On October 26th, Sasaki’s Shanghai office held the second Shanghai Landscape Forum together with AECOM and SWA, following the successful launch of the inaugural forum earlier in April.
This second forum was organized around the theme “Practices and Challenges of Eco-Restoration in China” with presentations given by Sasaki, AECOM, and SWA.
After an introduction by Sasaki Director of Shanghai Office, Senior Associate Dou Zhang, ASLA [pictured above], the day's programming began. The first portion consisted of a presentation, “Rethinking of Eco-Restoration,” in which Sasaki landscape architects Zhiqing Yu, Jialing Zhang, and Tianwen Zhou [pictured below] presented several Sasaki projects and discussed major issues in ecological restoration, addressing:
In the second part of the forum, Dou Zhang, ASLA, led a discussion with panelists from design firms, industry experts, and clients to spark an in-depth dialogue with broader perspectives.
Dou Zhang [far right] leads the discussion panel, which includes Mark Dawson [far left].
The discussion centered on how much impact eco-restoration has on the urban environment, and to what extent ecological restoration should be applied in urban environments. The panel also had an extensive discussion on how landscape architects, urban designers, ecology experts, and clients can work together to bring about successful eco-restoration projects, as well as the most significant differences between working internationally and within China.
“Every project should incorporate eco-restorative design elements," says Sasaki Principal Mark Dawson, FASLA. "In the end, self-sustained, regenerating landscape projects will carry the day when they are under greater pressures in financially maintained properties. Great landscapes should have a valid ecological footprint, and well-designed landscapes can sustain themselves through self-selection and natural processes.”
Dawson also shared his perspective on the unique challenges with working on eco-restoration projects in China. “The project scale in China is stunningly remarkable, with magnitude you never see in the United States. My concern with projects in China is durability—the scale of the projects and pace of the implementation create challenges, which is almost contradictory to eco-restoration. In addition to government policies and initiatives, landscape architecture, as a profession, needs to stand up and urge everyone to understand the long-term implications of development and apply them to every project.”
Joining Dawson as panelists were Jing Feng of “City Hall”, the Paper, Lee Parks of AECOM, Congwei Song of Shanghai Harbor City Development Group, David Tompson of SWA Group, Ted Yu of SOM, Yinjiang Zhang of Shanghai Ocean University.