Professor Kongjian Yu

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Principle - Turenscape, China

Professor Kongjian Yu of Peking University is founder and director of Turenscape, one of the world’s most successful and prolific landscape companies. Given the scope and scale of his practice, he is arguably the most influential landscape designer currently practising anywhere. Prof Yu’s work is strikingly contemporary yet incorporates motifs from traditional Chinese design, horticulture and agriculture. Often working on a massive scale, his innovative approach embraces planning at city scale as well as landscape design, decisively influencing the look of more than 200 Chinese cities.

“More than ever, we have to rethink the way we build our cities, the way we treat water and nature, and even the way we define civilization. The conventional solutions of grey infrastructure consume huge amounts of concrete and energy, lack resilience and often accumulates a higher risk of disaster meanwhile destroy nature and breaks the connection between man and nature. The alternative is nature-based ecological infrastructure which is critical for securing ecosystem services woven together with grey infrastructure. By protecting and restoring the ecological infrastructure, we are able to secure and make wise use of nature’s services for the benefit of the planet and the welfare of people.”

A Brief Biography

A recipient of Doctor of Design at Harvard GSD, Professor Yu is founding dean of Peking University College of Architecture and Landscape, founder and design principle of Turenscape. He is a strong advocate of ecological security and “Sponge Cities” that have been adopted by the Chinese government for the nationwide ecological campaign. His innovative approach to urban planning and design is implemented in over 200 cities in China and beyond, and has significantly impacted national policies for improving the environment in China. His projects have won numerous international design awards including 14 ASLA Excellence and Honor Awards, 6 WAF Best Landscape of the Year Award and 5 times winner of the AZ Awards of the Best Landscape. He is a recipient of the Doctor Honoris Causa from Sapienza University of Rome and Honorary Doctorate from Norwegian University of Life Sciences. He was elected International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Science and the 2020 IFLA Sir Geffrey Jellico Award receiver.

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