Academic debate on Ecological Security and Ecological Urbanism successfully held at Beijing Forum 2016
“Integrated Reform Plan for Promoting Ecological Progress” published on September 11, 2015 puts forward new objectives: 1. A system built on spatial planning for the development and protection of territorial space; 2. A planning system that strengthens spatial governance and improves its structure; is nationally unified and better connects different governmental entities, and divides management between governments at multiple levels. The same month, heads of both China and the United States signed the U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change, which reaffirms the two countries determination to move ahead decisively to implement domestic climate policies, to strengthen bilateral coordination and cooperation, and to promote sustainable development through a transition to green, low-carbon and climate-resilient economies.
Panel session VIof Beijing Forum 2016 explored the topic of “Ecological Security and Ecological Urbanism: International Experience and the China Experiment”made great headway in facilitating frontier research exchanges, international experience sharing and forward-looking discussions.
Wang Guangtao (former Minister of Construction and Chairman of the 11th NPC Environmental and Resources Protection Committee) introduced his keynote report titled “Urban Ecological Protection and Restoration - Legal Protection and Technical Support”. From the perspectives of policies and technical practices, he threw light on how to promote urban transformation through ecocity piloting. On the policy front, the national criteria for green building are not flawless. Citing an ecocity demonstration area, Mr. Wang stressed the importance ecological performance evaluation studies. The studies should take into account not only the effective use of green energy, but also the protection of land, water, air and biodiversity. Flexible planning based on different environmental conditions will contribute to urban ecological restoration, and in turn to the harmonious coexistence of man and nature.
Barry Bergdoll (a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a professor at the Department of Art History and Archaeology of Columbia University, and former Curator of MoMA) talked mainly about an exhibition to his credit, “Rising Currents: Projects For New York’s Waterfront”. Focusing its narratives on ecological protection, economy and society, the exhibition received wide accolade, despite the lack of urban designer in its interdisciplinary planning team. Mr. Bergdoll further argued that as the world today is faced by the dual phenomenon of rising sea levels and growing shortages of fresh water for human use, a new approach to the urban reality of the 21st century is imperative. He stressed that there is need to develop means of crafting the urban cities in dialogue with nature.
Eva Castro (a Master’s advisor at UK AA Architectural Institute, and Chief Designer of UK Plasma) gave a keynote report focused on “The Origin of the Radical Nature”. Citing several projects she (co-)designed, she provided a unique geometrical insight into the relevance of design to people’s life. Her inclusive, nonconventional geometrical model addresses issues concerning greening, transport and water resources, with a view to developing multi-functional modern urban space.
Echoing the above-mentioned events, Landscape Architecture (Issue 5 of 2016), run by the PKU College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, defined its theme as “Ecological Security and Ecological With the guidance and support from PKU and the Secretariat, the sessions made great headway in facilitating frontier research exchanges, international experience sharing and forward-looking discussions. While enhancing communication with ecocity and landscape designers and researchers from all countries, the sessions explored new forms of organization, including a sideline exhibition. The participants highly recognized the academic atmosphere of this year’s Forum, hoping that future Forums could have a go at cross-session exchanges and other ways to further enliven the discussions.
With the guidance and support from PKU and the Secretariat, the sessions gave the opportunity to Chinese and foreign specialists in the fields of ecological security, regional planning, national spatial protection, ecological infrastructure and ecological city to share ideas, learn about the research carried out by the PKU College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in the last two decades, review the typical Chinese city case studies by PKU-Harvard Ecological Urbanism Collaboration (EUC), and examine issues related to the construction of ecological cities in China, strategies for ecological security building, and the design of a blueprint for international cooperation in these areas.