Guangzhou | Delta Four forum [review]

Delta Four | Guangzhou March 11, 2011
Delta Four | Guangzhou March 11, 2011
As a follow-up to the announcement of the DELTA FOUR | A Living Museum of Urban History: the Four Cities in the PRD event -forum 三角四方 – 行进中的歷史博物馆: 广州/深圳/香港/澳门, on March 11, 2011. MovingCities reviews the day in words and images. The location of the symposium – organized by the School of Architecture | The Chinese University of Hong Kong in association with Colombia University USA, was magnificent: Guangzhou’s Confucius Temple 廣州市農講所. The temple served also for a while as the Guangzhou Training Center for Peasant Movements, led by Mao Zedong, during the Great Revolution:

Between May and September of the following year (1926), being the head of the training center, he led the sixth training program for the peasants movements. A lot of backbones of the movements were cultivated. In later revolutionary struggles, this in turn helped greatly to realize the slogan “to surround the cities from the countryside and to seize the political power by armed forces”.

The symposium felt like a training day dealing with the territorial changes of the Pearl River Delta, a territory where in the past few decades the manufacturing movement surrounded the cities, took over peasant land and today is in need for transformation. The whole day was centered around a series of talks and debates dealing with the urban, economic and cultural transformation of the Pearl River Delta’s four main cities, Guangzhou 广州, Shenzhen 深圳, Macau 澳门 and Hong Kong 香港. See DELTA FOUR-program (pdf!).

Delta Four | Guangzhou March 11, 2011
Delta Four | Guangzhou March 11, 2011

Delta Four | Guangzhou March 11, 2011
Delta Four | Guangzhou March 11, 2011

In our little notebook we find back following quotes from the speakers:

What gets lost in rapid urban development is heritage and preservation. […] How can this become a feature to think about the future and the past?. [Jeffrey Johnson] The PRD has been characterized by a change in the total environment and of our daily life. […] The PRD is a network of excessive development. […] So how can we derive meaning from a rapid changing urban and cultural condition?. [Leo Ou-fan Lee, author of City Between Worlds] Runscape exposes the unconscious zones of the city. The installation renders the back alleys of Hong Kong as transitional spaces in between high-rise buildings and quiet back doors.. [MAP Office]

Bert de Muynck | MovingCities moderated the last session of the Delta Four Forum. Four architects, all with experience in researching and working in the PRD, presented past and present work related to the theme. Xiaodiu LIU 刘晓都 presented two works of URBANUS, one in Guangzhou, dealing with linkage of the urban environment, and one in Shenzhen, dealing with density and replacement of the existing urban condition. Doreen Heng LIU 刘珩 talked about architecture as a response to a given condition and the need to deal with juxtapositions between the future and the present and between a Western and Chinese approach. LIU Yuyang 刘宇扬 focused on the lightness and exactitude of the theme, and the role of memory in his work. This notion of memory can be dealt with as erasure or as mutation of the given context. Finally Jeffrey Johnson‘s presentation was centered around the consequences and loss of arable land, pleading for a approach so Chinese cities can be densified in order to free up space for arable land and local agricultural production.

Delta Four | Guangzhou March 11, 2011
Delta Four | Guangzhou March 11, 2011

Pictures by movingcities.org

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