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Reflection Portfolio of Zhihao Ni 2010.9-2018.1

zhihao, Ni Harbin Institute of Technology Univeristy of Southern California Architecture Department Bachelor of Urban Design, Master of Landscape Architecture

Relfection In 2012, when I spent two years in Architecture Department, I kept asking myself a question: What is design? Or what is the principle of design? All student took the same topic, even the same site and the same mentors, however, their products were different. For almost 20 years education, I believed that there should have the best solutions for each question. Does it still work in design? When I began my Master of Landscape Architecture program in University of Southern California, I had some own thoughts about this question. The process of design is the reflection of each of us. We try to solve the problems with our knowledge, creative thoughts and hard-working, which means that I can never find the best solution for keeping improving my professional skills. The only thing that I can produce is better solution.

oRIGIN:trading and intermodal system

origin: Freight system and pollution map in los angeles


Port of Los Angeles



Real Estate Price Map



The Vulnerable People

Children, youth and Seniors

Warehouse Distribution in San Bernardino County


Trading Partners of the Port of Los Angeles

50 Miles

150 Miles

Accessibility map



Warehouse Distribution

The Freight Railway Path in San Bernardino County Asthma Percentile




215 Freeway


Railroad System in California Proposed High Speed Railroad

San FranciscoSacramento San Jose

Minneapolis Detroit Milwaukee Cleveland New York Chicago Pittsburgh Philadelphia Washington, DC Indianapolis St. Louis Faleigh

Salt Lake City Denver

Las Vegas

Most Ozone Polluted Counties in Southern California

Los Angeles San Diego

Fresno Kings


Oklahoma City Dallas


San AntonioHouston



San Bernardino San Diego 40 70


Charlotte Atlanta Birmingham Jacksonville

Kern Los Angeles

Freight Railway


Freight Railway System in

2-32% 33-54% 55-76% 77-99% Freeway

U.S. Megaregions

Intermodal System in the United

210 Freeway 66 Freeway

I-10 Freeway

Accessibility map

Densest Area P.M. 2.5 Distribution

The Distribution of the Warehouses and Related Facilities and their influences in Los Angeles The Inland Valley, near San Bernardino and Riverside, contains many warehouses and their related facilities. These facilities bring job opportunities to the inland valley, but they also bring pollution.

Asthma Percentile Map

Red Mulberry

Strategy: Urban Forest

origin: Freight system and pollution map in los angeles

Plants Growing Rate

Trees Benefits Mature Tree: Absorb 50 pounds of P.M. 2.5 per Year Young Tree: Absorb 16 pounds of P.M. 2.5 per Year

Year 5

Year 10

10 Years to Mature

Trees Growing Sequence

Year 20

50 pound of P.M.

80 Ft

4 to 6 pound of P.M.

16 pound of P.M.

1 to 3 pound of P.M.


2 to 4.5 pound of P.M.



Year 15

50 pound of P.M.

Year 1

0 Ground Cover:


English Ivy Algerian Ivy Bougainvillea

Fortnight Lily Big Blue Lily Turf Bird of Paradise

Young Trees

Shrubs: Manzanita Boxwood Texas Privet

Fast Growing Trees Blue Spruce Chitalpa Dogwood Pine Red Mulberry

Tree with Long Lives Big Leaf Maple Honey Locust Oak London Plane Deodar Cerda Silver Maple Horse Chestnut

Year 25

Improve Physical and Mental Health Improve Water Quality Regulate water flow

Trees Panel:

Reinforce the soil

Provide Shading to House Absorb Air Pollution


Site ANALYSIS, specific strategies Prevailing Wind Direction and Influence in Site

Major Prevailing Wind

Railway Station San Bernardino Airport Warehouses

an1800 Hou

or t he ast

in or

he N nt Pa rce ls i in

rs in the So


a th re Mo

in the 201 6

t t in

s ea th or N e th

H 00 n7


16 20

Flooding Facilities

Flooding Channel

Flooding Strategies

Specific Study Site

Soil Map in Site

Sheet Flooding

Pond Flooding

Channel Flooding

Heavy Mulching

Vegetation Filter Strip

Warehou ses, facto ri

es and h

eavy du

Topography in Site

ty trucks

in the So


Specific Site

rs ou

More th



Dire ctio n: S ou thw es t( fr

The warehouses are in the southwestern part of the residential communities. As a result, this prevailing wind direction, southwest wind, will make the pollution severe.



North to No rthea orth (from on: N st) ecti Dir nd Wi ing ail ev Pr


Flooding Map in San Bernardino

Va ca

Site Location

1100 ft

1200 ft

1300 ft

Hanford coarse sandy loam

Hanford sandy loam

Grangeville fine sandy loam

Tujunga loamy sand

The minor prevailing wind is northeast wind, which happens in winter. Thereare many vacant parcels in the northeastern part of the local communities, which are the potential space for the urban forest.


Vegetation Filter Strip

Rain Garden

Gravel Diagraphy

specific strategies

specific strategies





500 ft 500 ft (to the warehouses) (to the warehouses)

0-1500 ft


0-1500 ft


Soil Remediation and Canopy

Dry Canal

Dry Canal >1500 ft

500 -1500 ft 500 -1500 ft

>1500 ft

Trail and Canopy

mmunity Parcel Community Parcel



Public Open Space

0-1000 ft >1500 ft

0-1000 ft

>1500 ft

Public Open Space


River buffer River buffer >1500 ft


Street Trees

>1500 ft

Trail and Public Open Space

phase one: Mitigating Flooding issue

phase Two:Planting urban forest

Phase One: 2018-2022

The Prevailing Wind Circle

Phase One: 2023-2027

Total Trees: 5500 :Street Trees: 3200 ,Trees in Communities: 1350, Trees in River Buffer: 950

Flooding Strategies

The Wind Influence Circle

Total Trees: 5500 :Street Trees: 3200 ,Trees in Communities: 1350, Trees in River Buffer: 950

Trees Functions

Forest near the Warehouses

Ponding: Rain Garden

Channel: Vegetation Filter Strip

Sheeting Berms

Sheeting: Vegetation Filter Strip

Street Trees

Urban Forest Residential Communities

Protect The Communities From The Air Pollution


Street Trees

The Young Trees In The Vegetation Filter Strip

Providing Shade to the Communities


River Buffer

Protecting The River Habitat From The Air Pollution


Recreational Open Space


Creating Recreation Open Space For The Residents

phase Three: building a better san bernardino

phase Three: building a better san bernardino Section In Dry Canal: 2032



Section In Community: 2032

Phase Three: 2028-2032 In the third phase, the urban forest will be applied in all the potential vacant lots. All major and minor streets will be planted for the street trees. More space will be explored to put enough trees for meeting the standard of 19052 trees. Total Trees: 19052 Street Trees: 7800 Trees in Communities: 6800 Trees in River Buffer: 4452

The Communities Between 500 to 1500 Meters to the warehouses


4500 ft

Urban Forest along the Warehouses

Perspective for San Ana River: 2032 Residential Communities


San Ana River



Chain Reaction:

Enning Road

Cantonese Opera Museum

Visitors Users


Cantonese Culture Urban Open Space Cantonese Culture Cantonese Culture

Visitors Users Urban Open Space

Urban Open Space

Guangzhou 1900

Visitors Users

Chain Reaction:

A chain reaction is a sequence of reactions where a reactive product or by-product causes additional reactions to take place. In a chain reaction, positive feedback leads to a self-amplifying chain of events.

Site Situation: Grandma Zhang 72 Years Old

We need to demolish this building

In this project, I want to bring the positive open space and landscape to We will diethe in several years surrounding the Enning Road and the Cantonese communities and do notOpera. want to Themove. Cantonese culture will be the key factor. I will combine culture elements with my design and make the users to improve the We can not afford quality of current open space and create the new ones. a new residential building.

Guangzhou 1945

Guangzhou 2017

Guangzhou 1967

Guangzhou 1979

Guangzhou 1992

Guangzhou 1998



cHAIN rEACTION: tHE cultural element: cantonese garden

cHAIN rEACTION: The connection of open space Cantonese Garden Analysis:

Design Phases:

Cantonese Garden is different with other Chinese Garden for the unique climate conditions in Guangzhou. I choose the famous Cantonese Garden , the Qinghui Garden, as my case for my analysis. Qinghui Garden located in Foshan City, Guangdong Province and was built in 1607, when is Ming Dynasty. This garden was 0.34 ha and had three major functional area, which is the South Pool Area, the Central Residential Area, and the North Living Area. For the humid and hot climate in Guangdong Province, Qinghui Garden forms the special configuration, which the North Area and the Central Area are loose and low , and the South Area is dense and high. There are plenty of small spaces inside this garden, which surround the central pool. It provides activities space for the users and connects every space with each other.

Current Open Space Sequence Surrounding Site:

cHAIN rEACTION: detailed plan

cHAIN rEACTION: analysis and section

Garden of Vendors

Garden of Cultural Activities

Nine Gardens: Garden of Tranquility

Garden of Museum Garden of Quiet Court

Garden of River Turn

Garden of Wood and Stone

Garden of the Steel Rock

Garden of Bridge

Section: Garden of Quiet Court

Nine open spaces are surrounding the site and can form a sequence of Cantonese Garden. I identify the unique character of each open space and combine it with the traditional Cantonese culture. The Nine Gardens, Garden of the Steel Rock, Garden of River Turn, Garden of Bridge, Garden of Quiet Court, Garden of Cultural Activities, Garden of Vendors, Garden of Tranqulity, Garden of Wood and Stone and Garden of Museum, are created to provide open space for the tourist and local residents. In future, they can change the Nine Gardens based on their willings.

Section: Garden of the Steel Rock

Section: Garden of River Turn

A tale of Two Cities: Manifesto Refugee Route Manifesto



Forest, Refugee Population,Time

Today, many innocent people are forced to leave their home because of the destructive war. All the world can hear their cry and feel their despair. The human beings are responsible to extend the hands to save the refugees’ lives.


President Obama made a promise for settling 110,000 refugees in the United States. As the third biggest state in the United States. California are incumbent to provide shelters and job opportunities to them. We want to move refugees from Calais or other places to Southern California.


the United States ahould take 110.000 refugees California State should take 70.000 refugees

From refugees, I expected what refugee need from this area and what refugee can bring for this area. Firstly, what they need? I think that there are three parts:

Living, money and recreation. Secondly, what can they bring for this area? I focus on the negative parts which are cultural competition, safety issue and competition against local labor.


About living issue, the first question is about where do they live? Do we provide houses or apartments for them? What about the house density and how many people we can put in one house? And some specific questions, how do they provide power and water for their houses or apartments and how do they construct houses or apartments?

The San Joaquin Valley should take 12.000 refugees

About money issue, from the crime report in Europe, we know that if refugees do not get enough money as their living expense, they will be dangerous to the society.

TH em Fresno County should take 7,000 refugees


A tale of Two Cities: the Distribution of refugees in fresno county

A tale of Two Cities: General plan

A tale of two cities: Now is the time for Mendota and Firebaugh to change, to re-energize. Our group envisions the territory of the San Joaquin river as a landscape of Energy-Ecology-Economy-People. Our strategies at territorial scale aim to: - provide, equal accessibility to recreation, to infrastructure, and to the river, by connecting people to canals and rivers - introduce ecological infrastructure as means to city planning, by studying wind, sun and other effects on creation of micro-climates - invest in alternative energy resources, such as wind, solar, and biomass.and hybrid forms of production for self-sufficiency - improve the crops production, by suggesting new crops and reducing production energy requirement.

Description: After we group established "Energy-Ecology-Economy-People" as our design guide, we begin to archieve our goals in a large scale. Then, to understand this project specifically, each of us choose one site to do the further design. I chose the urban area in mendota because it can hold more refugees than other places.

A tale of Two Cities: Detail plan in mendota

A tale of Two Cities: Site ANALYSIS Description about Design:

Site Analysis:

Mendota Downtown:

New Residential Area:

With putting 2500 migrants in Mendota and its neighbour area, it is necessary to solve the living problems and other ecological problems. Based on the soil quality, water table depth and agriculture analysis, Mondota does not fit for the traditional agriculture. Then I imply the biomass factory to deal with the agricultural waste and reduce the energy comsuption. T In the first several years, I will apply the soil remediation into the surroudning area and transfer it to the arable farmland. The pocket parks will be used in Mendota downtwon area to create open space for the local residents and the migrants. It will help to form the combination of two different cultures and use landscape to structure the urbanism.


Evergreen Tree


Bike Path

Urban Agriculture

Wind Break

Residential Buildings

Residential Buildings

Soil Remediation:


Walking Resting Evergreen Path Area Tree

Current Population Density: 3356.3 People per square mile. Males: 6,123(53.7%) Female: 5,289(46.3%) Median Household Income in 2015: 23.392$ Income in CA per year: 60,190$ Proposed Migrants in Mendota: 2500 ea Migrants in Downtown: 700

Section 1

Soil Remediation+Agriculture

Public Open Space

New Residential Area

Original Residential Area Without Open Space

Middle School

Mendota Downtown

Open Space

Middle School

Mendota Downtown

Section 2

Soil Remediation+Agriculture

New Residential Area

Public Park

Walking Road Path

Silk roads: cultural element analysis

silk roads: site analysis

Silk roads: new night market

silk roads: detailed plan

silk roads: inner sight of commericial building

silk roads: section and anal

Zhihao Ni-Applying for Landscape Achitecture 2018  
Zhihao Ni-Applying for Landscape Achitecture 2018