Jie Hu: Urban Design with Nature: Exploring Sustainable Urban Development in China

aerial photo of neighborhood with river and mountains in background

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Jie Hu is Clinical Professor of Landscape Architecture and Chair of the Master of Sustainable Urban Design program at the University of Illinois College of Fine and Applied Arts. His major research focuses on the "Shanshui-City," which explores sustainable urban development in China. Before coming to Illinois, Hu taught at Tsinghua University, establishing the Landscape Architecture Research Center (LARC) at the Beijing Tsinghua Tongheng Urban Planning and Design Institute (THUPDI). He served as director and chief designer of LARC in THUPDI. Hu received the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA), is a member of the Chinese Council of Landscape Architecture, and is a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). He holds a bachelor's degree in architecture from Chongqing University and two master's degrees in landscape architecture from Beijing Forestry University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


In order to solve the environmental problems in China's urbanization, we proposed Shanshui City ideas, which considers human beings and nature as equals, respecting and understanding nature, while attempting to realize human demands for social development, based on protecting nature and the environment to achieve co-prosperity. We have applied the Shanshui City idea in projects of different scales. Projects include the Beijing Olympic Forest Park, the Comprehensive Master Plan of Beijing's 2019 International Horticultural Exposition, and the Landscape and Ecological Master Plan for Sino-Herman Eco-Park in Qingdao. As a summary, the principles of a Shanshui City include: focusing on the history of natural ecology, respecting and protecting historical-cultural elements, apply indigenous thoughts and philosophy, following the local ecological and geological conditions, valuing human needs and natural requirements with equal attention, adopting low-impact and creative design, and to achieve co-prosperity. 

If you would like to attend this lecture virtually, please register here.

This lecture is sponsored by the Department of Landscape Architecture and the Russell Van Nest Black Lecture.

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