Reinvigorating Urban Under Space: Towards a New Type of Public Landscape

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Yujia Wang
Gandong Cai


The proposition of this paper is to examine the agency of landscape in subverting, energizing and reinvigorating a specific kind of deserted space in cities - Urban Under Space. The term Urban Under
Space refers to residual infrastructural spaces, such as under-bridge space, abandoned subway stations,
air raid shelters, etc. The wide availability and continued generation of Urban Under Space in cities that
were investigated in North America and Asia reflect a problem in modern planning. But it also provides an
opportunity of positioning these pieces as a network of new urban landscapes that can offer a unique and
attractive public space experience. The paper provides an elaboration of the invented term, a case analysis
of the creative re-use of Air Raid Shelters in Chongqing, and a systematic research to prototype the issues
and opportunities as related to such spaces. The paper also discusses its potential as a ground for unique
urban public experiences.


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How to Cite
Wang, Y., & Cai, G. (2017). Reinvigorating Urban Under Space: Towards a New Type of Public Landscape. Nakhara : Journal of Environmental Design and Planning, 13, 41-58. Retrieved from
Author Biographies

Yujia Wang, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, USA

Yujia Wang is a landscape researcher who currently also practices at Sasaki in Boston, MA. He has a
MLA with Distinction degree from Harvard GSD, and has previously studied and practiced in urban planning
and landscape architecture. Most recently, his interests are in the position of landscape architecture to deal
with emerging social and environmental risks and to enhance coherency of urban development. He is also
deeply passionate about the qualitative, charismatic, expressive side of design operations.

Gandong Cai, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, USA

Gandong Cai is a landscape designer graduated from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and
now working at SASAKI. Before the education at Harvard, he had finished a bachelor degree and practiced
as a landscape designer in China. His current academic focus is on research-based landscape design,
ecological infrastructure planning, and exploring new typologies of landscape in the complex urban milieu.


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