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    2015.04 Eco-restoration of Riverfront Landscape

    At one time, a country’s mainstream landscape design was the residential landscape that can show “dignity” or “nobility” of the owners as the real estate developers planned. This kind of design was landscape commodity for selling and buying, shaping small and big cities’ appearances at that time and a generation of commercialized landscape architects. These designers did not do the thinking because that was not their job, and they were just involved as “Party B” in portraying the abnormal but prosperous scene of real estate industry in this country at that period of time, from which they got a little “share of profits”. Working on a river or a mountain to make the land beautiful and healthy is an unfamiliar work for the landscape architects trained by the environment in that period of time. With the coming of “New Normal”, landscape design orders from real estate developers, which used to flood in, begin to shrink, and instead, there have been more comprehensive landscape designs with more feelings, patience and technologies, such as rural and town landscape, urban rain garden, three old transformation, renewal of old cities and of course river ecological restoration design which will be emphatically discussed in this issue. In ancient times, there were some people can be regarded as great “landscape architect”, like Yu the Great, Li Bing and his son, and Guo Shoujing, whose achievements were all related to rivers. Rivers are connected to the essence and fate of great cultures, and they mix space and time, blend ecology and culture, even link heaven and earth (Li Bai’s poem—“Yellow River’s water comes from heaven”). Yellow River is usually called “the Mother River” by people on the earth. It is in the period of the time when people were busy at real estate landscape design that nearly all the rivers within our country were mistreated and polluted. The praises for the river’s beauty I heard from a song One Big River when I was a kid have become hollow and ironic. This is not only the darkness for present but for the future. In this sense, we need the new era’s Yu the Great, Li Bing and his son, and Guo Shoujing. Real estate landscape design certainly will continue and since concerning living, it should be more humanized and beautiful. But from only designing landscape for real estate developers, to participate in saving and reshaping rivers and even renewing and giving back the luxuriance to the earth, this profession’s prospects are worth expecting.

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