《景观设计学》2022年第6期作 者：袁嘉（YUAN Jia）,钱深华（QIAN Shenhua），游奉溢（YOU Fengyi,），张照亮（ZHANG Zhaoliang）等类 别：景观出 版 社：高等教育出版社出版时间：2022-12
Redline Dystopias: A Dialogue With a Farmer in Qicha
对于国土空间规划设计师来说，通过划定红线来限定无序的发展和无节制的人类干扰、保护重要的自然与文化资产、构建美丽城乡，是实现人与自然和谐共生图景的第一步，也是必由之路，我把它称为“反规划”或“逆规划”。一旦划定这样的红线，产权便得以界定，管理职权便得以划清，法规政策便可落地，纷繁的自然与社会系统便可有条不紊，空间管控秩序因此得以建立。但殊不知，这只是规划师和管理者们心目中的“乌托邦”而已；现实世界中，由于红线的划定缺乏科学基础、规范缺乏因地制宜的灵活性、管理缺乏实事求是的能动性，这种美丽国土乌托邦愿景却走向了其反面——破坏我们家园的“敌托邦”景观，我称之为“红线敌托邦”（redline dystopia）。从祖国首都到最偏远的少数民族乡村，在踏访了众多的城市和村庄、经过从与地方官员会谈到和田头耕作的乡民聊天之后，我认为其中最不可思议的一种红线敌托邦景象之一是“基本农田红线敌托邦”（capital farmland dystopia）。
而我所看到的红线敌托邦远非基本农田敌托邦一种，其他还有“生态红线敌托邦”（eco-redline dystopia）、“水源红线和水安全红线敌托邦”（water redline dystopia）、“文物保护红线敌托邦”（heritage protection redline dystopia），等等。它们都有保护和建设美丽城乡的美好憧憬，但由于不遵循科学规律，缺乏合理而精细的规划设计，违背市场规律和当事人的权益，以及一刀切的管理机制，最终都使美丽城乡的乌托邦走向其反面——红线敌托邦！
As a term frequently used in the sector related to the planning and design of national territory and rural-urban areas, “redline” refers to the spatial boundary or bottom line for the protection or supervision of a process or an element of great importance, such as capital farmland redline, eco-redline, water redline (i.e., the boundary for water source protection and water safety), and cultural heritage redline (i.e. the boundary for cultural heritage protection). It also refers to the boundaries for certain protection purposes within a specific region, such as the construction boundaries of villages and the protection boundaries of lakes with great values (e.g., the Erhai Lake and the Dian Lake).
For the professionals in the field of national territorial planning, to identify and delimit redlines is the primary step to preserve valuable natural and cultural assets from human interventions, harmonizing human-nature and urban-rural relationships, through approaches of “negative planning”. Redline also defines the boundaries of property rights, management duties, and regulation practice, guaranteeing the complicated natural and social systems would run in good order, so do the relevant spatial management and supervision. Yet, this is merely a “utopia” envisioned by the professionals and decision-makers. In reality, the unscientific delimitation of redline and the rigidness in current management and supervision of natural and social resources usually make the implementation outcome runs the opposite to what they wished, leading to “redline dystopias” that are destroying our homelands. After visiting enormous cities, towns, and villages and talking with local officials and farmers across China, I found that capital farmland dystopia is the most “unfathomable” one.
This is not to deny the significance to the delimitation of capital farmland redlines. On the contrary, it is critical to guarantee the production of grain, cotton, oil, and sugar yielding crops, while preventing the land from being used for non-crops or even non-agricultural purposes. Food security is the top priority to a nation like China. However, if such regulations that consider little of the localities were implemented rigidly without any adaptation, they would lead to the horrible capital farmland dystopias.
In a remote valley in Hainan Province, China, there is a small basin called Qicha. She has genuine Li culture, the splendid natural scenery, and the centurial mango forests. The babbling brooks sourcing from the tropical rain forests surround every house. For me, this is a land flowing with milk and honey!
However, I feel disappointed when I had a close look at the farmland, especially after having a conservation with the locals: the capital farmland redline of the village is delimited with ends to the rocky hillsides, which nowadays overlaps with cement roads, cutting apart the organic connections between the village and fields, mountains, forests, lakes, and rivers, and erasing its picturesque charm—the vast rice fields and forests of mulberry and bamboo, dotted by fish ponds with pastoral trails or field ridges with banana, pawpaw, and areca-nut trees. Now, there is nothing but abandoned plots overgrown with weeds, monoculture fields, or lifeless irrigation ditches. Grievingly, such a capital farmland dystopia is ubiquitous throughout the country.
Here is the dialogue between a farmer and me in the field.
Q: Why is such capital farmland left uncultivated? Why don’t you plant rice with such favorable irrigation facilities? And why there is no fish in the water nor other animals or plants? Now this is nothing like what I used to see in the field.
A: First, the uncultivated plots are the capital farmland, where grain crops are only allowed to grow. But rice growing is high in labor-cost while low in profit. Second, economic crops such as perennial vegetables and fruits cannot be grown in the capital farmland, but are allowed for forest land. So most forests in the village are used to grow fruit trees and crops with good profits, such as areca-nuts, pawpaw, jack fruit, passion fruit, and banana; besides cultivating by ourselves, to rent the forest lands would be another good choice—the rent of ordinary farmland, orchard, and forest outnumbers that of the capital farmland! As a result, except for growing a small amount of grain crops for our basic need, we have to abandon the capital farmland. To your third question, since we have to use many fertilizers and herbicides to keep the rice survive that however kill most lives, the fields look so dull.
Q: Why there is no pond or wetland in the fields, and all the irrigation ditches are built with concrete? In the Han Dynasty, our ancestors had acknowledged the importance of ecological irrigation and wisely managed water nutrient circulation between living and production systems, thus to make farmland a sustainable and healthy ecosystem and offer homes for fish, frogs, and other species. Such irrigation systems combined with irrigation return-flow wetlands can also absorb most of the over-flow of non-point source pollution caused by the overuse of fertilizers and herbicides.
A: The irrigation ditches are all built according to the high standards by related requirements. In capital farmland, creating irrigation ponds is forbidden, because the planners believe that concrete ditches are more efficient and land-saving, so we had to fill up the ponds and pools existed on the land for generations. The hardened roads funded by the local government’s allocation are constructed for the traffic needs of farming machines. All such roads will be hardened in the next five years.
Q: In terms of the field ranges, why don’t you grow plants with pleasant landscape effects such as ceiba? The high-profited high-yield jack fruit, pawpaw, banana, litchi, and longan are also choices—just like what our ancestors did. Combination of forestry plants and agricultural crops can boost the total yield of land significantly. Moreover, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has already extended crop family towards ligneous plants like cassava and chestnut. Such diversified cultivation will introduce trees and bushes into farmlands and provide habitats for birds and small mammals that would also help with pest control!
A: As trees for timber or fruits growing in the capital farmland are not allowed—for the reason that large plats would impede crop growth and grain production—we cannot plant any trees on the field ridges, not to mention the high arbor trees.
Q: Then why do you only grow sugarcane in such vast dry farmland, rather than the higher-yield crops like corn? Corn has a long cultivation history in China as a major source of food.
A: Because corn is regarded as fruit here in Hainan, which, again, is not allowed to be grown in the capital farmland. Sugarcane, as a permitted sugar crop, can be harvested in the same year after you plant the seedlings, and need little management input in two years. Although this is a good choice to avoid the land uncultivated, the income from sugarcane can only cover the labor cost of harvest. Sometimes we would ask friends as helpers during the harvest season and to throw a party after it.
Such capital farmland dystopias have been disturbing the farmers and local officials for so long!
Worse, the land of China is suffering from other more dystopias including “eco-redline dystopia,” “water redline dystopia,” and “heritage protection redline dystopia.” All of these dystopias are demonstrating that dogmatic concepts, irrational construction standards, and unscientific and rigid management requirements in urban-rural planning and design that ignore the diverse localities, market rules, and stakeholders’ needs will lead to failures and tragedies, regardless of how beautiful and wonderful the blueprints are envisioned.