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The Evolving City: Arts, Public Realm and Community (Re)design

Situated in Guangzhou, one of the world’s most-populous metropolitan areas, this China field camp/studio was an academic partnership between the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) and the School of Architecture at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. Guangzhou as an ever evolving mega-city offers tremendous opportunities for planners, architects, designers, and other city builders to explore meaningful, creative, and engaging ways to reshape urban spaces, reactivate resilient mechanisms, reconstruct community identities, and rebuild social and spatial connections. Five client-based studio projects took place during the 3-week course period in various study sites across Guangzhou City including but not limited to the following planning topics: the role of arts in placemaking, urban informality, university campus realm improvement, industrial renewal, gated communities, and the future of urban villages. 

With diverse cultural and academic backgrounds, faculty, scholars, and over 50 undergrad and graduate students from both institutions brought together eastern and western, traditional and contemporary planning and design approaches to interrogate the complexity and dynamics of the aforementioned urban issues, and explore policy and design interventions to effectively recreate urban spaces and rejuvenate communities. In response to various ongoing challenges and opportunities, the interdisciplinary team paid respect to local history, revisited traditional planning and design principles, and adopted a people-oriented approach to address the renewed concern with placemaking and community building.


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