Blue-Green Critical Infrastructure beyond Contingency Planning and Risk Management: Comprehensive Regional Design Strategies for In-between Territories of the Greater Bay Area.

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Submission Summary
Green Critical Infrastructure beyond Contingency Planning and Risk Management: Comprehensive Regional Design Strategies for In-between Territories of the Greater Bay Area. The demand for Green Infrastructure (GI) planning has been increasing in the last 30 years in rapidly transforming China. The reoccurring under-researched question is how to define a GI strategy at the Mega-City Cluster scale comprehensively. New approaches to regional planning that prioritize the well-being of people and the livability of settlements at the local scale are problematized. Formulating future-proof design and planning strategies at the regional scale requires the inclusion of In-between Territories binding together high-density and dispersed cities in metropolitan clusters. This study aims to rethink a Green Infrastructure Design Framework for the Greater Bay Area (GBA) in Guangdong Province, China. The growing GBA in China is a challenging opportunity to envision sustainable environmental, social and economic ecologies at the local, regional and cross-border scale. While often overlooked, the In-between Territories engulfing the main 9+2 cities forming the GBA transactional network are crucial for the integration and longevity of the Great Bay Area vision. Inevitably, the GBA development strategy emphasizes the economic and business integration, improved transport connectivity, technological knowledge transfer, synergistic capital, and environmental preservation of the GBA cities network. The 'Outline Development Plan' (ODP) from 2019 for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area pledges to advance Ecological Conservation, to support socially just and Healthy Cities in the region. The proposed alternative design framework seeks to establish and protect In-between Territories as the Critical Green Infrastructure and the backbone resource of a world-class urban agglomeration. The GBA is comparable to the global economic interdependence and impact of the San Francisco Bay Area, Greater Tokyo Bay and the Rhine Delta. An environmental, health, or economic crisis in one interlinked city clusters ultimately leads to global systemic repercussions. Given the planetary interrelatedness, a comprehensive design approach of Critical Green Infrastructure allocation and maintenance at the Mega-City scale is not only a local and regional responsibility. Top-down city – network planning approaches alone are inadequate for advancing the sustainable transformation of local-scale human settlements. The challenges for city planning at a mega-city cluster scale are the better integration of Top-down planning strategies and methods for In-between Territories with emerging Bottom-up communities and livelihood ecologies. Further, to enhance Blue-Green urban infrastructure, the urgent challenges are how to blend smart agricultural practices and digital economies in In-Between Territories. Better relationships between Top-down & Bottom-up and the synthesis of Digital and Natural ecologies may reinforce the Urban-Rural transformation to benefit people at the local scale. Moreover, the need for adaptation and resilience planning goes beyond preparing for an unexpected collapse of a mega-city cluster. Instead, a long-term design approach seeks to develop self-perpetuating people and nature-oriented landscapes, supporting Productive Ecologies and continuously evolving the Sustainable Development of In-between Territories at the local, regional and city-cluster scale. Key words: Greater Bay Area, Top-down & Bottom-up design strategies, Sustainable Ecologies, Critical Green Infrastructure, Resilience, Productive Landscapes.
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4: Resilience and adaptability. Al-Waha: promoting glocal solutions
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