Shanghai is part of the alluvial plain of the Yangtze River Delta, its special geographical location gives it a special history and culture. The waterways are quite dense, both for flood protection and irrigation, this creates the identity of this project. Throughout the history of change, many major events have revolved almost around water, such as the excavation of the large canals:Dazhi River and Jinhui River.
The project is situated at the confluence of the Huangpu River, Da Zhi River, and Jin Hui River. The Huangpu River is the mother river of Shanghai, serves as a crucial channel for shipping, and its banks are lined with industrial facilities, warehouses, and abundant vegetation. The river and canals divide the site into four parts. This location is a key node for the southward axis of Shanghai’s urban development, it has rich historical, cultural, and ecological resources. However, it faces challenges in urban and economic growth, as well as environmental protection of the south bank of the Huangpu River and Dazhi river, which is assigned as an ecological corridor.
The four areas will have compatible industrial areas, combined with new residential layouts, to drive urban development. For the industrial development, we wanted to strengthen the current qualities and developments. The Science and Technology Innovation Centre is the current main development in the northwest part, and we will extend this. The northeast area focuses on sports and events for the new residents. The south banks are focussed on the mix of ecology and the new industries, with in the southwest cultural tourism,traditional and nature inclusive agriculture andin the southeast region an ecological office park as the core. In terms of transportation, the four areas are connected by various means, such as traditional ferries, railway, transit, and futuristic cable cars. By introducing the slow traffic system inland by boat, bike and foot, each area will have a core hub and several small hubs.
Flood control is one of our main focuses, we planned a comprehensive ring water system along with a three-level flood control system. The first-level flood system can handle once-in-a-century floods, facilitating waterfront activities and defence the daily floods. The secondary flood control system can cope with the once-in-a-millennium flood and deal with extreme floods. The three-level flood control system is located around the water system ring, in the form of urban water bodies, rain gardens, and buffer channels, to regulate and store urban rainwater and reduce flooding pressure and provide urban landscape space. Therefore, the riverbank will become an ecological corridor dominated by nature and the floodwalls will be more inland, to make sure the spatial relation of the public space with the rivers stays strong.
Besides the water structure, we also developed a new forest structure in the form of a ‘green network’. This forest will help the endangered species who live in the forest, to enlarge their habitat and create a habitat for many other trees, plants, and animals. The large forests will limit urban expansion, it will reduce the urban heat island effect and will be a new recreation network for the new residents.
With the new industries, but also new and existing landscapes, the crossing area of the river and canals will be a landmark for this region.