The Department of Landscape Architecture of Chongqing University was formerly the Urban Greening Group established in the 1950s. In the 1970s, Mr. Zhao Changgeng, Mr. Huang Tianqi and Mr. Lei Chunnong conducted comprehensive research of regional garden history, planning of scenic spots, protection of famous historical and cultural cities, and laid a solid foundation for development of the discipline Landscape Architecture. In the early 1980s, Mr. Xia Yimin, one of the first experts in landscape architecture sent by the Chinese government to the USA to study after reform and opening-up, returned to China and officially founded the landscape architecture discipline. Besides, Mr. Xia built a team of teachers of various disciplines, including historical theory, planning and design, plants and ecology, and tourism geography. In 1985, the Teaching and Research Office of Landscape Architecture was founded. Later in the same year, the Department started to enroll postgraduate students of landscape architecture. In 1987, the Department started to enroll undergraduate students of landscape architecture. Chongqing University is one of China's first colleges and universities to establish the landscape architecture discipline.
In the early period after the establishment of the Teaching and Research Office of Landscape Architecture, under the lead of its main members, including Zhao Changgeng, Xia Yimin, Zhao Guanghui, Zhu Bailin and Kuang Ping, the team of landscape architecture discipline overcame various obstacles, build a reasonable course system and identified the research areas. The team of discipline Landscape Architecture directed major research projects including "Planning of the Yangtze River Three Gorges Tourist Attraction", "Planning of Hechuan Fishing Town Scenic Area", "Planning of Leshan Giant Buddha", and "Declaration of World Cultural Heritage-Environmental Governance Planning of Dazu Rock Carvings Protection Area", and published important academic monographs including Memorial Gardens of Historical and Cultural Celebrities in Western Shu, and Garden Environment of Chinese Temples. The team has identified a research area of historical theory and planning design of regional landscape architecture with distinct characteristics. The textbook, Planning and Design of Landscape Architecture, compiled by the Teaching and Research Office, has now become shared memories of researchers engaged in landscape architecture back when there were very few books on landscape architecture. They nicknamed the book as "white book". The team has been attaching importance to imparting design methods and tapping creativity of students. Graduates of the Department include Du Chunlan, a member of the National Review Panel of Landscape Architecture Discipline and Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning of Chongqing University, Zhang Dayu, a member of the National Steering Committee of Landscape Architecture Discipline and Vice President of Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, and Zhang Dong, a well-known landscape architecture designed of China and founder of Z & T Studio. It has been posing significant influence on the development of landscape architecture discipline of China.
In 1993, in response to the national policy that called for expansion of discipline range, the discipline Landscape Architecture of the Faculty was forced to stop enrolling undergraduate students. However, the remaining teachers carried on with the theoretical research and practice of landscape architecture, and laid a solid foundation for subsequent development pf landscape architecture. Due to rapid development of social economy and the increasing desire of people for a better life, the discipline Landscape Architecture was given another development opportunity. In 2006, the Faculty resumes enrollment of undergraduate students of Landscape Architecture, re-established the Department of Landscape Architecture, and built a team with young and vigorous core members, including Du Chunlan, Zhu Jie, Ouyang Hua, Liu Jun, Wang Zhongde, Xia Hui and Mao Huasong. Construction of discipline Landscape Architecture was greatly boosted.
Teachers of the Department of Landscape Architecture are from two first-level disciplines, Landscape Architecture and Arts, which set the tone for the discipline Landscape Architecture of Chongqing University. Currently the Department has 36 full-time teachers and 3 part-time professors, among which 58% hold a title of a senior professional post, and 48% have studied abroad. Professional backgrounds of the teachers include landscape architecture, urban planning, architectural design, landscape plant, arts, environmental engineering and ecology. They are graduates of well-known colleges and universities at home and abroad, including Chongqing University, Tsinghua University, Beijing Forestry University, Chiba University and the University of Sheffield.
Since its founding, the Department of Landscape Architecture has been sticking to the idea of development that balances inheritance and innovation. On the basis of reorganizing the academic achievements of the older generations, and focusing on the current disciplinary development tendency and realistic needs of the society, the Department aims to build a domestically first-rate discipline that takes root in Chongqing, holds an international vision and has significant international influence. It has been devoted to research of theory and practice of architecture landscape for mountainous towns, and has identified 5 sub-disciplines, including Historical Theory and Heritage Protection of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Design of Mountainous Landscape Architecture, Ecological Restoration and Application of Landscape Plants, Science of Landscape Architecture Technology and Urban Public Art, based on which it has build a team of teachers and scientific researchers with reasonable structure and distinct characteristics of research areas.
In the past more than 10 years, the Department of Landscape Architecture has been making constant efforts to expand the connotation and extension of the landscape architecture discipline, and has gained an increasing nationwide influence. The Faculty has made considerable achievements and progress in the past years. In 2005, the Department of Landscape Architecture became the first departments in China approved to establish the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program. In 2007, Design Art was appraised as a key discipline of Chongqing Municipality. In 2009, the discipline Design Art was approved to establish the Master of Fine Art (MFA) program. In 2010, the discipline Landscape Architecture was approved to establish the doctoral program of national first-level discipline. In 2011, it was selected as one of the key disciplines under the "12th Five-year Plan" of Chongqing. In the third round of nationwide disciplinary evaluation in 2012, the discipline Landscape Architecture ranked No. 4 nationwide with other disciplines. In 2013, the discipline Landscape Architecture was appraised as a characteristic discipline of colleges and universities in Chongqing. In 2014, the discipline Landscape Architecture was approved to establish a postdoctoral research station of national first-level discipline. In 2015, the team of discipline Landscape Architecture was brought into the 2011 "Collaborative Innovation Center for Construction of Mountainous Towns". In 2017, the Landscape Architecture was selected as a key discipline under the "13th Five-year Plan" of Chongqing, and discipline under the National "Double-First-Rate" Construction Program.
By now, the discipline Landscape Architecture of the Faculty has established a complete nurturing system that covers undergraduate program, full-time postgraduate program, part-time postgraduate program, and doctoral program and postdoctoral research station of first-level discipline. Chongqing University is one of the only 10 universities that have such a complete nurturing system. The discipline Landscape Architecture enrolls some 30 undergraduate students, some 30 full-time postgraduate students, some 40 part-time postgraduate students for an academic degree, and 3-5 doctoral candidates on a yearly basis. The Department of Landscape Architecture, focusing on the goal of developing students into interdisciplinary talents that have an international horizon, strong sense of social responsibility and professional ethics, teamwork skills, and innovative ability, and love nature and culture, has been making efforts to build a scientific teaching system, and implement reform of teaching methods. In recent years, the Department has claimed 2 first prizes and 1 second prize for outstanding teaching achievements of Chongqing. Two courses of the Department were selected as excellent courses of Chongqing Municipality. The Department is involved in a number of teaching reform projects of the provincial level. Students of the Department have won tens of awards in international and domestic competitions including IFLA, Design Competition for College Students of Chinese Society of Landscape Architecture. Graduates of the Department are winning favor of employers due to their high professional standard and professional quality, and the teaching quality of teachers is widely recognized in the industry. In the nearly 5 years, utilizing resources of the scientific research platforms of Chongqing University and the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, the teachers of the Department of Landscape Architecture have directed or participated in more than 30 government-sponsored scientific research projects of the national, provincial and ministerial level; published more than 300 papers in important academic journals; completed more than 10 monographs; and actively participated in major construction projects of Chongqing. Specifically, the “The 8th China (Chongqing) international Garden EXPO 2011”, "Chongqing Garden of Wuhan Garden Expo Garden" and "Yang An'gong Martyrs Cemetery" have won the first prize for outstanding urban and rural planning and design of Chongqing Municipality. The Department has hosted 3 international academic conferences and 1 Symposium on Chinese Landscape Architecture Education, and has established long-term academic exchange and cooperation relationship with the landscape architecture schools and departments of foreign colleges and universities in France, Japan, Australia and Italy.
As the state government has recently made the strategic decision to "vigorously promote ecological civilization construction" and implement "new-type urbanization", the value of landscape architecture discipline is becoming increasingly prominent. The discipline Landscape Architecture is enjoying a promising future. Shouldering the mission of the times, we'll forge ahead unremittingly with our wholehearted enthusiasm for landscape architecture.