Chongming Island- Ecological Corridor
The international tendering company of Shanghai invited three offices to join the competition for Chongming island. These companies were AECOM, Turenscape and Niek Roozen Landscape (NRL). For this competition NRL cooperated with Allynita (Shanghai) and won the first prize.
The main purpose for the competition was to create a suitable slow traffic system and improve several tourist areas. Existing ecological areas and new towns will be connected to this traffic system. The goal was to create an integrated design where ecology, tourism and landscape development is combined.
To have a better understanding of the qualities and issues of the site, we spent several days visiting the area. During the site visit we noticed the landscape character of Chongming is diverse and has ecological value. The site is part of the largest alluvial island in the world and has developed into an area used for agriculture. The history and development of the island is evident in the diverse patterns of the landscape and dikes. As part of the design development we wanted to capture the existing situation by enriching these patterns, this was achieved through the creation and addition of new wetland areas, forests and parks for visitors. The design concept successfully achieved an engaging landscape which provided opportunities for tourists to experience a range of activities and integrate with nature.
It was important for the client that all visitors have easy access to the existing parks, new parks and landscape areas. In the existing situation we noticed that the dike forms a beautiful linear road however has a number of accessibility issues. There are almost no physical and visual connections from the dike to the landscape inside the island and the natural wetland along the sea.
In our design strategy the top of the dike has been used as a path for cyclists and golf carts. On the seaside area of the dike a new slow trafficked pedestrian path was created. By designing separate path systems related to the speed of the visitors, we were able to ensure a safe, pleasant and comfortable area for the visitors. Due to the large scale of the area, the car is an important means of transport to visit all the interesting areas.
The addition of a new road, the ‘landscape road’ provided a scenic route for tourists to drive and showcased the landscape variety. The vehicular route provides areas where people can park their car and continue their journey with rental bikes, golf cars, boats or by foot.
In addition to the existing areas of the Island such as Dongtan wetland, we created 8 new landscape highlights. Four of these highlights are directly connected with existing and new villages. We have improved the connections between the towns to the surrounding landscapes, dike and the sea.
Additional features of the landscape include the park areas, rice field land art, wetland recreational area, the water forest and the new industrial park. The new industrial park is located in an old industrial area with old cranes and industrial elements. This area was transformed into a cultural space where large scale events could take place. This area will also function as a family park and a youth activity park.