This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

olympic heritage landscape




Shi, Hui

Type of Degree

Landscape Thesis


Landscape Architecture


A global phenomenon, urbanization started after the Industrial Revolution. Since 1800, the world population has increased by 6 times. In that same time, urban population has increased by 60 times and the rate of urbanization is constantly icreasing. The function and scale of the city has seen a tremendous change. Mega cities are emerging at the fastest rate in history. By 2050, the urban population will have increased to 6.4 billion. This means that during the process of urbanization, more and more people will be moving to back to the city for various reasons from the suburbs. On the contrary, according an investigation report by OECD, over the past 15 years, in 45 major cities in countries including America, England and France, there is an obvious trend of population decline. Many high income earners in urban areas are escaping the city to avoid the health risks associated with living in an urban environment, ultimately looking for a more comfortable quality of life. Along with a decline in population and the resulting decrease of tax revenue, the urban economy will begin to decay, urban unemployment and crime rates will see an inevitable rise. Each of these phenomena are signals that urban decay has already begun. Urban decay occurs for a multitude of reasons, and each of these reasons interact with each other. Such as in contemporary society, a new urban plan or transportation system will cause cities located at an important transportation hub in the old transportation system to lose its function; in an industrial society, when there is no new industry to support the formal emerging economic system, industrial systems will experience a depression. Each of the aforementioned historic cities went through the long development process of human civilization and carry with them the rich history of human culture. Also, there is an intricate web of living facilities, neighborhoods, and structures that has been woven to directly support people’s lives. Should people abandon these cities as the begin to decay, massive amounts of human infrastructure will be wasted. So, in recent years, many historians, urban planners, and architects have tried to explore different methods to save these cities from outright decay. The critical question they have been faced with is how they will be able to create a new urban system that can meet the new demands of urbanization and attract people back to the city to work and live in there, while at the same time mainting the memories and history deeply engrained into the city. The Olympic Games that are held every four years present the unique opportunity for a city to face their biggest issues head on and rethink their public infrastructure. With careful design, a city’s response to Olympic Development can be more specific, systematic and comprehensive. The host city will spend a huge amount human power and material resources to improve the urban infrastructure, sports facilities, public services, ecological environment and urban culture regardless, so its only fit that these initial costs are worth while. Although this means a great investment, the benefits are invaluable for each host city. These moves are exactly what a city needs to jumpstart urban regeneration. Compared with other young cities, the advantage of old, decaying cities is that there are already some public facilities, sports venues and publics service systems that would prevent unreasonable and redundant construction. The most recent Olympic host cities have already demonstrated that the benefits associated with sustainable Olympic development are huge. The benefits extend far beyond promoting the strength of the city and into more social benefits, economic benefits, ecological benefits. There for, offered here are a set of successful Olympic development strategies that can create tens of thousands of job opportunities, high quality public spaces and services, improved ecological environments, and even a new urban culture, fundamentally providing a strategy for regenerating decaying cities.