Understanding Landscape: Cultural Perceptions of Environment in the UK and China

  • Ying LiEmail author
  • Ian Mell
Part of the Cities and Nature book series (CITIES)


Different philosophical traditions in China and the UK have contributed to the establishment of a multi-dimensional discussion of perceptions of nature. This has influenced the approach of landscape architects and planners in the design and planning of the built environment and continues to affect the treatment of private and public space design. With rapid urbanisation in the twentieth century, there has been a growing discussion (emanating from North America but also permeating discussions in the UK, Europe and more recently East Asia) of how we create places that satisfy the need and desire from the public for contact with ‘nature’. This chapter presents a comparative discussion of historical perceptions of landscape within urban development located within the UK and China. We reflect on how urban ecology has been integrated into development practices, debate the interaction of people with urban landscape and consider responses to demands for nature in cities. The chapter concludes with a review on the current practice surrounding the development and management of urban public space in China and the UK, reflecting the cultural context of nature in cities and the work of urban planning and design authorities.



The author(s) would like to thank Tom Turner (University of Greenwich, UK) and Qiheng Wang (Tianjin University, China) for their advice during the development of this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ArchitectureTianjin UniversityTianjinChina
  2. 2.School of Environment, Education and DevelopmentUniversity of ManchesterManchesterEngland, UK

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