan to exert motivating impacts to make the land units “differentiate” according to the development goals we set for environmental and social purposes. The anthropogenic disturbance plays a crucial role in the whole restoration process; by changing the disturbance intensity or determine the targeted locations, we are allowed to regulate the speed, direction of the succession, which serves as cooperation to the natural process.
Strategies for Planting Species

LANDSCAPE REGENERATION: Inherit And Develop Traditional Eco-wisdom of Polder Landscape In Yangtze Watershed

Tongji University, Shanghai, China
Personal Capstone Project, supervised by
Daixin DAI & Lin ZHANG

Polders are a wise response of ancient Chinese to the lowland environment in Yangtze watershed. Nowadays, the fact that prominent land-use type is converted from polder to new town has resulted in aggravation of the flood risk, decrease of biodiversity and invalidity of the original human settlement.

Aiming to reintroduce the traditional eco-wisdom to the New Town construction, I summarized the mechanism of the conventional polder landscape based on literature review and on-site survey. I found out that efficient coupling of three subsystems, namely flexible stormwater management, efficient land-use, and polder-based community, provides the driving force of the landscape regeneration.

According to the mechanism, sustainable strategies of ecological planning and design were proposed for the case of Hangbu New Town in Shucheng, China: (1) low impact development strategy by reusing the stormwater management system of original polder landscape, including maintaining polder banks, dredging river channels, and appropriate zoning; (2) enhancement of ecosystem services by conservating native plant communities and constructing greenway on polder banks; (3) build open residential community based on the polder banks.

The conclusion can be drawn that new town planning should refer to the traditional polder wisdom in terms of the integrated organization of stormwater, land-use and human beings.

Conceptual Model of Polder Landscape Regeneration Mechanism
In agriculture period, the landscape regeneration results from the coupling of economy (agricultural production), environment (ecosystem), and society (farming society), while new balance among the three subsystems should be built  in the newtown construction through good  conservation of the pivotal spatial pattern of the current polder landscape.
Urban Flood-management System in Hangbu
To build an urban flood-management system in new towns should follow the conventional strategy of hierarchical banks, which can decentralize stormwater control and decrease flood peak. The first class refers to urban rivers and suburban natural wetlands, where rainwater will finally be drained. The second class is composed of creeks which originally exist or newly excavated. Bioretention, the third class, plays a role as capillaries in collecting the runoff inside the built environment.
Master Plan: the Northern Wetland Park
Design Strategies
Flood-adaptive Landscape Design
the Polder Banks as Greenway
Detailed Design
Flooding Scenarios