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Design for Conservation

Design for Conservation


Belt and Road Workshop with Duke University

Duke-Kunshan University, together with Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and Center for International and Global Studies, hosted a conference on Environmental, Geostrategic, and Economic Dimensions of the Silk Road Economic Belt from 12-17 October, 2018. Following two days on economic and policy dimensions, a three-day session called "Developing Spatial Solutions to Environmental Impacts of Infrastructure Development" brought together participants from government, academia, multilateral banks, NGOs, and technology firms with ongoing projects and studies related to China's Belt and Road Initiative. Ashley Scott Kelly presented "Engaging infrastructure development through critical design practice: Campaigns in Southeast Asia", which showcased his geospatial-focused projects on design and impact assessment.

Abstract:

Engaging infrastructure development through critical design practice: Campaigns in Southeast Asia

Large-scale development, such as road-building, often progresses slowly, outlasting governments, evading principled environmental legislation, and changing investors, scopes, and designs. Conservation efforts here require sustained momentum and diverse forms of practice and expertise that can facilitate informed decision-making, importantly in the absence of otherwise crucial information. Through a cultural-technological campaign, which includes a species-specific road design manual, downscaled wildlife movement and ecosystem services modelling, 3D-printed stakeholder engagement models, and automated geospatial investigations and counter-assessments, this lecture will showcase transdisciplinary approaches and opportunities for landscape architecture to proactively engage development. Such engagement, whether it's applied, advocacy-, activist-, or action-oriented in development, raises important contradictions that result in considerable institutional, academic, disciplinary, and practical challenges. Carried out by landscape designers in collaboration with policy experts, biologists and geographers, this work offers an urgently needed model of design collaboration and has been disseminated to national and regional levels of government, developers, civil society, and agencies across South and Southeast Asia.

Developing Spatial Solutions to Environmental Impacts of Infrastructure Development Workshop

Duke-Kunshan University Belt and Road Workshop, 2018.
Duke-Kunshan University Belt and Road Workshop, 2018.

Posted by: (Design for Conservation)

Landscape Connectivity Workshop

Ashley Scott Kelly delivered a talk titled "Critical Linkages" at the "Landscape Connectivity Workshop" hosted by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-India) in New Delhi on 7-9 May. The three-day event brought together experts from India, Nepal, China, Russia, Mongolia, Bhutan, Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Spain and the United States to work with more than 60 representatives from the IUCN, the Global Tiger Forum, governments and international conservation NGOs. The workshop addressed issues of identification and design, lessons from long term corridor programs, monitoring corridors, corridor policy, genetics and climate change, and emerging fields in connectivity conservation for habitats ranging from snow leopard and elephant to rhino and tiger landscapes. Ashley presented on his current work developing guidelines for linkage modelling for complex landscapes under varying levels of data availability, development transparency and expertise.

WWF Landscape Connectivity Workshop

WWF Landscape Connectivity Workshop, 2018.
WWF Landscape Connectivity Workshop, 2018.

Posted by: (Design for Conservation)

Studio Laos Final Review

HKU landscape undergraduates defended their design and regional planning strategies for northern Laos today in front of a cross-disciplinary panel of experts on environmental impact, politics and administration, geography, sociology, architecture and planning. Students and faculty were honored to have Dr. Ng Shui Meng, former Deputy Representative for UNICEF Laos and wife of 2012 disappeared Laos civil society leader Sombath Somphone, join from Vientiane.

Students addressed a wide range of impacts related to the planning, construction and operation of the China-Laos Railway. Some dealt with the uncertainly going forward, some questioned how communities could have prepared themselves differently, and some argued for greater responsibility of the rail, road, dam, or mine developer. Topic areas included:

Cross-border conservation and alternative ecotourism models;
China-Laos Railway support infrastructure, material sourcing, waste, reuse, and environmental impact;
Resettlement planning, compensation, and capacity building along the corridor;
Mitigating agricultural intensification and mining investment; and
Tourism capacity and urban expansion.

Congratulations to all for an incredible term!

View course page

HKU students present their planning and design strategies for the China-Laos railway. By Aristo Chan.
HKU students present their planning and design strategies for the China-Laos railway. By Aristo Chan.
HKU students present their planning and design strategies for the China-Laos railway. By Aristo Chan.
HKU students present their planning and design strategies for the China-Laos railway. By Aristo Chan.
HKU students present their planning and design strategies for the China-Laos railway. By Aristo Chan.
HKU students present their planning and design strategies for the China-Laos railway. By Aristo Chan.
HKU students present their planning and design strategies for the China-Laos railway. By Aristo Chan.
HKU students present their planning and design strategies for the China-Laos railway. By Aristo Chan.
HKU students present their planning and design strategies for the China-Laos railway. By Aristo Chan.
HKU students present their planning and design strategies for the China-Laos railway. By Aristo Chan.
HKU students present their planning and design strategies for the China-Laos railway. By Aristo Chan.
HKU students present their planning and design strategies for the China-Laos railway. By Aristo Chan.
HKU students present their planning and design strategies for the China-Laos railway.
HKU students present their planning and design strategies for the China-Laos railway.

Posted by: (Design for Conservation)

Evaluating Land and Land Supply Strategies in Hong Kong

Saturday, 21 April 2018, 11:30-13:00

H6 CONET
G/F, The Center, 99 Queen's Road Central

Speakers:
YEUNG Ha-chi, Liber Research Community
Camille LAM, Liber Research Community
Ashley Scott KELLY, Division of Landscape Architecture, HKU

This second HKILA forum on land supply will address the technical and regulatory complexity of how landscapes are evaluated for development. Given Hong Kong's unremitting development pressures, both pro-development and pro-conservation groups are now calling for ways to evaluate sites for development based on environmental metrics and new conservation agreements. However, for the built-environment disciplines in Hong Kong, sustainability discourse is predominantly aligned with economic and urban sustainability, rather than the new forms of conservation that contend to use environmental modelling to justify the conversion of conservation uses. For urban and landscape resilience, we must ensure the critical and innovative deployment of conservation and impact assessment instruments and tools, including the measure of biodiversity, vulnerability, and ecosystem services. This forum will outline some of the data, knowledge, and arguments necessary to help make decisions, practice and participate in Hong Kong's ongoing land supply initiatives.

This event is free and open to the public.
Register here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLS...

HKILA Land Supply Forum Hong Kong.
HKILA Land Supply Forum Hong Kong.

Posted by: (Design for Conservation)

HKU Landscape Students Visit Laos

University of Hong Kong (HKU) students studying landscape planning recently traveled the planned route of the China-Laos Railway to learn of the opportunities brought by development and immense changes underway along the 400-kilometer corridor. As part of a course in HKU's Division of Landscape Architecture, students will create scenarios and speculative strategies related to the railway's environmental and social impact and its supporting infrastructure, as well as sustainable agriculture and forestry, conservation, and tourism planning along the length of the rail corridor.

During their visit, the students presented and received feedback on their preliminary studies, which synthesized three decades of land planning, conservation and ecotourism, drug eradication, watershed planning and hydropower development, corporate and artisanal mining, and the timber trade in northern Laos. Investments over the last 30 years have resulted in both positive and negative outcomes, and we must be diligent in finding innovative ways to ensure the sustainability of Laos, its people and landscapes.

The students and their instructors, Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, send a very warm thanks to all those in Lao civil society and the international community who made our visit a productive learning experience.

Tunnel portal under construction for China-Laos Railway. By Ashley Scott Kelly.
Tunnel portal under construction for China-Laos Railway. By Ashley Scott Kelly.
HKU students presenting their studies in Laos.
HKU students presenting their studies in Laos.
HKU Student 6-week Preliminary Research Book (180 pp).
HKU Student 6-week Preliminary Research Book (180 pp).
Strategic Landscape Planning for the Greater Mekong.
Strategic Landscape Planning for the Greater Mekong.
Nam Tha River. By Ashley Scott Kelly.
Nam Tha River. By Ashley Scott Kelly.
Boten Special Economic Zone at China-Laos border. By Ashley Scott Kelly.
Boten Special Economic Zone at China-Laos border. By Ashley Scott Kelly.

Posted by: (Design for Conservation)

Environmental Metrics and Valuing Nature in Hong Kong

Today, HKU Masters students presented their explorations of environmental metrics and contested development sites across Hong Kong for the research seminar course "Design Analytics: Nature, regions, and the erosion of conservation in Hong Kong". Many thanks to Deborah Kuh, Head of the Hong Kong Development Bureau's Greening Landscape and Tree Management Section, WildAid's Alex Hofford, and HKU colleagues for engaging with the students during their presentations.

View course page for Design Analytics: Nature, regions, and the erosion of conservation in Hong Kong

Map including student project locations, Green Belt conversions, and conservation agreement sites. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2017.
Map including student project locations, Green Belt conversions, and conservation agreement sites. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2017.
By WONG Hiu Yan Monique, 2017.
By WONG Hiu Yan Monique, 2017.
By CHAN Howe, 2017.
By CHAN Howe, 2017.

Posted by: (Design for Conservation)

Upstreaming Design for Linear Infrastructure with HKILA

Ashley Scott Kelly will deliver a talk, hosted by the Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects (HKILA), titled:

Engineering Conservation:
Upstreaming landscape design and sustainable construction in linear infrastructure planning
.

Date: Tuesday, 24 October 2017,
Time: 7:00-9:00 PM.

Where: Caritas Community & Higher Education Service,
14/F, On Lok Yuen Building, 25-27A Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong.

Synopsis:
Regional corridors propelled by China's 2013 Belt and Road Initiative are set to connect Eurasian economic centers through some of the last frontiers of Central, South and Southeast Asia. These frontiers are typically the domain of multilateral development banks and international environmental NGOs. This talk argues that design-level considerations, from site-specific wildlife mitigation strategies to decisions on slope engineering technologies, should drive or at least have a major upfront role in sustainable infrastructure planning. Long isolated by ethnic conflict and their distance from the state, Myanmar's biodiverse border areas harbor some of the largest intact forest habitats left in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). Since 2015, a team from HKU's Division of Landscape Architecture has promoted sustainable development of the cross-border Dawei-Kanchanaburi Road Link, which forms the western end of the GMS's Southern Economic Corridor. Through a series of design-advocacy efforts, including a species-specific road design manual, 3D-printed stakeholder engagement models, and wildlife mitigation informed by predictive wildlife movement modelling, I will showcase potential opportunities for landscape architecture to proactively engage infrastructure development and regional landscape planning. Critical to these efforts are the building of site-specific design scenarios and parametric modelling approaches that overcome the lack of development transparency and poor spatial data often prevalent in developing contexts. Supported by a multidisciplinary team of landscape designers connected to policy experts, biologists and scientists through the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), this work offers an urgently needed model of design collaboration. It has been disseminated to national and regional levels of the Myanmar government, the Thai road developer, Myanmar civil society, and agencies across Southeast Asia.

Registration and details: https://goo.gl/vHW8s2

This talk is for HKILA Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credit.
$150 Walk-in; $100 Pre-registration; $50 student members of HKILA/YLAG.

Upstreaming Design for Linear Infrastructure talk with HKILA, 24 October 2017.
Upstreaming Design for Linear Infrastructure talk with HKILA, 24 October 2017.

Posted by: (Design for Conservation)

Land Development vs Conservation Game with Storefront for Art and Architecture

New York-based Storefront for Art and Architecture, in partnership with Hong Kong Design Trust, held events across Hong Kong from 7-9 July as part of Storefront IS (International Series) Hong Kong. The three-day program included public city walks on urban transformation, dialogues on cross-border issues, and mixed-media performances exploring density, sustainability and development.

At the closing event, Ashley Scott Kelly hosted a game titled "Land Development vs Conservation Hong Kong". The game challenged participants to propose alternative sites for a new housing estate, taking into account an array of statutory regulations, development costs, and ecological characteristics. Teams debated over five maps revealing landscape character, vegetation and species richness, land cover, zoning, land vacancy, and features such as landslide risk and slope maintenance.

The game boards' area covered approximately 4 square-kilometers centered on Tai Wo Ping, one of the Hong Kong Development Bureau's some 190 potential housing sites, many of which are located in Green Belts. This controversial site was raised for judicial review in 2015 because its tendering process included slope maintenance works within a large portion of Lion Rock Country Park.

For scoring, a grid of 50 x 50-meter squares was overlaid on each map, summarizing that map's developmental and environmental costs. The team that selected a development site with the least total cost won. Additionally, teams were given the opportunity to "swap" or trade 0.5 hectares of their chosen site with an area of lower development cost, so long as that new area was exceptional in its environmental or conservation value.

This game uses a scoring system that challenges players to assign value to places based on qualities that aren't easily comparable yet must be considered. While these maps are but a small sampling of all ecological criteria necessary for sustainable development planning, the game sparks dialogue and raises awareness of such criteria, encouraging a wider understanding of development threats and opportunities across the territory. The game does include controversial components, such as reductive environmental valuation and "swapping" or trading of Green Belt areas, however, it is created in the spirit that increased knowledge leads to more rational debate. Lastly, these maps are an approximation of actual information and do not necessarily draw from the sources noted (remember, it's a game!).

Credit for the idea and format of the game is given to Stanford's Natural Capital Project and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), who created similar games for protected area planning.

Teams play Land Development vs Conservation Hong Kong, a landscape planning game, at Storefront IS Hong Kong.
Teams play Land Development vs Conservation Hong Kong, a landscape planning game, at Storefront IS Hong Kong.
Landscape planning game uses one of HK Development Bureau's planned housing development sites.
Landscape planning game uses one of HK Development Bureau's planned housing development sites.
Game participants consider landscape character, vegetation and species richness, land cover, zoning, land vacancy, and features such as landslide risk and slope maintenance.
Game participants consider landscape character, vegetation and species richness, land cover, zoning, land vacancy, and features such as landslide risk and slope maintenance.
Game participants consider landscape character, vegetation and species richness, land cover, zoning, land vacancy, and features such as landslide risk and slope maintenance.
Game participants consider landscape character, vegetation and species richness, land cover, zoning, land vacancy, and features such as landslide risk and slope maintenance.
Game participants consider landscape character, vegetation and species richness, land cover, zoning, land vacancy, and features such as landslide risk and slope maintenance.
Game participants consider landscape character, vegetation and species richness, land cover, zoning, land vacancy, and features such as landslide risk and slope maintenance.
Game participants consider landscape character, vegetation and species richness, land cover, zoning, land vacancy, and features such as landslide risk and slope maintenance.
Game participants consider landscape character, vegetation and species richness, land cover, zoning, land vacancy, and features such as landslide risk and slope maintenance.

Posted by: (Design for Conservation)