Diploma 2016 - "on the way as usual?" by Jiancong Luo and Wei-Hsiang Tseng

Rural Transformation Under Rapid Urbanization in Yuwotou Village Nansha, Guangzhou City, China

-This project explores the alternative way based on vernacular context to respond the rapidly homogeneous urbanization in China.

During these three decades, the economic reform and open door policy in China trigger a rapid urbanization in many cities, which leads to economical, social, political, environmental and spatial problems. Guangzhou, where this diploma project focus on, is one of modernized cities with those problematic issues. Due to the iterative economic development and urban expansion in Guangzhou, the south part, Nansha, which used to be a natural and agricultural area, is being involved in a new plan of urban expansion. The government has imposed a master plan on this district, which means the phenomenon of homogeneity and industrialization could be foreseen and happened in this district.

Hence, Yuwotou village as the project site is located on Nansha district, where people expect the upcoming effect of urbanization instead of fearing and questioning it even though many problems have happened already. Therefore, we propose an alternative way of rural transformation for the designated village based on its own essence rather than the application of a homogeneous urbanization.

In short, a distinct economic model is proposed in this project, which considers local characteristics, environment as well as social relationship within inhabitants. Besided, by regarding economic benefit as an incentive, this project not only presents the alternative solutions for existing problems caused by the usual way of rural transformation, but also weaves a strong social network on the basis of vernacular property.

the project proposes four strategies based on the local culture, aiming to not only solve the existing problems but also reactivate the village in the sustainable way. Firstly, we organize the river and irrigation channels as the water supply system with purification circulation by employing the idea of constructed wetland and aquaponics. Then reconnecting villagers and citizens by starting up agricultural cooperative, inserting ten interventions such as skill and knowledge exchange centre. Furthermore, the intervention in existing urbanized area is strengthening the neighborhood relationship through the way of horizontal and vertical movement. In short, the ambition of this project is keep the development in sustainable way on the basis of natural characteristic and local culture.


Due to the rapid urbanization in China, more and more issues and problems have happened on surroundings. These seven existing problems are derived from modern urbanization which lacks of consideration of local context and are happening on the Yuwotou Village now.


The strong influence of homogeneous urbanization could be foreseen on the village in the future so that the project aims to apply the micro economic model (Yuwotou agricultural cooperative) on the site, proposing the efficient solution based on vernacular culture. On the other hand, the core of this micro economy is strengthening the connection not only in the community but also in the Guangzhou city.


The project not only applies the concept of micro economy but also composes an ecological system and landscape urbanism.



Even though their farming lands were replaced with buildings or factories, they still keep doing agricultural affairs in leftover space. There is an area was built as modern type housings, the park in community is used as farming field. The project attempt to strengthen the relationship within villagers who live in isolated box- shape housing, employs the horizon and vertical movement to connect the neighbours each other. 



- project B 
Agricultural Infrastructure & Aquaponics
In order to improve the quality of water in Yuwotou village, the project utilize the idea of aquaponics and constructed wetland to organize irrigation water and Yuwotou river as an circulation for waste purification and fertilization. Also, different type of farming kinds in responding to different ways of water supply in this case.



- project C  Yuwotou Riverfront Interventions / Water Purification System
The river Yuwotou is divided into three segments for water purification from north to south - filter segment, purification segment and then clean water segment is designed as the important part for village. It is plug in ten functions which compose the agricultural cooperative, reactivate the abandoned public space and trigger human activities along waterfront.


- project D 
Yuwotou agricultural cooperative
The tech-knowledge exchange platform plays an important role of agricultural cooperative in training, delivering latest farming knowledge and skills, as well as informing food safety. The function of exchange centre not only brings knowledge into village but also creating connection within villagers and citizens in Guangzhou city.



To conclude all the projects in urbanized / farming area, and waterfront, the idea of “tech - knowledge exchange” has to be practiced from urban scale to social scale. A lot of programmes such as food processing centre and local food restaurant are the ways to reconnect relationships within villagers. Citizens and knowledge bringers, however, are the “triggers” in this project, who make the social connection not just be confined in the Yuwotou village. 




The exhibition presents the discussion from big scale to small scale. Which means the project should be examified by different scales from urban to architectural scale then social scale.