1st Edition

Hybrid Modernity The Public Park in Late 20th Century China

By Mary Padua Copyright 2020
    244 Pages 120 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    244 Pages 120 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book provides a detailed historical and design analysis of the development of parks and modern landscape architecture in late 20th century China. It questions whether the fusion of international influences with the local Chinese design vocabulary in late 20th century China has created a distinctive and novel approach to the design of public parks.

    Hybrid Modernity proposes a new theory for examining the design of public parks built in post-Mao China since the reforms and sets the various processes for China’s late 20th century socio-cultural context. Drawing on modernization theory, research on China’s modernity, local and global cultural trends, it illustrates through a range of case studies ways hybrid modernity defines a new design genre and language for the spatial forms of parks that emerged in China’s secondary cities. Featured case studies include the Living Water Park in Chengdu, Sichuan province, Zhongshan Shipyard Park in Guangdong Province, Jinji Lake Landscape Master Plan in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, and the West Lake Southern Scenic Area Master Plan in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. This book argues that these forms represent a new stage in China’s history of landscape architecture. The work reveals that as a new profession, landscape architecture has greatly contributed to China’s massive urban experiment.

    This book is an ideal read for students enrolled in landscape architecture, architecture, fine arts and urban planning programs who are engaged in learning the arts and international design education.

    Table of Contents
    List of Figures and Tables

    1  Introducing Hybrid Modernity
    Post-Mao transformations: framing hybrid modernity
    China’s physical setting and settlement patterns
    Book scope and structure

    2  Navigating Modern(s) and the Park in modern China 
    Modernization: social construction and nation-building
    Modernity, Globalization and Identity
    Hybrid modernization: expanding modernization theory and alternative modernities
    Re-visiting Modernism (international) genre
    Modernism in Architecture and Landscape Architecture
    Modernity in China
    China’s early modernity and westernization
    Forced (Colonial) Modernity
    The Public Park, Republican modernity (1912-1949) and nation-building
    Mao’s Modernity: 1949 – 1976
    Summarizing China’s modern experience

    3  Pre-Modern China: Nature, Cosmology, Mythology and the Chinese Picturesque
    Nature, Cosmology, Mythology and Folklore
    Brief History of China’s designed landscapes
    Interpreting garden-making throughout pre-modern China
    Chinese Picturesque Garden Design Language

    4  Looking “Inside” and “Outside” post-Mao China
    A Glance back at the Arts and Culture in the Mao era
    Inside Post-Mao China
    Post-Mao art trends
    Trends in post-Mao China’s Built Environment
    Post-Mao Landscape Architecture: foundations of professional practice and education
    Landscape Architecture “Outside” post-Mao China

    5  Revealing late 20th century Hybrid Modernity: four purpose-built parks
    Case Study One: Living Water Park, Huoshui Gongyuan, Chengdu, Sichuan
    Chengdu context
    Project inception
    Design Realization
    Hybrid Modern synthesis

    Case Study Two: Zhongshan Shipyard Park,  Zhongshan Shiqi Jiang Gongyuan, Zhongshan, Guangdong
    Zhongshan context
    Project Inception
    Design realization
    Hybrid Modern synthesis

    Case Study Three:  Jinji Lake Landscape Master Plan, Jinji Hu Jingguan Zongti Guihua Suzhou, Jiangsu
    Suzhou context
    Project Inception
    Project realization
    Hybrid Modern synthesis

    Case Study Four: West Lake Southern Scenic Area Master Plan, Xihu Huanhu Nanxian Jingqu Zongti, Hangzhou, Zhejiang
    West Lake, Hangzhou context
    Project Inception
    Project Realization
    SSA Experience
    Hybrid Modern synthesis
    Four public parks – the schema for post-Mao China’s hybrid modernity

    6  Transforming from ‘Hybrid’ to ‘Ecological’ Modernization in China’s 21st century
    Four case study parks and trends in the host cities
    Top-Down China + Five-Year-Plan = Green Revolution and Ecological Modernization
    China’s Sponge City program and contribution to international “green” urbanism 
    Revolutionary Praxis, Trends and Beautiful China



    Mary G. Padua, PhD, RLA, is an internationally recognized educator, thought leader, contemporary theorist and artist. Her research focuses on socio-cultural phenomena, human-centered design and the meaning of public space. She is one of the first English language writers on post-Mao designed landscapes and the discipline of landscape architecture as contributing agents to China’s late 20th century urban experiment. She maintains MGP Studio, a critically minded practice rooted in craft, equity, inclusion and restorative experiences, and teaches at Clemson University’s School of Architecture.

    "Mary Padua has authoritatively chronicled the growth of the landscape architecture profession in China over several decades. This volume frames recent landscapes within a framework of China's rich legacy of gardens and cultural landscapes. Eminently, it collects her valuable insights on seminal projects and persons who have shaped landscape investigations of China's rich history, culture, and ecology within the context of globalization, urbanization, and international design.
    Ron Henderson, Director of the Landscape Architecture and Urbanism Program at Illinois Institute of Technology


    "A plethora of scholarship on China’s urban architecture and built environment has charted the heat of the nation’s urban construction since Deng’s reforms opened it to the world. Dr. Mary Padua's book supplements this work with her in-depth investigation of public parks in China’s late 20th century. The arts and garden tradition since its ancient beginnings, Zhongshan lexicon for the modern park and nation-building in the Republic period, places for workers in Mao's era and international influences all pave the way to the public park in post-Mao China – an epochal quest for modern urban life. Rather than examining China’s major cities like Beijing and Shanghai, the author keenly focuses on cases in the secondary cities, places of innovation and potential for China’s hopes in the years ahead."
    Dr. Charlie Xue, author of Building a Revolution: Chinese architecture since 1980, A history of design institutes in China: from Mao to market and Grand theater urbanism – Chinese cities in the 21st century.


    "Hybrid Modernity imparts valuable insights on the creation of urban public parks in late 20th Century China and envisions new directions emerging in the 21st Century. Offering a new theoretical framework, Padua’s perceptive analyses confirm the innovative contributions of major park development projects and their impact on shaping public urban spaces in China’s rapidly developing cities."
    Linda Corkery, Professor of Landscape Architecture, UNSW Sydney, Australia