Work Package 3

Application of AUT in urban design, planning and governance

This WP focuses on the application of AUT in urban design, planning and territorial governance in the PRD. Research questions to be addressed in this WP:


  • What are the current governance approaches, strategies and projects to mitigate flood risk in the PRD and how are they perceived in terms of utility and effectiveness?
  • How could a new territorial governance model with mutual support between economic development and protection of ecological landscape be facilitated under the Chinese governance system?
  • What is the potential of open space for adaptive transformation, to cope with flood risks and ecological recovery?


Here the Chinese planning system in the PRD is evaluated for its potential to adopt integrative approaches to design, planning and flood risk management for more sustainable and inclusive urbanization.

Through literature review and interviews with different local stakeholders constraints in the current territorial planning and policies are identified that block integrated adaptation measures.

On this basis, the principles of AUT as developed in WP1 will be applied and tested using GIS-based and visualisation technology developed in WP2. The potential of innovative territorial governance will be explored to facilitate cross-sectoral coordination and the development of integrated strategies and designs through inclusive participatory processes involving decision-makers and other stakeholders. It will focus on the potential of connecting economic and ecological development at multiple scales in the international harbour of PRD.

It investigates the sustainable transformation of old industrial/housing areas and the regional agricultural landscape associated with constraints on the expansion of the built-up area to accommodate economic and population growth. These areas possess specific spatial conditions for long term economic development, while at the same time, they are usually located on the newly reclaimed land at the estuaries of the delta, with dense waterways, vast areas of fishing ponds, wetlands and agriculture with highly sensitive ecosystems and very vulnerable to flooding.

The WP investigates the possibilities for the development of regional green-blue infrastructures and city-level water networks, for adaptive capacity, ecosystem services and water safety.





Understanding the dynamics of transformation and principles of adaptation


Stakeholder involvement and visualisation


Application in urban design, planning and governance