Ashley Scott Kelly

Design on the Road to Burma
Landscape Planning Studio (2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17)

The University of Hong Kong

Instructors: Ashley Scott Kelly, Dorothy Tang & Ivan Valin

Course abstract
Large-scale regional planning and infrastructure development is often implemented with a virtual absence of people on the ground, creating conflicts in land tenure, economic livelihood, and environmental resource use and conservation. "Design on the Road to Burma" took students' learning to the frontier landscapes of transnational development along the Thai-Myanmar border, reinforcing the importance of fieldwork in reconciling abstract geographical data and real site conditions. Recently revived investment in the 250-square-kilometer industrial port of Dawei, Myanmar's first Special Economic Zone (SEZ), and a 212-kilometer cross-border road link is prompting large-scale land use change and urban development in the biodiverse Tenasserim Hills.

Students traveled overland via Bangkok into Dawei, Myanmar and presented several international NGOs and local CSOs with one month's worth of their studio research in a 200-page volume of maps, timelines and diagrams that contextualized the region's industry, investment, land rights, ethnic conflicts, and environmental issues. These groups included the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Fauna and Flora International (FFI), The Border Consortium (TBC), EcoDev, and Dawei Development Association (DDA) at their field offices and locations in Yangon. At less than an eight-hour drive, this short distance and recent "opening up" of the region to transnational forces makes the route both an important case study and potentially viable site for the design disciplines to provide supplementary and alternative development strategies to a complex set of actors. For the second half of the course, students' design proposals engaged development projects, including resettlement camps, community forestry, corporate social responsibility programmes, eco-tourism, industrial SEZs, and "green" capacity building programmes.

Studio final review. Photo: Tsang Yikming, 2015.
Studio final review. Photo: Tsang Yikming, 2015.
Dawei road near Bawapin Tin Mine. Photo: Ashley Scott Kelly, 2015.
Dawei road near Bawapin Tin Mine. Photo: Ashley Scott Kelly, 2015.
Students at the site of the SEZ's proposed reservoir, Kalonehtar village, Tanintharyi. Photo: Dorothy Tang, 2015.
Students at the site of the SEZ's proposed reservoir, Kalonehtar village, Tanintharyi. Photo: Dorothy Tang, 2015.
Students meeting with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Mynamar in Yangon. Photo: Mimi FEI Xiaoyan, 2015.
Students meeting with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Mynamar in Yangon. Photo: Mimi FEI Xiaoyan, 2015.
Tin mine extraction networks in Tanintharyi. By Monique WONG Hiu Yan, 2015.
Tin mine extraction networks in Tanintharyi. By Monique WONG Hiu Yan, 2015.
Strategies for managing wildlife corridors in Tanintharyi. By Kity PANG Tsz Yung, 2015.
Strategies for managing wildlife corridors in Tanintharyi. By Kity PANG Tsz Yung, 2015.
Community forestry in year 30: Self-reliance and sustainable economy for Tanintharyi Nature Reserve. By Olive WONG Lok Yan, 2015.
Community forestry in year 30: Self-reliance and sustainable economy for Tanintharyi Nature Reserve. By Olive WONG Lok Yan, 2015.
Excerpts from "Operation Manual: Speculating Dawei Special Economic Zone (DSEZ) Plan 2015". By Tony YUEN Chun Yin, 2015.
Excerpts from "Operation Manual: Speculating Dawei Special Economic Zone (DSEZ) Plan 2015". By Tony YUEN Chun Yin, 2015.
Dawei Special Economic Zone phase one investment and build-out scenario. By Anson WONG Ting Fung, 2015.
Dawei Special Economic Zone phase one investment and build-out scenario. By Anson WONG Ting Fung, 2015.
Buffer zone and landscape management in Tanintharyi National Park. By Issac CHIU Ho Wan, 2015.
Buffer zone and landscape management in Tanintharyi National Park. By Issac CHIU Ho Wan, 2015.
Design for sustainable mining investment, Ban Chaung coal mine, year 2040. By Amanda TON, 2015.
Design for sustainable mining investment, Ban Chaung coal mine, year 2040. By Amanda TON, 2015.
Landscape strategy for equitable land use for large agro-industry and smallholders east of Dawei Special Economic Zone. By Charity CHEUNG Oi Wai, 2015.
Landscape strategy for equitable land use for large agro-industry and smallholders east of Dawei Special Economic Zone. By Charity CHEUNG Oi Wai, 2015.
Oil palm plantations on unsuitable slopes in southern Myanmar. Photo by Ashley Scott Kelly.
Oil palm plantations on unsuitable slopes in southern Myanmar. Photo by Ashley Scott Kelly.
HKU students observing the Myanmar Stark Prestige Plantation (MSPP) east of Myeik city, Tanintharyi, Myanmar. Photo by Ashley Scott Kelly.
HKU students observing the Myanmar Stark Prestige Plantation (MSPP) east of Myeik city, Tanintharyi, Myanmar. Photo by Ashley Scott Kelly.
Studio class with Karen villagers in Tanintharyi, Myanmar. Photo by Rosemary LAM Wing Yan.
Studio class with Karen villagers in Tanintharyi, Myanmar. Photo by Rosemary LAM Wing Yan.
Landscape planning strategy for smallholder agricultural cooperative. By Sam AU YOUNG Chung Yan.
Landscape planning strategy for smallholder agricultural cooperative. By Sam AU YOUNG Chung Yan.
Before and after section views of strategic planning for Myeik oil palm plantation. By Sam AU YOUNG Chung Yan.
Before and after section views of strategic planning for Myeik oil palm plantation. By Sam AU YOUNG Chung Yan.
Juxtaposition of smallholder agriculture and large-scale agro-industrial plantations. By Sam AU YOUNG Chung Yan.
Juxtaposition of smallholder agriculture and large-scale agro-industrial plantations. By Sam AU YOUNG Chung Yan.
Alternative energy schemes deployed under various planning principles for lower Tanintharyi River. By Chloe LIN Zhiqhi.
Alternative energy schemes deployed under various planning principles for lower Tanintharyi River. By Chloe LIN Zhiqhi.
Integration scheme for negotiation of Karen village and agro-industrial development. By Andrea MCCULLOUGH.
Integration scheme for negotiation of Karen village and agro-industrial development. By Andrea MCCULLOUGH.
Timeline of land security struggles for villages in Tanintharyi Township. By Eunice WONG Wing Tung.
Timeline of land security struggles for villages in Tanintharyi Township. By Eunice WONG Wing Tung.
Landscape planning strategies for three villages impacted by agroindustrial development. By Eunice WONG Wing Tung.
Landscape planning strategies for three villages impacted by agroindustrial development. By Eunice WONG Wing Tung.
Catalog of forest management systems. By John YUEN Ho Shun.
Catalog of forest management systems. By John YUEN Ho Shun.
Charity Cheung, final year BA(LS) student, presenting her proposal to integrate smallholders and large agroindustry through sustainable infrastructure and landscape planning. Photo By TSANG Yik Ming
Charity Cheung, final year BA(LS) student, presenting her proposal to integrate smallholders and large agroindustry through sustainable infrastructure and landscape planning. Photo By TSANG Yik Ming
Amanda Ton defends her landscape planning proposal for more sustainable approaches to coal mining in the Ban Chaung Valley, Myanmar during HKU Architecture's Public Review. Photo by Scott Melbourne.
Amanda Ton defends her landscape planning proposal for more sustainable approaches to coal mining in the Ban Chaung Valley, Myanmar during HKU Architecture's Public Review. Photo by Scott Melbourne.
Amanda Ton, final year BA(LS) student, presenting her proposal for alternative environmental management of the Ban Chaung coal mines. Photo By TSANG Yik Ming
Amanda Ton, final year BA(LS) student, presenting her proposal for alternative environmental management of the Ban Chaung coal mines. Photo By TSANG Yik Ming
Andrea MCCULLOUGH presents her scheme for landscape-based negotiation and compensation within a large oil palm plantation. Photo by LAM Wing Yan.
Andrea MCCULLOUGH presents her scheme for landscape-based negotiation and compensation within a large oil palm plantation. Photo by LAM Wing Yan.
Sam AU YOUNG Chung Yan defends her landscape planning proposal for equitable land rights for peoples displaced by large-scale agroindustry during the Faculty of Architecture's Public Review.
Sam AU YOUNG Chung Yan defends her landscape planning proposal for equitable land rights for peoples displaced by large-scale agroindustry during the Faculty of Architecture's Public Review.
Chloe LIN Zhiqi defends her landscape planning proposal for more sustainable energy generation for villages along the Tanintharyi River during the Faculty of Architecture's Public Review. Photo by Scott Melbourne.
Chloe LIN Zhiqi defends her landscape planning proposal for more sustainable energy generation for villages along the Tanintharyi River during the Faculty of Architecture's Public Review. Photo by Scott Melbourne.