Fengshui theory in urban landscape planning

Sun Kee Hong, In Ju Song, Jianguo Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The spatial configuration of urban landscapes results from cumulative interactions between human activities and the physical environment. Traditional philosophies and cultural legacies have had important influences on urban development and planning in East Asia. In Seoul, traditional land use practices based on 'Fengshui' have significantly contributed to human-mediated patterns of landscape changes, in addition to the role of the socio-economic background (development) and other human activities. The concept of Fengshui was originally founded upon people's empirical cognition of natural landscape patterns. Recently, however, advanced economic development, westernization and urbanization have been rapidly altering the old traditions of the holistic landscape systems through changing urban planning practices. Since the type, scale, frequency, distribution and spreading pattern of environmental and human disturbances have been changed, a new paradigm for urban landscape planning is necessary to maintain the ecological and cultural integrity of landscapes in Korea. In this paper, we discuss recent concepts and methods of landscape ecology and urban planning from the viewpoint of Fengshui, the traditional land use patterns in Seoul, whose application has so far been restricted only to traditional land evaluation. We conclude that, to maintain the sustainability of the urban landscape, it is necessary to develop a new urban planning framework for the region that is based on the integration between landscape ecology principles with the traditional concepts of Fengshui.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-237
Number of pages17
JournalUrban Ecosystems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Asian landscape pattern
  • Fengshui theory
  • Land use policy
  • Landscape ecological planning
  • Urban ecology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Urban Studies


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