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Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (2018)

RE-EMBEDDING SETTLEMENT IN A REINFORCED OPEN CANOPY LANDSCAPE

Xiao, Xinyu

Titre : RE-EMBEDDING SETTLEMENT IN A REINFORCED OPEN CANOPY LANDSCAPE

Auteur : Xiao, Xinyu

Université de soutenance : Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Grade : Master of Urbanism and Strategic Planning 2018

Résumé
How to deal with the relationship between landscape and settlement in the middle of a harsh, semi-arid area in East Africa ? How to improve the living conditions of inhabitants through the landscape structure ? The transect, from Tete to Luenha, is undergoing a continuous transformation due to endogenous and exogenous alterations of all sorts. Thus the contrasts of the territory, wet versus dry ; rural versus urban ; endogenous versus exogenous processes, become more extreme. Meanwhile the contracts between urban and natural, geometric and organic also contribute to the special patterns that compile the territory. The massive exploitation of natural resources, like wood and coal into this area in recent decades bring in their wake inflow of capital and people. The expansion of the city becomes uncontrollable and a high percentage of the population is excluded from the formal city. It makes these people completely dependent on their environment. The current trend will lead to increasing pressure on their lifestyle and living environment. The urban expansion should be sustainable. This implies that is based on the nature specificities of landscape. The main objective of this design research is to design for a world of variations in between the dualities of the extremes, to make the territory more resilient to the continuous changes imposed on the landscape and improve the living conditions ; to explore how further settlement development can be embedded within the landscape and as much work with nature as a benefit from the dynamic characteristics of the landscape. In rural areas of semi-arid landscape such as Changara, characterized by extensive areas of dry forests and increasing urban pressure in territorial and water resources, erosion process has been highly accelerated during last decades. This thesis discusses the changes in Changara, therefore causes of land degradation and the relationship between habitation and its environmental setting in the Changara by reading the landscape, especially water and forest. It can be seen that water has been one of the strongest driving influences for structures in both the natural and settlement environments. Water events can effect dramatic changes to such fragile landscapes. With modernization, the morphology is nonetheless influenced by the flow of water. Water reshapes topography through erosion and sedimentation, digs new wadis, allows emerging vegetation, curves trails access to resources, and alters the structure of plains. Facing the critical questions at hand about climate change and other man-made alterations to natural systems, water-related intertwined systems is the key to renew the living framework to allow the communities co-evolve with their fragile environments. The thesis proposes a water management approach, figuring measures that sustain low tech and cost inputs for greening the drylands, by working with the natural water cycle

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Page publiée le 10 décembre 2018