This is the end and the beginning-Reflective Blog
What I learned：
I have learnt a lot of theoretical knowledge from Urban Design Seminars and Principles and Practice of Urban Design. As a non-native English speaker, the weekly discussions and lectures have significantly improved my listening and writing skills. Writing blogs has helped me to develop my logical thinking skills and to be able to analyse and understand urban planning more rationally and objectively. I am now deeply in love with the subject with a deeper understanding of urban design.
What I have done：
With a deeper understanding of urban ecology, I have developed a keen interest in the relationship between cities and ecology. I also went to Leeds to visit and learn about ecological design there. I also tried to apply the theoretical knowledge to our practical design course. I became more aware of ecology in the urban planning process and learned about a new theory related to ecology called ‘light bio-design. I also received help from my teacher to apply the idea of biophilic design to our practical lessons.
I have absorbed a lot of urban design theory this semester, and I have also been able to communicate with fellow landscape architects across my major. All the ideas I have studied have their validity, and all the theories have irreplaceability. Naturally, there are many limitations, so I find that none of the ideas are perfect, but none of them should be rejected entirely either. The qualities in these theories also confuse me as to what is most important for the city. Some ideas tell me that the ‘neighbourhood unit’ type of community, with all its amenities, meets the needs of people living and socialising within the community. Still, at the same time, it hinders communication between people in the community and between communities. There are some theories on the importance of ecology. Still, I find that most urban ecologies are now ‘false’ natural environments, as they do not exist as ecological chains, with only solitary plants and a lack of multiple species of animals. I wondered if there was a theory or a practical approach that could balance its advantages and disadvantages, or if there could be a theory that would satisfy people’s need for communication or ecology in the long term.
Of course, it was not only the desirability of some theories that inspired me, but I also learned about some wrong policies or theories. For example, the Gentrification and Social Mixing was a big failure. When I analysed the reasons for the loss of the idea, I found that it wasn’t the idea that was so wrong. Still, the people or decision-makers who implemented it were misusing it, which also inspired me to think about the project’s feasibility.
As I write this summary at the end of the semester, I feel that my semester has been fulfilling and critical, making me very happy. Although there were moments of confusion for me, this is the way to go when building my framework or system of knowledge about the subject. I’m also reading up on ideas that I haven’t focused on before during the holidays to expand my horizons and hopefully apply the merits of these ideas to my assignments next semester.