Deltaic areas are among the most promising regions in the world. Their strategic location, combined with the superior quality of their soils, constitute the main factors that have been supporting both human development and the rise of these regions as global economic hubs. At the same time, however, deltas face extreme vulnerability due to multiple threats related to both climate change and urbanization. These threats include an increasing amount of flood risk, combined with the loss of ecological and social-cultural values as a result. The urbanization of deltas can be understood as a set of complex social-ecological systems (and subsystems), each with its own dynamics and speed of change. To ensure a more sustainable future for these areas, spatial strategies that strengthen resilience are needed that can assist the systems to not only cope with their vulnerabilities, but also to strengthen their capacity to face natural and artificial threats. Therefore, this article elaborates a landscape based regional design approach for an adaptive urban transformation in urbanizing deltas, using the Pearl River Delta as a case study. Based on an assessment of the dynamics of change regarding the transformational cycles of natural and urban landscape elements, eco-dynamic regional design strategies are explored in order to provide more opportunities for natural and social-cultural aspects within the processes of urban development. Furthermore, adaptive transformational perspectives are identified to ensure water safety and inclusive socio-ecological design.
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- Landscape architecture
- Resilient urban planning and management
- regional landscape design
- water sensitive design
- transformation perspective
- Adaptive urban planning
- Pearl River Delta