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Design for Conservation

Design for Conservation


HKU Landscape Students Return to Thai-Myanmar Border

Landscape architecture undergraduates from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) travelled over 400-kilometers along the Thai-Myanmar Border from Chiang Mai to Mae Sot in Thailand. For its second year, this landscape planning studio course is focusing on a set of controversial and long-delayed development projects along the border, including dams on the Salween and Yuam rivers, a coal mine concession in Chiang Mai province, and the planned large-scale water diversion tunnel from the Salween to Chao Phraya basins.

Students met with several environmental and human rights groups, including The Border Consortium (TBC), Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN), Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), ecologists from the Forest Restoration Research Unit (FORRU) and sociologists from the Center for Ethnic Studies and Development (CESD) of Chiang Mai University, and indigenous community groups in the Yuam and Ngao river basins. The students and their instructor Ashley Scott Kelly thank these organizations for helping make our visit a productive learning experience.

HKU landscape students on longboats within planned reservoir area on tributary of the Salween (Thanlwin/Nujiang) River, Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2024.
HKU landscape students on longboats within planned reservoir area on tributary of the Salween (Thanlwin/Nujiang) River, Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2024.
HKU landscape students meet with The Border Consortium (TBC) in Bangkok, Thailand. By Lee Jinyoung Jinnie, 2024.
HKU landscape students meet with The Border Consortium (TBC) in Bangkok, Thailand. By Lee Jinyoung Jinnie, 2024.
Benjakitti Forest Park, Bangkok, Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2024.
Benjakitti Forest Park, Bangkok, Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2024.
HKU landscape students speak with docents from the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) at Mae Moh Coal Mine Museum, Lampang province. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2024.
HKU landscape students speak with docents from the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) at Mae Moh Coal Mine Museum, Lampang province. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2024.
HKU landscape students meet with the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN). By Kuan Pui Shan Kimmy, 2024.
HKU landscape students meet with the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN). By Kuan Pui Shan Kimmy, 2024.
HKU landscape students doing seed preparation at Ban Mae Sa Mai Community Tree Nursery with Chiang Mai University's Forest Restoration Research Unit (FORRU), Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2024.
HKU landscape students doing seed preparation at Ban Mae Sa Mai Community Tree Nursery with Chiang Mai University's Forest Restoration Research Unit (FORRU), Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2024.
HKU landscape students meet with academics from Chiang Mai University's Center for Ethnic Studies and Development. By Kuan Pui Shan Kimmy, 2024.
HKU landscape students meet with academics from Chiang Mai University's Center for Ethnic Studies and Development. By Kuan Pui Shan Kimmy, 2024.
HKU landscape students meet with Mae Ngao indigenous people’s network, Mae Hong Son province, Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2024.
HKU landscape students meet with Mae Ngao indigenous people’s network, Mae Hong Son province, Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2024.
HKU landscape students at site of planned disposal area for 60-kilometer water diversion tunnel. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2024.
HKU landscape students at site of planned disposal area for 60-kilometer water diversion tunnel. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2024.
HKU landscape students on longboats within planned reservoir area on tributary of the Salween (Thanlwin/Nujiang) River, Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2024.
HKU landscape students on longboats within planned reservoir area on tributary of the Salween (Thanlwin/Nujiang) River, Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2024.
HKU landscape students view Karen/Kayin State, Myanmar from Tak province, Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2024.
HKU landscape students view Karen/Kayin State, Myanmar from Tak province, Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2024.
Mae La, Thailand’s largest refugee camp. By Lee Jinyoung Jinnie, 2024.
Mae La, Thailand’s largest refugee camp. By Lee Jinyoung Jinnie, 2024.
HKU landscape students meet with the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), Mae Sot, Thailand. By Tsui Tsz Shan Iris, 2024.
HKU landscape students meet with the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), Mae Sot, Thailand. By Tsui Tsz Shan Iris, 2024.
HKU landscape students viewing a casino in Myawaddy, Myanmar across the Moei River from Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2024.
HKU landscape students viewing a casino in Myawaddy, Myanmar across the Moei River from Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2024.

Posted by: (Design for Conservation)

Thai-Myanmar Border Studio Final Review

HKU Landscape undergrads capped their senior year with the Final Review for our Thai-Myanmar Border Studio. This year, students focused on a set of controversial and long-delayed development projects along the Thailand-Myanmar border, including dams on the Salween and Yuam rivers, a coal mine concession in Chiang Mai province, industrial zones in Mae Sot, and the planned large-scale water diversion tunnel from the Salween to Chao Phraya basins. Taught by professor Ashley Scott Kelly and teaching assistant Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, this studio teaches students not merely how planners or architects or landscape architects might be involved in large-scale planning projects but also how cultural anthropologists or political scientists might approach, evaluate, and address development throughout Southeast Asia.

Students learn how development happens from both desktop research and field visits, covering topics including: environmental histories of northern Thailand and southern Myanmar; participatory and customary mapping; transnational environmental and human rights advocacy; land governance and tenure; and migration, labor and border industries. For 10 days in mid-March students traveled overland roughly 600 kilometers in Thailand from Chiang Mai to Mae Sot in Thailand, meeting with several environmental and human rights advocacy groups, including International Rivers, The Border Consortium (TBC), Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN), EarthRights International (ERI), and indigenous community groups.

After returning to Hong Kong, students individually spent 8 weeks to propose landscape planning strategies that together: react to strategic and long-running resistance through community mapping, villager research or citizen science; address power and knowledge in reforestation programs; enable or nurture multiple migration pathways in the agricultural sector; and confront investment and contested value systems in dual-governed regions.

At their final review, students defended their proposals to a large panel of experts, including: Prof. Emily Yeh (Dept. of Geography, University of Colorado; past president, American Association of Geographers); David Gallacher (Executive Director, Environment, AECOM); Prof. Jeff Hou (Dept. of Landscape Architecture, University of Washington); Winnie Law (HKU Centre for Civil Society and Governance); Alice Hughes (HKU School of Biological Sciences); Jiraporn Laocharoenwong (Dept. of Anthropology and Sociology, Chulalongkorn University); Jayde Roberts (School of Built Environment, Univ. of New South Wales); Sidh Sintusingha (Melbourne School of Design); Zali Fung (Social Equity Institute, Univ. of Melbourne); Merve Bedir (Center for Spatial Justice, Istanbul; Critical Media Lab, Basel); Peter Cobb (HKU Humanities and Digital Technologies, Faculty of Arts); and several planners and designers from HKU Planning, Architecture, and Landscape Architecture.

The students, Ashley, and Sandra express their gratitude to our jury members and HKU's continued support for engaging in essential discussions about landscape development across sectors and geographies in the region. Congratulations to the students!

Promotional video for HKU Thai-Myanmar Border Studio. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2023.
Final Review for Thai-Myanmar Border Studio. By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.
Final Review for Thai-Myanmar Border Studio. By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.
Final Review for Thai-Myanmar Border Studio. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2023.
Final Review for Thai-Myanmar Border Studio. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2023.
Final Review for Thai-Myanmar Border Studio. By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.
Final Review for Thai-Myanmar Border Studio. By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.
Final Review for Thai-Myanmar Border Studio. By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.
Final Review for Thai-Myanmar Border Studio. By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.
Situating science, impact scope and strategies for slow resistance on the Yuam River and its tributaries in northern Thailand. By Lai Man Ki Maisy, 2023.
Situating science, impact scope and strategies for slow resistance on the Yuam River and its tributaries in northern Thailand. By Lai Man Ki Maisy, 2023.
Situating science, impact scope and strategies for slow resistance on the Yuam River and its tributaries in northern Thailand. By Lai Man Ki Maisy, 2023.
Situating science, impact scope and strategies for slow resistance on the Yuam River and its tributaries in northern Thailand. By Lai Man Ki Maisy, 2023.
Situating science, impact scope and strategies for slow resistance on the Yuam River and its tributaries in northern Thailand. By Lai Man Ki Maisy, 2023.
Situating science, impact scope and strategies for slow resistance on the Yuam River and its tributaries in northern Thailand. By Lai Man Ki Maisy, 2023.
Situating science, impact scope and strategies for slow resistance on the Yuam River and its tributaries in northern Thailand. By Lai Man Ki Maisy, 2023.
Situating science, impact scope and strategies for slow resistance on the Yuam River and its tributaries in northern Thailand. By Lai Man Ki Maisy, 2023.
Indigenous-led forest restoration: From Community impact assessment to ecological potential in the uplands of Chiang Mai province. By Leung Wing Yan Kitty, 2023.
Indigenous-led forest restoration: From Community impact assessment to ecological potential in the uplands of Chiang Mai province. By Leung Wing Yan Kitty, 2023.
Dimensioning indigenous knowledge: A Village mapping toolkit for countering rapid assessments of Karen communities at Omkoi, Chiang Mai province. By Cheng Wai Jon Joni, 2023.
Dimensioning indigenous knowledge: A Village mapping toolkit for countering rapid assessments of Karen communities at Omkoi, Chiang Mai province. By Cheng Wai Jon Joni, 2023.
Final Review for Thai-Myanmar border studio 2023. By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.
Final Review for Thai-Myanmar border studio 2023. By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.
Final Review for Thai-Myanmar border studio 2023. By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.
Final Review for Thai-Myanmar border studio 2023. By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.

Posted by: (Design for Conservation)

HKU Landscape Students Travel Along Thai-Myanmar Border

University of Hong Kong (HKU) students studying landscape planning travelled in March for roughly 600 kilometers along the Thailand-Myanmar border between Chiang Mai and Mae Sot in Thailand. Students met with several environmental and human rights advocacy groups, academics, and communities regarding a series of controversial and long-delayed development projects along the border, including dams on the Salween and Yuam rivers, a coal mine concession in Chiang Mai province, industrial zones in Mae Sot, and the planned large-scale water diversion tunnel from the Salween to Chao Phraya basins.

The students, their instructor Ashley Scott Kelly, and teaching assistant Sandra Saw Yu Nwe thank International Rivers, The Border Consortium (TBC), Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN), EarthRights International (ERI), indigenous community groups, and academics from Chiang Mai University and Chulalongkorn University for helping make our visit a productive learning experience.

HKU landscape students on longboats within planned reservoir area on tributary of the Salween (Thanlwin/Nujiang) River, Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2023.
HKU landscape students on longboats within planned reservoir area on tributary of the Salween (Thanlwin/Nujiang) River, Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2023.
Overlook at Omkoi district, Chiang Mai province, Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2023.
Overlook at Omkoi district, Chiang Mai province, Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2023.
Studio travel route (thick black line) from Chiang Mai to Mae Sot, Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2023.
Studio travel route (thick black line) from Chiang Mai to Mae Sot, Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2023.
HKU landscape students meet with EarthRights International (ERI) at the Mitharsuu Center for Leadership and Justice, Thailand. By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.
HKU landscape students meet with EarthRights International (ERI) at the Mitharsuu Center for Leadership and Justice, Thailand. By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.
HKU landscape students meet with the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN). By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.
HKU landscape students meet with the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN). By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.
Community mapping discussion with Omkoi Women’s Group, Chiang Mai province, Thailand. By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.
Community mapping discussion with Omkoi Women’s Group, Chiang Mai province, Thailand. By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.
HKU landscape students meet with Mae Ngao indigenous people’s network, Mae Hong Son province, Thailand. By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.
HKU landscape students meet with Mae Ngao indigenous people’s network, Mae Hong Son province, Thailand. By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.
HKU landscape students meet with Tak Chamber of Commerce, Mae Sot, Thailand. By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.
HKU landscape students meet with Tak Chamber of Commerce, Mae Sot, Thailand. By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.
Studio mid-term report developed and presented by students to organizations on the ground in northern Thailand, 2023.
Studio mid-term report developed and presented by students to organizations on the ground in northern Thailand, 2023.
Karen/Kayin State, Myanmar viewed from Tak province, Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2023.
Karen/Kayin State, Myanmar viewed from Tak province, Thailand. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2023.
Mae La, Thailand’s largest refugee camp. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2023.
Mae La, Thailand’s largest refugee camp. By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2023.
Industrial enclaves along the Thai-Myanmar border. By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.
Industrial enclaves along the Thai-Myanmar border. By Sandra Saw Yu Nwe, 2023.

Posted by: (Design for Conservation)

1:50,000 Maps of Forest Loss and Land Cover for Tanintharyi

For Myanmar civil society engaged in conservation and sustainable development, it is often difficult to make connections between government-published information and current remote-sensing data on landscape change, if such data can easily be accessed at all. This post contains a new series of 125 maps for Tanintharyi Region at 1:50,000 scale matching the extent of the commonly used map series published in 2007 by the Myanmar Survey Department, Ministry of Agriculture & Irrigation (First edition 2007). This new series is freely downloadable.

Primary layers are from public sources, including forest loss year (2000-2021), land cover, villages, roads and streams. Additional features include protected areas (gazetted and planned), industrial zones, and linear infrastructure. Layers in these new maps were chosen and styled to emphasize landscape change over the past 20 years. For that reason, if forest loss occurred at any time since the year 2000, that loss is shown instead of current land or tree cover, regardless of any tree cover gain since the initial loss.

Development and Conservation Awareness Map (DCAM). By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2022.
Development and Conservation Awareness Map (DCAM). By Ashley Scott Kelly, 2022.

Format: All sheets are A1-size (594x841mm) at 150 DPI resolution, RGB color. Each sheet has a location diagram in the lower-right corner with the sheet numbers for all maps in the series. Each file is named with the MoA sheet number. For instance, for sheet 1198_16 the filename is: Dcam22v1_Sheet_1198-16.tif

Download map sheets:

Individual map tiles (low-quality JPG) can be downloaded by clicking a tile on this key map:

DCAM Map Sample, 2022.
DCAM Map Sample, 2022.
DCAM Map Sample, 2022.
DCAM Map Sample, 2022.
DCAM Map Sample, 2022.
DCAM Map Sample, 2022.

Posted by: (Design for Conservation)

Studio Laos 2022 Final Review

HKU Bachelor of Arts in Landscape Studies BA(LS) students capped their senior year with the Final Review for Studio Laos: Strategic Landscape Planning for the Greater Mekong. The studio focused on northern Laos's rapidly transforming landscapes along its border with southwest China. Co-taught by professors Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, this studio teaches students not merely how planners or architects or landscape architects might be involved in large-scale planning projects but also how a cultural anthropologist or political scientist describes and assesses development across Southeast Asia.

Following the recently published pedagogy in Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (Kelly and Lu, 2021), students read from diverse literature critical of how development happens, covering histories and issues such as alternative value systems, context-specific responses to reductive policies and plans, and overlapping or patchworked development. Using that knowledge and their landscape studies education, students then individually analyzed the frictions between two development projects prior iterations of the studio had visited before the pandemic. Projects included botanic gardens, forest study plots, wildlife sanctuaries, community forests, hydropower and irrigation dams, water user groups, villages undergoing resettlement, highway upgrading, special economic zones or other enclaves, protected forests, permaculture farms, and rubber and other cash-crop plantations. Frictions between these projects include ideological frictions (such as between Western alternative and Chinese-backed approaches, or between northern science and ethnobotany), as well as practical frictions in these projects' capacities for sustainable development.

For the second half of the term, students individually developed landscape planning strategies, especially considering the persistent obstacles to sustainable development and ongoing shocks to socioeconomic and socioecological systems, such as transitions from small-scale ecotourism to mass nature tourism, large-scale infrastructure and enclosure, and rural-urban migration. At their final review, students defended their proposals to members from a range of Laos civil society, including: an NGO operating several wildlife sanctuaries across Southeast Asia; an NGO trialing coffee in northern Laos; a 30-year-old network of field biologists studying the eastern Himalayas; and Laos's oldest domestic development NGO. Other members of the students' jury included: landscape architects and geographers from the National University of Singapore and University of Technology Sydney; a landscape ecologist, an archeologist, and an impact assessment expert from HKU's Schools of Biology and Humanities and Centre for Civil Society and Governance; as well as architects and landscape architects from HKU's Faculty of Architecture.

The students, Ashley, and Xiaoxuan give their greatest appreciation to our jury members and our school's continued support for the important conversations had year-on-year concerning the development of landscapes across sectors and across geographies in the region. Congratulations students!

Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Development detours: Landscape genealogies for post-pandemic ecotourism in northern Laos. By Wong Hon Ting Bryan, 2022.
Bear cartography: Coordinating slowness in ecological and social science for a Luang Prabang sanctuary. By Liu Jiani Vicki, 2022.
Bear cartography: Coordinating slowness in ecological and social science for a Luang Prabang sanctuary. By Liu Jiani Vicki, 2022.
Bear cartography: Coordinating slowness in ecological and social science for a Luang Prabang sanctuary. By Liu Jiani Vicki, 2022.
Bear cartography: Coordinating slowness in ecological and social science for a Luang Prabang sanctuary. By Liu Jiani Vicki, 2022.
Linguistic landscapes: Promoting plural identities and nonformal learning in Luang Prabang province. By Zhao Ruoning Nina, 2022.
Linguistic landscapes: Promoting plural identities and nonformal learning in Luang Prabang province. By Zhao Ruoning Nina, 2022.
Negotiating habitat: Strategic appropriation of the infrastructures of ecotourism in a Laos protected forest. By Chung Won Seok John, 2022.
Negotiating habitat: Strategic appropriation of the infrastructures of ecotourism in a Laos protected forest. By Chung Won Seok John, 2022.
Negotiating habitat: Strategic appropriation of the infrastructures of ecotourism in a Laos protected forest. By Chung Won Seok John, 2022.
Negotiating habitat: Strategic appropriation of the infrastructures of ecotourism in a Laos protected forest. By Chung Won Seok John, 2022.
Negotiating habitat: Strategic appropriation of the infrastructures of ecotourism in a Laos protected forest. By Chung Won Seok John, 2022.
Negotiating habitat: Strategic appropriation of the infrastructures of ecotourism in a Laos protected forest. By Chung Won Seok John, 2022.
Ethnobotanical endangerment: Productive friction between ex-situ and in-situ cultural conservation for Laos's first botanical garden. By Lee Kai Chi Adam, 2022.
Ethnobotanical endangerment: Productive friction between ex-situ and in-situ cultural conservation for Laos's first botanical garden. By Lee Kai Chi Adam, 2022.
Ethnobotanical endangerment: Productive friction between ex-situ and in-situ cultural conservation for Laos's first botanical garden. By Lee Kai Chi Adam, 2022.
Ethnobotanical endangerment: Productive friction between ex-situ and in-situ cultural conservation for Laos's first botanical garden. By Lee Kai Chi Adam, 2022.
Ethnobotanical endangerment: Productive friction between ex-situ and in-situ cultural conservation for Laos's first botanical garden. By Lee Kai Chi Adam, 2022.
Ethnobotanical endangerment: Productive friction between ex-situ and in-situ cultural conservation for Laos's first botanical garden. By Lee Kai Chi Adam, 2022.
Ethnobotanical endangerment: Productive friction between ex-situ and in-situ cultural conservation for Laos's first botanical garden. By Lee Kai Chi Adam, 2022.
Ethnobotanical endangerment: Productive friction between ex-situ and in-situ cultural conservation for Laos's first botanical garden. By Lee Kai Chi Adam, 2022.
Ethnobotanical endangerment: Productive friction between ex-situ and in-situ cultural conservation for Laos's first botanical garden. By Lee Kai Chi Adam, 2022.
Ethnobotanical endangerment: Productive friction between ex-situ and in-situ cultural conservation for Laos's first botanical garden. By Lee Kai Chi Adam, 2022.

Posted by: (Design for Conservation)

Landscape Architecture for COP26

COP26 just concluded after two weeks of intense debates, negotiations and compromises. New 2030 pledges, while steps in the right direction, now set a course for a catastrophic 2.4 degrees of global heating by 2100 (Climate Action Tracker.org). Much more needs to be done.

As landscape designers and planners help public and private sectors mobilize, implement and strengthen these pledges through projects such as sustainable land use planning, we must build guarantees into our projects at all scales that ensure diverse conceptions of sustainability.

As we mitigate coastal erosion, wildfires, floods, drought, and invasive species, we must not forestall democratic participation in the planning process. We must guarantee that technical decision-making is not further distanced from the human and non-human nature these mitigation strategies impact. Increased ecological efficiency and alternative technologies must preserve natural and cultural diversity.

As we decarbonize our modes of construction, we must scrutinize the lifecycle of construction technologies, including materials origins, and ensure the monitoring of our projects’ carbon budgets are robust. We must take a precautionary approach that is rigorously based on scientific uncertainty.

As we reduce and reverse deforestation and biodiversity collapse, we must avoid (not offset) habitat loss and fragmentation, acknowledge diverse land rights and livelihoods, and recognize and empower both formal and informal community conservation initiatives.

Landscape architecture at HKU focuses on understanding and engaging the overlapping technical, cultural and political dimensions of environmental change across scales and development sectors.

Policy and plans are necessary but are never enough. Sustainability is only possible through sustained engagement.

Don’t do development as usual.

Study Landscape at HKU

COP26 (1 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (1 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (2 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (2 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (3 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (3 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (4 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (4 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (5 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (5 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (6 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (6 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (7 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (7 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (8 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (8 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (9 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (9 of 9), 2021.
By Ashley Scott Kelly, HKU Division of Landscape Architecture, 2021.
By Ashley Scott Kelly, HKU Division of Landscape Architecture, 2021.
COP26 (1 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (1 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (2 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (2 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (3 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (3 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (4 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (4 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (5 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (5 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (6 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (6 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (7 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (7 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (8 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (8 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (9 of 9), 2021.
COP26 (9 of 9), 2021.
By Ashley Scott Kelly, HKU Division of Landscape Architecture, 2021.
By Ashley Scott Kelly, HKU Division of Landscape Architecture, 2021.

Posted by: (Design for Conservation)

Critical Landscape Planning to be released November 2021

A new book, Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative by Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, will be published by Springer Nature in November 2021.

Backcover text:

This open access book traces the development of landscapes along the 414-kilometer China–Laos Railway, one of the first infrastructure projects implemented under China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and which is due for completion at the end of 2021. Written from the perspective of landscape architecture and intended for planners and related professionals engaged in the development and conservation of these landscapes, this book provides history, planning pedagogy and interdisciplinary framing for working alongside the often-opaque planning, design and implementation processes of large-scale infrastructure. It complicates simplistic notions of development and urbanization frequently reproduced in the Laos–China frontier region. Many of the projects and sites investigated in this book are recent "firsts" in Laos: Laos's first wildlife sanctuary for trafficked endangered species, its first botanical garden and its first planting plan for a community forest. Most often the agents and accomplices of neoliberal development, the planning and design professions, including landscape architecture, have little dialogue with either the mainstream natural sciences or critical social sciences that form the discourse of projects in Laos and comparable contexts. Covering diverse conceptions and issues of development, including cultural and scientific knowledge exchanges between Laos and China, nature tourism, connectivity and new town planning, this book also features nine planning proposals for Laos generated through this research initiative since the railway's groundbreaking in 2016. Each proposal promotes a wider "landscape approach" to development and deploys landscape architecture's spatial and ecological acumen to synthesize critical development studies with the planner's capacity, if not naive predilection, to intervene on the ground. Ultimately, this book advocates the cautious engagement of the professionally oriented built-environment disciplines, such as regional planning, civil engineering and landscape architecture, with the landscapes of development institutions and environmental NGOs.

Kelly, A. S., & Lu, X. (2021). Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative. Singapore: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-4067-4

Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021). By Ashley Scott Kelly and Xiaoxuan Lu, 2021.
Authors' photo for Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021), 2021.
Authors' photo for Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative (2021), 2021.

Posted by: (Design for Conservation)

Studio Laos 2020 Final Review

Final-year HKU Bachelor of Arts in Landscape Studies BA(LS) students presented their strategic planning proposals for northern Laos to an international panel of ecologists, sociologists, geographers, activists, and philanthropists, in addition to designers and planners.

For their proposals, students each asked difficult questions of development and sustainability practices, including: Challenging impact assessment scope; qualifying the remediation potential of Chinese contract farming; bridging scientific study and community forestry; mitigating the industrialization and over-harvesting of species for traditional medicine; and exploring overlaps between mass ecotourism, protected areas and the illegal wildlife trade.

Having not visited Laos this term due to the pandemic, we took the opportunity to reinforce our critical approaches to planning, in which we understand our "sites" as inherently multi-sited constructs dominated by different stakeholders' perspectives. In place of their field trip, each student was assigned pairs of existing development projects that we visited in previous years, and they were instructed to imagine the frictions between those sites' ideologies, aims, expertise, and longer histories.

The students and their instructors, Lu and Ashley, thank our panelists for joining and recognizing the value of the studio's critical "landscape approach" and the importance of the students' proposals to Laos's future development. Panelists included:

Prof. Emily Yeh (Dept. of Geography, University of Colorado); Francois Guegan (Conservation Director, WWF Laos); Alice Hughes (Centre for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden); Andy Brown (Executive Director, Kadoorie Farm and Botanical Garden, Hong Kong); William Bleisch (Research Director, China Exploration and Research Society); Matthew Hunt (CEO, Free the Bears); Prof. David Palmer (HKU Dept. of Sociology); Winnie Law (HKU Centre for Civil Society and Governance); Enze Han (HKU Dept. of Politics and Public Administration); Danny Marks (CityU Dept. of Asian and International Studies); Joseba Estévez (HKU Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences); Inge Goudsmidt (Office for Metropolitan Architecture); Prof. Jeff Hou (Dept. of Landscape Architecture, University of Washington); and Elizabeth Leven, Cecilia Chu, Sony Devabhaktuni, and Merve Bedir from HKU Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

Congratulations to all for an incredible term!

Negotiating with ethno-ecology: Landscape management strategies for northern Laos's ecotourism boom. By ZHANG Mengting Yani and WEI Gongqi William, 2020.
Negotiating with ethno-ecology: Landscape management strategies for northern Laos's ecotourism boom. By ZHANG Mengting Yani and WEI Gongqi William, 2020.
Negotiating with ethno-ecology: Landscape management strategies for northern Laos's ecotourism boom. By ZHANG Mengting Yani and WEI Gongqi William, 2020.
Negotiating with ethno-ecology: Landscape management strategies for northern Laos's ecotourism boom. By ZHANG Mengting Yani and WEI Gongqi William, 2020.
Negotiating with ethno-ecology: Landscape management strategies for northern Laos's ecotourism boom. By ZHANG Mengting Yani and WEI Gongqi William, 2020.
Negotiating with ethno-ecology: Landscape management strategies for northern Laos's ecotourism boom. By ZHANG Mengting Yani and WEI Gongqi William, 2020.
Negotiating with ethno-ecology: Landscape management strategies for northern Laos's ecotourism boom. By ZHANG Mengting Yani and WEI Gongqi William, 2020.
Negotiating with ethno-ecology: Landscape management strategies for northern Laos's ecotourism boom. By ZHANG Mengting Yani and WEI Gongqi William, 2020.
Immense nature: Constructing public awareness of the illegal wildlife trade through northern Laos. By CHAN Sze Wah Naomi, HE Jingsu Tinnix, and NGAN Yuk Ying Wendy, 2020.
Immense nature: Constructing public awareness of the illegal wildlife trade through northern Laos. By CHAN Sze Wah Naomi, HE Jingsu Tinnix, and NGAN Yuk Ying Wendy, 2020.
Scientific stewardship: Indigenous and ecosystem territories across the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor. By CHAN Syl Yeng Michelle and WONG Wae Ki Sammi, 2020.
Scientific stewardship: Indigenous and ecosystem territories across the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor. By CHAN Syl Yeng Michelle and WONG Wae Ki Sammi, 2020.
Scientific stewardship: Indigenous and ecosystem territories across the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor. By CHAN Syl Yeng Michelle and WONG Wae Ki Sammi, 2020.
Scientific stewardship: Indigenous and ecosystem territories across the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor. By CHAN Syl Yeng Michelle and WONG Wae Ki Sammi, 2020.
Empowering a labour transition during enclosure and securitisation of Luang Prabang's natural heritage. By MA On Ki Rachel and LEE Chi Hang Haven, 2020.
Empowering a labour transition during enclosure and securitisation of Luang Prabang's natural heritage. By MA On Ki Rachel and LEE Chi Hang Haven, 2020.
Water risk and responsibility: A political-chemical land genealogy for the Muang Sing Valley, Laos. By SONG Ziqi Sally and WONG Nok Yiu Vanessa, 2020.
Water risk and responsibility: A political-chemical land genealogy for the Muang Sing Valley, Laos. By SONG Ziqi Sally and WONG Nok Yiu Vanessa, 2020.
Water risk and responsibility: A political-chemical land genealogy for the Muang Sing Valley, Laos. By SONG Ziqi Sally and WONG Nok Yiu Vanessa, 2020.
Water risk and responsibility: A political-chemical land genealogy for the Muang Sing Valley, Laos. By SONG Ziqi Sally and WONG Nok Yiu Vanessa, 2020.
Water risk and responsibility: A political-chemical land genealogy for the Muang Sing Valley, Laos. By SONG Ziqi Sally and WONG Nok Yiu Vanessa, 2020.
Water risk and responsibility: A political-chemical land genealogy for the Muang Sing Valley, Laos. By SONG Ziqi Sally and WONG Nok Yiu Vanessa, 2020.

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