Email: s1720831@sms.ed.ac.uk

Programme: Landscape Architecture - MPhil/PhD

Start date: September 2020

Mode of study: Full time

Yun Liu is currently undertaking her PhD in Landscape Architecture at ESALA. Her doctoral research focuses on rigid boundaries between green spaces and other urban areas in Chinese cities. More specifically, her research mainly aims to investigate the formation of rigid boundary spaces in urban areas and how to redesign existing boundary spaces to disintegrate them to form ecotone spaces which are more attractive, flexible and resilient to suit current congested urban spaces.

Prior to Yun Liu's PhD, she obtained the Master’s Degree of Landscape Architecture with distinction from University of Edinburgh in 2019. She was also awarded the Best Portfolio Prize form the Landscape Institute Scotland and the Helen A. Rose Prize for the Best Postgraduate Students in Landscape Architecture.

Yun Liu's research focuses on rigid boundaries between green spaces and other urban areas in Chinese cities. In Chinese cities, especially metropolitan cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, there are still many rigid boundaries. These include walls, fences and roads, which weaken the conversation between green spaces and other urban areas not only by blocking sight, access and interchange of materials, but also by reducing contact areas between them by linear and rigid shapes. In addition, today there is little land on which people can design large and intact green spaces in the centre of cities. Instead, the efficient use and improvement of small spaces and boundary spaces could become a trend to renew cities.

Based on this background, Yun Liu's research aims to explore why these rigid boundaries formed, what influences these spaces brought to the urban areas and people and how to redesign those existing boundary spaces to disintegrate them and to make them more attractive, flexible and resilient to suit current urban spaces. These new boundary spaces could go beyond the restrictions of linear shapes and, like the patterns of moss, let the original green space grow outside and lead into other parts of city to acquire more interactions with urban spaces. This kind of landscape may have the potential to help people deal with many urban issues, such as flooding and pollution, and to create healthier cities in the future.