Chang Liu’ s Summary of the Semester Two

In this semester, I learned so much from our project and lessons in Hexham and Nante. At first, after the study of semester one, I gradually adapt to the different style of study and living in UK. With the improvement of the ability of language, I can communicate with my tutors and classmates by more efficient approach. I can put more focus on my study work through reducing the language interference, at the same time, improving my ability of design through contacting the new project concept in my lessons. All in all, although I spent some time to learn how to quickly adapt the completely new environment to study and living, I have the confidence to do more better in my next project now.

Secondly, with the help of project lessons in semester two, we have much opportunities to get a survey, visit and presentation in the outside of the university. So we were given so much times to do something with a group, which is an outstanding way to improve my ability of how to work in a group, at the same time, training the awareness of cooperation and sharing with others. It can not be ignored that the awareness of the cooperation is very essential for my future study and career, which will promote me to efficiently improve the skill of urban design.

Comparing the group working lessens, the lesson of independent research is a good way to show our ability of learning independent. In order to obtain a satisfactory start of our graduation design, we have to look up different kinds of books without anyone’s help. Because of the study type of this lesson, my width knowledge of the urban design has been expanded in this semester.

In addition, just as the mentioned in the past blogs, with getting the deeper understanding and learning about the concept of Co-Housing. I was given an rare opportunity to contact the different culture and design ideas of how to design the residential area. Before starting the project of semester two, I got the huge knowledge shortage about the concept of Co-Housing and relative concepts. In my past view, how to design a residential area has become a fixed pattern. Therefore, I got a mistake understanding about the Co-Housing, which is wrong seem as a nursery home design in my original view. With the help from the tutors, design lessons and opportunities of base site research, I attracted deeply by the character and advantages of the Co-Housing, I am glad to learn more advance concept of residential design and broaden the horizon at the same time.

With the end of the semester two, we will start to prepare the graduation design, which is the last semester of our postgraduate study time. Through study of the past two semester, I am ready to start my graduation design to show my improvement in past study time. I firmly believe that the experience of the past semester will be helpful for my future career.


The development of Senior Co-Housing

With the development of the city, how to creating the suited space for senior has become the hot point in the social public. Because of the work and living pressure, the people who living in the city always have not enough time to accompany with their parents. Therefore, senior Co-housing has become one of approach to improve the quality of senior’s living.

Through living with the peers, the old person can talk with others rather than stay home alone. As for the government, the senior Co-Housing will enhance the ability of senior people to live independent instead of depend on the social service and healthcare. It is not difficult to find that the senior Co-Housing has been successful built in some countries such as Denmark, Germany and Netherlands.

In some successful case study around the world, the senior Co-Housing is not just used by old person, any other age groups person can also settle in it, which is a perfect way to provide more opportunity for old person to communicate with the younger person because of the mixed age group. By the way, because of the younger need to work in the daytime, the senior person can shoulder the responsibility to taking care of the child of their neighborhoods.

In the nowadays of world, senior Co-Housing have not been accepted by the individuals. There are also have some obstacles exist about building the senior Co-Housing, including the cost of the land, supporting infrastructures, government policy and traditional culture. However, with the times goes by, more and more facilitator will promote the senior Co-Housing’ development, just like some successful case studies have built in somewhere. As a result, although the senior Co-Housing which it is not well known by the social public, the advantages of itself will ensure a bright development prospect in the future.


Pocket Neighborhoods

Through the learning of the concept of the Co-Housing and community neighborhoods, we knew some relative concept to promote the public space including the concept of Pocket Neighborhoods.

Being similar with the Co-Housing, the Pocket Neighborhoods encourage individuals to share the space with neighborhoods. Creating the common space is an essential approach to shorten the distance between the residents. What the most attract me is that the Pocket Neighborhoods promote the central common space in the middle of the residential area besides the common house in the Co-Housing. The designer think that the individuals need more open space to share the public activity with others. In addition, the pedestrian should be fostered as the main traffic mode in the Pocket Neighborhoods.

Besides sharing the outdoor activities, creating the central common space will encourage people to beautify their living environment by themselves. In some case study, the central common spaces are built by the sunny garden to cultivate some green plants. Planting and doing activity together will beneficial to build the healthy relationship in the social community. At the same time, building central common space will train the collective spirit in the neighborhoods.

As the mentioned above, we can easily summarize some advantages about the Pocket Neighborhoods:

  1. Sharing the common space
  2. Planting the community garden
  3. Active commons
  4. Connection and contribution each others
  5. Creating the rooms of public space
  6. Eyes on the common

Unfortunately, most of residential area have not enough space to develop the central common space. In order to solve this problem, some residential area can encourage residents to open the private garden in front of the house, which can be seem as public open space in the community.

Pocket Neighborhoods is a favorable attempt to develop the Co-Housing. I hope that it can be accepted by the individuals in the future.

The background of the nursery home in china

Because of the project of co-housing, we can contact another residential form in UK. In china, this form of residential is not developed in recent years. However, just like the example I mentioned in the last post, I want to introduce a similar residential form in china——Nursery Home.

With development of the city and increasing of the population, in recent years, more and more nursery home were built in china. Because of the lack of caring from their child, some senior prefer to living in the nursery home rather than staying at home alone in nowadays. This is reason why I know so much about it and want to design our co-housing proposal depend on it.

So let me introduce something about Nursery home in china. Firstly, comparing private home, providing the more communication space is the attractive point for the seniors. Therefore, some suited old person’s activity space and closer nature landscape will be built in the nursery. As for the seniors who living in there, getting more opportunities to communicating with peers is the reason why they came. As a result, the designer need to focus on creating bigger public space through reducing the space of private room because of the limiting of the space. So apartment buildings are the most approaches to solve this problem. The senior will get more public space by sacrificing the comfort of their private room.

With the learning from the co-housing, we contact another residential form which promote the community space. Co-housing is beneficial to promote the community activities together and saving the money at the same time. Although co-housing is really still in a test phase nowadays, I think it is a outstanding approach to foster the communication between the neighborhoods and developing to other countries around world.


At the beginning of contacting with Co-housing

In this Semester, we came into touch with a new residential concept about Co- housing which is a completely knowledge for me since I started to learn the urban design in the university. With the help of outdoor survey in Lancaster. I gradually know how to work about the co-housing and how to meet the communication demand of the neighborhoods.

Because of the knowledge shortage of the co-housing, I got some problems about our proposal. At first, I confused the concept between the co-housing and nursing home because of there are so many same point in both, such as public space and landscape. With the help from the past project about nursery home, I prefer to create a co-housing project with apartment buildings and central square. I think that the public space is the most essential point about the co-housing so that we can ignore the appearance and function about the co-housing units. As a result, I got a huge mistake.

After the lessons about the design code and co-housing community, I recognized the difference between the co-housing and nursery home. Co-housing is a characteristic residential form which need control the balance between the public and private. Therefore, besides the public space, the private house and garden are Indispensable at the same time. On the contrary, the nursery home is a welfare institution which prefers to provide more public space for the senior rather than private space, so that they can be built as a apartment form which ignore the private space comparing to the normal residential buildings.

The people prefer to think about something by the inherent ideas, but contacting the new things will promote us to improve the width of knowledge. I think the experience of the co-housing project will beneficial to me in the future study time.

The Summary of “Senior Cohousing Communities”

Senior cohousing is a successful development from some case studies in Germany, Denmark and Netherlands and elsewhere in which the cooperation between authorities and ageing community. In particular, government policy focus on enhancing ability of elder people to live independent instead of depend on healthcare or social service. Older people’s group have opportunities to approach posts, grants, adult education courses and
play a role as a partnership with the municipal. Case studies from Netherlands also show
a flexible development. Members in senior cohousing community group themselves into specific groups. They also raise their income by transferring the function of  existing apartment blocks into common place in order to support each other and to start their

In case of UK, senior cohousing haven’t established, however, the interest as well as
demand for senior cohousing start increasing that lead to some institutions are organized
to associate with the elder people and the government. However, there are a lot of obstacles
that prevent the senior cohousing’s progress in UK: Unfamiliar and unwillingness with the
concept of senior cohousing from both people and the authorities; the cost of land to find
a proper sites; traditional culture; support infrastructure. On the other hand, there are
some key facilitators will help senior cohousing’s progress: successful experience from case
studies; the growing of interest from authorities, architects, planners and people; the

Lessons from successful communities:
1. The concept of social capital is considered as a foundation for senior cohousing. The
concept is creating communal spirit by ‘training on consensus decision making, conflict
resolution and diversity and equality’. It connects people in community by mutual support
network in which people co-operative, take care and assist each other.
Consensus decision making break the barrier of social hierarchy that mount the majority
and minority, create the equality.
2. Commitment represents consensus of member with their cohousing community through
investing their personal resources.
3. Making a reality of equality is created based on the participation daily of individuals,
which can be fostered by all kinds of tools such as group work, tasks, training and raising
the need of communication skills, meeting.
4. Making a reality of the group’s vision: cohousing members need to listen other’s opinion
and ask for help when needed; ‘the vision should be revised and re-stated frequently to
maintain a satisfactory level or shared understand within the community.’

Future care needs
Different from the York seminar, Scottish make a comparison between the cohousing
model and a ‘care village’, just like the example Hartrigg Oaks happened in York. It is
widely believed that ‘care village’ is a effective approach to attract the older people and
satisfying the demands of healthy care, social interaction,freedom of choice and other
values in their daily life. In addition, the ‘care village’ is a essential step to develop
the community’s neighbours through integrating the locality resource.
As for the value of senior cohousing which is not only focus on the primarily of social care,
but also paying attention on continuing an active life and meeting the needs of social care,
balancing the social age-structure at the same time. In the seminar, people’s original
proposals are gradually replaced by flexible age-proofed design and Lifetime Homes’

The need for education and change
With the development of cohousing awareness, the investors and government begin to
research and practice this new mode of dwell. However, the individuals always ignore the
questions regarding the ‘culture-leg’ in British which will be a vital obstacle to its
development. Just like the example happened in Lesley Riddoch’s life, she argues that the
expectations and standards of life are very different from those of her parents. The older
have to face lonely condition when they retire, especially for women. As a result, the older
people is the best advocator to promote senior cohousing.

The way forward
In future development of cohousing, local authorities will face the immense public
expenditure cuts which is the biggest challenges for the advocators. On the other hand, the
encouragement of senior cohousing will not obtain the economic return and pay dividends.
However, the senior cohousing play as a beacon of self-help and mutual support for old people
which will gives a perfect opportunity to gain expectant level of service and social care that
is not exist in the current recession.

Achieving Urban Regeneration by Recyclable Materials

In the different development stages of urban design, urban designers have different concerns in their views. From ancient times to modern times, the focus of urban design changed in different aspects. Nowadays, urban designers gradually realize the importance of urban influence on surroundings. As a result, the urban designer begin to promote the urban regeneration through using the recyclable resource.

The buildings of city can be seen as a kind of recyclable resource to some extent because of using the recyclable building material. Designers prefer to consider the possibilities of recycling when choosing construction materials which means low-energy materials such as adobe, bricks and wood can be used to replace high-energy materials like steel, glass and plastics. Recycled building material can be reused as part of a new building after the building is disassembled. For example, the largest recyclable McDonald’s in the world was built in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which was built by 100% recyclable material and it will be dismantled at the end of the Games.




In addition, there are some advantages about promoting the urban regeneration by recyclable materials. As for the cost of urban regeneration, accepting the recyclable material is a outstanding manner to reduce the cost of construction for city. The consumption of non-renewable resources force designers search for the recyclable alternatives as building material because construction industry is the biggest consumers of material. The vast shortage and consumption of resources will lead to the sharply increasing price of architectural material. So if designers hope to attract the attention of investors, they will have no reason to refuse the recycling materials. On the other hand, using recyclable material in buildings are conducive to environmental protection. Combustion will generate large amounts of pollutants When the building is demolished, especially in developing countries. Therefore, the world will face more construction debris in the near future.

All in all, the building using the recyclable materials is an effective approach to achieve the urban regeneration.

My Reflection of Using Blog

In fact, before contacting this course about Blog, I am not a person who is very interested in communicating on the social network, such as wechat, blog and microblog. So, writing the posts and comments in the MA Urban design student Blog is not only a challenge but also a fresh experience for me, because it is a wonderful approach to talking with others and sharing the thinking and feeling of my study and daily life timely.

I think that I learnt a lot of knowledge and experience from this course in semester one which can be divided in four aspects. Firstly, I learnt how to use and write the blog through tutor’s teaching. The MA Urban design student Blog is a personalized platform to show ourselves. So we are also need to learn how to design our Blog’s layout apart from how to upload the posts. In addition, designing the layout is also a good opportunity to understand each others when the term begins.

Secondly, blog provides a comfortable platform for us to reflect the status of our study in UK. Because of the limit time of the course, I have not enough time to show my all of thinking of the proposal in the class. In the self-directed meetings, everyone has the opportunity to introduce and explain your posts about your design to others. As a result, blog can be seen as a effective channel to transfer the questions of proposal to the tutors, and receiving the help timely.

Thirdly, browsing and writing the Blog is beneficial to improve the skill of urban design and expand your horizons. For example, you can learn the case study from others posts which may be associated with your theme of design, and the comments from tutors and classmates will also give you the inspiration and questions about your proposal. In other words, you has the fortunately opportunity to find the shortcomings in your study and correct it at the same time.

Finally, enjoying the Blog and communicating with others will contribute to foster the ability of teamwork. The Urban design student Blog is a public space for us to show the own experience and thinking to others. So we must to follow and protect the order in it. Because of we need to finish the project in group, more and more communicating in the blog is beneficial to understand and accept the other opinions from partners of group which is a perfect choose to improve the skill of teamwork.

All in all, as for me, I contacted with a new study approach through writing and browsing the Blog in semester one, which is a timely way to share and receive the information comparing with the other old methods. Updating the posts from the classmates, I have access to some new ideas of design from other countries which contribute to rich my fields of knowledge and horizons. I believe that writing the Blog will become my habit of life in the future.

The Thinking of Urban Regeneration

With the improving of the population and boundary of city, the number of the urban buildings in the large cities gradually reach situation of saturation. So, the viewpoint about how to achieve the urban regeneration has been seen as a main approach to solve the problem of urban development for the general public. In this semester, the theme of our design is also about how to achieve urban regeneration.

Learning from the course, we acquired that the urban regeneration always be seen in terms of three dimensions including physical, social and economic. Firstly, as for the physical regeneration, some of buildings need to be rebuild and renovate because of degeneration, dereliction and protection of nature. The modern designers prefer to use the recyclable materials to complete the physical regeneration in order to limit the pollution of environment. For example, The Nottingham House is a successful experiment in field of low energy prefabricated design. This house is the world’s first fully prefabricated zero carbon house and took part in the 2010 Solar Decathlon held in Madrid, Spain.



In addition, because of the change of social demand, the numbers of historical buildings which can not meet the development of modern life. The designer always achieve the urban regeneration through the approach of updating the function of buildings. According to the example about Louvre, which was imperial palace of France in the past. however it has become the famous museum and symbol of Paris today through changing the function of the building.



Finally, the major industry of some cities have to be regenerated due to the economic decline. Regarding the case study happened in Lisbon, architects designed some new commercial and cultural buildings to form the recreation centre in front of landscape river which has been developed into the major tourism industry in Lisbon.

All in all, although facing with many different problems, such as investment and policy, urban regeneration is still a effective way to beautify the cities in many countries.

Movement Strategy in Expo 2010 Shanghai

As for urban design, the movement strategy always plays a vital role in a project, which assume the responsibility about connecting the different function of the region. With the increasing of urban population and traffic by vehicle, successful movement strategy has became the essential standard of urban design.

In recent years, the concept of successful movement strategy is becoming more and more complicated and complex. According to the traditional views, the movement strategy should being easy to access, inclusive and permeable, as well as being integrated, physically and visually, with the surroundings. However, the modern designers should consider with others elements, such as the design of movement should create place for people and working with the landscape at the same time.

Just like a example in Shanghai, China. The movement strategy of Expo 2010 indicates the an effective approach among visitors, vehicle and environment. Firstly, from the Expo site map, we can find that the designer separate the urban traffic and internal traffic by surrounding loop. It is a obvious way to limit the traffic congestion in the site of Expo. Secondly, the exhibition area and waterfront landscape are connected by grid-like pedestrian, which provide rest and communication space for the visitors. Thirdly, the “better city, better life” is the theme of Expo 2010 Shanghai China. The urban design of Expo 2010 put the landscape corridor into the internal site in order to making people closer to the nature. Finally, the Expo’s designer also consider about the investment management. The renewable membrane structure is used to be the main material of the landscape corridor which is a effective pattern to limit the cost of material and protection.


Shanghi Expo 2010


Movement strategy is the essential part of urban design. A successful and convenient movement will beneficial the development of surrounding function, just like the example of Expo 2010 Shanghai. I think that the movement knowledge from lesson will help me improve the regeneration design and expand the horizon.

Hit Counter provided by recruiting services