Chinese Landscape showing blue of waterways and green physical land

LRG is excited to announce we are hosting a panel of landscape experts who will be exploring themes around Chinese blue-green spaces in terms of landscape practice, policies, and ecology, on Friday 19 April 2024 at 12.00 GMT, 19.00 CST.

Register here to attend

Representing and covering the north and south of the continent, our host and speakers are:

Dr Mengyixin Li, Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, our LRG Trustee and organiser of this event. Her research focuses on green open spaces, and post-industrial landscapes. Her latest book is entitled Large-Scale Urban Parks on Post-Industrial Sites in Contemporary Urban Landscape Conceptions“.

Dr Danzi Wu, Associate Professor, School of landscape architecture, Beijing Forestry University. Her research focuses on river ecological restoration, and urban waterfront landscapes. Her talk will be around “Planning and Design of Ecological and Cultural Corridors in Bortala River”.

Dr Yuhan Shao, Associate Professor, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University. Her research focuses on Experiential Landscape Design and Restorative Urbanism, Coastal Landscape, and Environmental Planning. Her talk will explore “Landscape Network: Urban Beauty Premium”.

Dr Zhaowu Yu, Research Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Fudan University, His research focuses on urban ecology and health, and ecological remote sensing. His talk will be around “Exposure Ecology and Human Health”.

The Chinese landscape event is also supported by Landscape Architecture Journal 《风景园林》 in China.

We welcome you to discover more about the Chinese landscape through the lens of blue-green spaces and their dynamic relation to the continent’s diverse culture. Together we will explore the current landscape research about China with a number of landscape scholars focusing on blue-green space system and landscape changes in the Chinese contexts.


The blue-green space system in China’s territorial spatial perspective reflects the natural succession and the continuous intervention of human beings in cities and nature in the spatial and temporal development. The distribution of open spaces on the land must reflect the natural evolutionary process, and this holds true for any metropolitan area, regardless of its location. In the research and practice surrounding blue and green spaces in China, it is evident that they are most closely related to the form of development and distribution of open spaces in metropolitan areas. For the construction of the blue-green space system, the question is not how much absolute area, but how it is distributed. As a complex and resilient system that can fully reflect the natural evolution process, the complex formed by the mutual coupling of blue and green spaces should have a holistic character, and must be rationally and comprehensively considered by landscape architects and urban planners in the planning.

As a matter of fact, the blue-green space system, which consists of green space and water space, as an intertwined whole, not only serves as the basis for the construction of the blue-green infrastructure network at multiple scales, but also is an important guarantee for the development of the urban natural system and the improvement of urban resilience and vitality. On this basis, both Chinese and Westerners have a very consistent view of the blue-green space system, that is, the discovery, perception, grasp and application of “structure”. This structure exists all around us, especially when we take a bird’s-eye view of a city from an aeroplane, the familiar relationship between landscape and mountains and the large-scale blue-green structure will be imprinted in our mind, such as the West Lake in Hangzhou in the mountains, the Hudson Valley in New York with its dense network of rivers, the Isar Valley in Munich in the foothills of the Alps, and the Thames River and its plains in London.

However, human beings are not unfamiliar with this spatial pattern relationship, and people have their own unique understanding of this relationship in different cultural contexts. The Chinese are good at building natural systems in artificial settlements, creating a poetic habitat. The Chinese people’s yearning for and exploration of mountains and waters is reflected in the phrase “the wise man enjoys the mountains, the benevolent man enjoys the waters”, which embodies the high degree of unity between materiality and spirituality in the Chinese culture of mountains and waters. In modern society, with the development and construction of urban space, how to shape and strengthen the important blue-green space system of each city has become a great challenge and an essential task for Chinese landscape architects.

In conclusion, the blue-green space system, which is constantly developing and evolving, is the landscape network that best reflects the openness, dynamism, culture and ecology of urban space, and under the category of national space, it is a complex system that every landscape architects should face and deal with.

Any queries contact Emily Shakespeare.