Living in Place: Rebuilding the Relationship between People and Place in Jiulongpo District, Chongqing, China
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This research-based design thesis is an exploration of post-industrial residential district renewal in Chongqing, China. The old residential areas of this city have been gradually replaced by new gated communities with high-rise buildings. Such rapid and extensive redevelopment has compromised local residents’ place attachments and the local sense of place. There are possibilities to heal the split of the urban fabrics and rebuild the relationship between people and place by creating a new open space network across the city’s district including both the old areas and new ones. This thesis begins with an examination of the recent history of the Juilongpo District, its redevelopment in recent years, and relevant case studies in Taipei and Beijing. Following this is a summary of the primary research conducted with local residents to understand their place meanings, attachments and uses of their everyday environments. This research then formed the basis for a series of design studies that included evaluations of both physical and emotional qualities of the district. Next, I propose design principles and a framework inspired by Alexander’s A Pattern Language from the perspective of human experience. Finally, in terms of building a network, phasing is necessary: starting from connecting the new neighborhood to one old neighborhood, then to the big district with other old ones, and then encouraging more people, groups and organizations to engage in a community process for redesigning their neighborhoods to better suit their needs. My intention with this thesis is to outline a manual which people could adapt this thesis to their community renewal.
- Landscape architecture