Use of landscape and recreation is changing in China. Over the last few years I have been in China landscape uses have changed from passive uses(people watching, reading, singing & card/table games) with a some active uses(dancing, exercises, badminton & kite flying) to more and more different uses. There has been a great increase in active(roller blading, basketball, tennis, football(soccer), running, dog walking/running) and passive (more younger people reading/chatting on phones, computers and electronic devices). As landscape architects we need to address this increase in uses not only in designing parks but also for future planning. Future planning is one area that requires greater involvement from landscape architects and government, there are numerous passive parks around major cities and new cities but not enough future planning for active recreation.

Passive Recreation

In The Park from Ricardo Mendialdua on Vimeo.

There is also a change in the use of regional and national parks as tourism increases and younger (&older) generations start to get participate in ‘newer’ sports such as skateboarding, bmx/fixies, rollerblading, skiing, snowboarding although not that new to western countries these are burgeoning sports that are spreading across the nation. Although Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou may already have some of the facilities for these sports there is a need for urban designers, landscape architects and landscape planners to plan for these future uses. Leaving planning to later will lead to ad-hoc landscape design and planning along with devastated landscapes as developers & government see a need in the market and rush to provide facilities. Also remembering that there are sports and uses that haven’t been invented yet and that unplanned or disused areas (not oversized plazas) are needed to allow new forms of recreation will be created and grow.

Active Recreation

Shanghai Basketball from Paul Hammond on Vimeo.

Snowboarding
“串儿 (chuan’r)” is a snow boarding video parks in Beijing – one indoor park and one outdoor park. Also is shows that brands and parks are blurring the lines between public, private spaces and park funding.

mellowparks.cn “串儿 (chuan’r)” teaser from Steve Zdarsky on Vimeo.