A Landscape-Based Regional Design Approach for Sustainable Urban Development in the Pearl River Delta, China

S. Nijhuis*, Yimin Sun, D. Cannatella, G. Xie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

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Adaptive urban transformations employ landscape-based regional design as an integrative and multiscale design and planning approach for sustainable urban development. In this approach, natural and urban dynamics as derived from systems analysis set the pace and nature of adaptation. This chapter presents an initial strategy for adaptive urban transformation in the Pearl River Delta to illustrate the potential of landscape-based regional design as form of territorial governance that takes the natural and urban landscape as the basis to steer urban–rural transformative processes through a combination of sector activities towards more coordinated sustainable outcomes. The strategic spatial plan and subsequent implementation by means of pilot projects will focus on the potential of interlinked economic and ecological development at multiple scales. Together with the assessment of urban landscape growth over time and the evaluation of current spatial development projects in the region, several significant factors of future development have been identified, leading to an initial strategic vision and transformation perspectives for the PRD. This vision is based on the idea that the PRD will develop into China's Silicon Valley, with strongly developed and well-connected urban qualities, robust green–blue frameworks, cultural-historical assets connected to the region and water-sensitive socio-ecological inclusive urbanism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdaptive Urban Transformation. Urban Landscape Dynamics, Regional Design and Territorial Governance in the Pearl River Delta, China
EditorsSteffen Nijhuis, Yimin Sun, Eckart Lange
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-89828-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-89827-4, 978-3-030-89830-4
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameThe Urban Book Series
ISSN (Print)2365-757X
ISSN (Electronic)2365-7588


  • adaptive urban transformation
  • Landscape-based regional design
  • vision pearl river delta
  • transformation perspectives
  • adaptive design principles


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