Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Nick De Pace

Second Advisor

Ann Kearsley


Since the industrial revolution, with the expansion of cities, the global climate problem has become increasingly serious. The world is paying more and more attention to carbon emissions, and many landscape projects also take emission reduction and carbon sequestration as concepts. But there seems to be a lack of quantitative research in the field of landscape architecture. According to the global goal of net-zero by 2050 and emission reduction plan of Providence, RI, this project started with calculating how much carbon dioxide needed to be removed by biomass in order to achieve net-zero. It puts forward the requirement for urban reforestation in the city. As considering the calculation results and potentials of Providence, this thesis explores the variations of urban structure in the scenario of negative carbon growth happening.

The project further focuses on a site where the saline water and fresh water of the Woonasquatucket River meet. The purpose is to explore how to establish different plant communities according to different conditions of topography, soil, salinity, and flooding in order to maximize the capacity of biomass for carbon dioxide removal in the reforestation network. At the same time, the integration of reforestation with the urban history, urban life and urban future is considered.


View exhibition online: Hanchao Zhang, Negative Carbon Growth in the Atmosphere



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