Ashley Scott Kelly

Ashley Scott Kelly

My research and practice focus on scenario-building and filling knowledge gaps for sustainable development, especially in regions that lack adequate knowledge or transparency in development information and spatial data. I apply design methods to land change and landscape ecology, with wide expertise on the manipulation of geospatial data for the study, advocacy, design and delivery of projects in ecologically complex and contested landscapes. Recent works include design guidelines for tropical road infrastructure, corridor modelling for wildlife crossing design, and coupling high-resolution remote sensing with historical narratives for novel impact assessment. Key professional works range widely in scale, from new town planning to the winning entry for New York City’s 46,000-acre Gateway National Park. I offer studio and lecture courses on regional landscape planning, landscape media, and GIS and research-based seminars and studios on environmental conservation, modernization and rural development in Hong Kong, China, South and Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Laos), and Latin America. I have coordinated the thesis in landscape architecture at The University of Hong Kong for five years.

In these efforts, I've led students on international field research to the Western Amazon, Nepal, Laos, and Myanmar. Recent exhibits include work on the Western Amazon at the Buenos Aires Architecture Bienal and on climate change in the Pearl River Delta at the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Biennale. These works bridge important disciplinary and scalar gaps, connecting design, mathematics, geography and anthropology through tangible narratives and media that offer wide-reaching practical and pedagogical implications.

See Environmental Futures Initiative on Design for Conservation for a subset of my research, teaching, and consultancy works focused on design for the global development community.

Studio, Lecture and Seminar Courses

Teaching Awards

  • Faculty Outstanding Teaching Award, Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong (2019).
  • Excellent Instructor award, 15th National Annual Conference on Architecture and Design Education, for supervising student thesis by Au Young Chung Yan Samantha (Landscape and Planning Design, Silver Award) titled An Environmental Rationale: Strategies to reconcile the graduated sovereignty of northern China's eco-modernization programs (2018). Samantha's thesis was later published as: Au Young, C. Y. (2019). An Environmental Rationale: Strategies to reconcile the graduated interest of northwestern China's eco-modernization programs. Landscape Architecture Frontiers, 7(1), 138-149.
  • Outstanding Instructor award, 16th Annual Asia Design Awards, for supervising student thesis by Kwok Siu Man Mandy (Ecological health and sustainability category, Bronze Award) titled Bioremediation and Blue Tape: Regulating the uncertainty, assessment and negotiation of coastal development in Hainan (2018). Mandy's thesis was later published as: Kwok, S. M. (2020). Responsive bioremediation: Regulating the uncertainty, assessment, and negotiation for coastal developments in Hainan, China. Landscape Architecture Frontiers, 8(4), 152-163.
  • Supervised thesis, Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects, Student Award, recognized for supervising thesis by Li Man Hei titled Green Belt, Grey Belt? Non-zoned approaches to landscape evaluation and management in Hong Kong (2018).
  • Outstanding Instructor award, 13th Annual Asia Design Awards, for supervising student thesis by Zhang Zihui (Best Design Project for Landscape Architecture, Silver Award) titled Fragmentation in National Desertification Policy: Environmental management and relocation for eco-refugees (2015).

The Road to Dawei: Environmental governance and development advocacy in southern Myanmar

Strategic Landscape Planning for the Greater Mekong

  • Kelly, A. S., & Lu, X. (2022). Critical Landscape Planning during the Belt and Road Initiative. Singapore: Springer.
  • Kelly, A. S., & Lu, X. (2019). Landscape perspectives on cross-border expertise and knowledge flows. Talk delivered at Land Information Working Group: Special Economic Zone and infrastructure investments in Laos to a forum of NGOs and civil society organizations from several ASEAN countries, Vientiane, Laos.
  • Kelly, A. S. (2018). Engaging infrastructure development through critical design practice: Campaigns in Southeast Asia. Talk delivered to Environmental, Geostrategic, and Economic Dimensions of the Silk Road Economic Belt, hosted by Duke-Kunshan University and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and Center for International and Global Studies, China.
  • Kelly, A. S. (2015). Data in Regional Narratives. Talk delivered to Regional Training on Natural Capital Assessment and Mainstreaming Tools, hosted by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Stanford University, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Critical Linkages Handbook: Identification guidelines for sites of variable data and team capacities

The South America Project: Protected Areas in the Peruvian Amazon

  • Kelly, A. S., & Pryor, M. R. (2013). Governing the road to China: Design, territory and data in the Peruvian Amazon. Landscape Architecture Frontiers, 1(6), 144-154.
  • Kelly, A. S. (2014). Design for Conservation. Delivered at Dali University, Yunnan. Hosted by Institute of Eastern Himalaya Biodiversity Research.
  • Kelly, A. S., & Pryor, M. R. (2013). Design for Conservation. Exhibited in South America Project: Works in Progress at the 14th International Buenos Aires Bienal of Architecture.
  • Kelly, A. S. (2013). Governing the road to China. Paper presented at The South America Project: Projects in Process, Roundtable and Symposium, Buenos Aires.
  • Kelly, A. S. (2013). Governing the road to China: Design, territory and data. Conference Proceedings. Geodesign International Conference: Maximizing Beneficial Impacts, Beijing, China.

Hong Kong Land Development and Conservation

  • Kelly, A. S. (2018). Sustainable Development and the Erosion of Conservation in Hong Kong. Talk delivered to CED Talk: Pacific Rim-Urban Resilience by Design. University of California Berkeley College of Environmental Design, Berkeley, California.
  • Kelly, A. S. (2018). HKILA Land Supply Forum: Evaluating Land & Land Supply Strategies in Hong Kong. Hosted by the Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects, Hong Kong.
  • Member of Urban Biodiversity Working Group. (2018). Sustainable Cities & Landscapes conference, Asia Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
  • Kelly, A. S. (2017). Landscape Planning Game: Land Development vs Conservation Hong Kong. Game created for Storefront International Series (IS), Storefront for Art and Architecture (New York) and Hong Kong Design Trust.
  • Kelly, A. S. (2017). Land Development and Conservation in Hong Kong: Questions we could be asking. Delivered opening remarks to 2017 Annual Land Forum: Land Challenges Amid New Administration. Hosted by The University of Hong Kong Faculty of Architecture, Designing Hong Kong, Land Watch, and the Professional Commons. Hong Kong.
  • Kelly, A. S. (2016). Automated Monitoring of Potential Wildlife Trade Cases in the Hong Kong Judiciary (Online platform). Automated querying and notification system for detecting wildlife trade-related court cases in Hong Kong.
  • Chan, K., Poon, S., Edwards, G., Lau, M. (authors). Kelly, A. S. (advisor). (2016). Prioritising Brownfield Development, Safeguarding Our Green Spaces (Report). Hong Kong: World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Hong Kong.
  • Hosted and Co-organized Land Development and Conservation in Hong Kong – Roundtable and Workshop. (2016). University of Hong Kong. Co-organized with Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) Hong Kong, Designing Hong Kong, Liber Research Community, Professional Commons, Land Watch, and Save Our Country Parks.

Development and Conservation Awareness Map (DCAM)

Hong Kong Ground: Parametric approaches to discontinuous spatial data

  • Kelly, A. S. (2014). Design at Near-regional Scales. Paper presented at SmartGeometry: Urban Compaction, Hong Kong.
  • On Proposal Review Committee and Host Committee for 11th annual SmartGeometry conference, Hong Kong (2014).
  • Kelly, A. S. (2013). Hong Kong Ground. Online interactive map:

Counterpart Cities: Climate Change and Collaborative Action in Hong Kong and Shenzhen

  • Riley, T., Solomon, J., Tang, D., Kelly, A. S., Al, S., Feng, G., … Zhang, Q. C. (2011). Counterpart Cities: Climate Change and Collaborative Action in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Exhibited in Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism/ Architecture and Hong Kong Central Market Gallery.

Mapping the Ecotone, Gateway National Recreation Area, New York

  • First Prize (Co-Principal entrant, with Rikako Wakabayashi), Van Alen Institute's Envisioning Gateway, International Competition, New York (2007).
  • Kelly, A. S., & Wakabayashi, R. (2013). Mapping the Ecotone. Exhibited at Airport Landscape: Urban Ecologies in the Aerial Age. Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge.
  • Kelly, A. S., & Wakabayashi, R. (2011). Mapping the Ecotone. In A. Brash, J. Hand & K. Orff (Eds.), Gateway: Visions for an Urban National Park. New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press.
  • Kelly, A.S., Wakabayashi, R. (2007). Mapping the Ecotone. Landscape Architecture Journal, China 2007:6, 13-19.
  • Featured in Levit, R. (2014). Design's New Catechism. In P. S. Cohen & E. Naginski (Eds.), The Return of Nature: Sustaining Architecture in the Face of Sustainability (pp. 9-19). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Featured in Amidon, J. (2010). Big Nature. In L. Tilder & L. Blotstein (Eds.), Design Ecologies: Essays on the Nature of Design. New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press.
  • Featured in van Uffelen, C. & Attner, A. (Eds). (2009). 1000 X Landscape Architecture. Berlin: Braun.

Prospect on Structure, Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn

  • Honorable Mention (Principal entrant), Design Trust for Public Space's Reinventing Grand Army Plaza, International Competition, New York (2008).
  • Kelly, A. S. (2008). Prospect on Structure. Exhibited at Design Trust for Public Space's Reinventing Grand Army Plaza, New York.
  • Featured in Canning, M. et al. (2009). Reinventing Grand Army Plaza: Visionary design for the heart of Brooklyn. New York, NY: Design Trust for Public Space.

Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, Cambridge

  • The Arizona Report: Frameworks for a well-tempered urbanism in the American Southwest, Sonoran Desert (2010).
  • Chimerical Line: Flower Production along the equator, Bogata, Quito, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), and Nairobi (2010).

TEN Arquitectos Enrique Norten, New York, NY

  • Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Arts Center & Residential Tower, Brooklyn.
  • Rutgers Campus and Business School, New Jersey.

HOK New York, NY

  • New York Penn Station (Moynihan) Redevelopment.
  • Arverne East Mixed-use Master Plan, The Rockaways, Queens.
  • US Congressional Master Plan, Washington DC.
  • Jaipur Township Master Plan, Rajasthan, India.
  • Other projects: Me Tri District Master Plan, Hanoi; Yeshiva University open space systems study, Manhattan, New York; New Songdo Office Tower and Landscape, South Korea; King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Master Plan, Saudi Arabia; Moscow Pole Development Master Plan, Moscow; Adarsh Technological Park, Bangalore; Canon Long Island Headquarters, New York.

Forum for Urban Design, New York

  • Invited membership, 2007–2011.