Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture

Document Type



Since nineteen century, Chinese immigrants in the United States had a great contribution to the economy and transformation of landscape by gold mining, transcontinental railroad construction and agriculture cultivation, applying techniques that were learned from ancestors thousands years ago in China. And Chinatown as the first destination of continuing Chinese immigrants transformed from a ghetto to the top tourist attraction of the city in San Francisco with commercial-oriented development in more than a hundred years. This paper will explore the transformation of the image and representation of Chinatown by analyzing Chinese culture influences, American confinement, and pop culture impact, to have a better understanding of culture identity, how places are planned and designed in a complex global economical and racial context, and immigrants’ influences on urban design. Combined with historic background and current urban problems, this study provides a great opportunity to rethink open space in Chinatown and recognize Chinese culture influences in the overall transformation of the city, with growing culture diversity and desire for a more sustainable and equitable environment. To make Chinatown more than a tourist destination, the paper comes out specific design strategies to celebrate Chinese community in Chinatown, San Francisco, by designing sustainable open space, reinforcing Chinese culture and culture influenced architecture design, and reaching community congregation.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Allen, Austin