The City of Shanghai has announced TLS Landscape Architecture, Berkeley, California as the winner of an international competition for the Sanlin Bund Ecological Park in Shanghai.
This new 241-hectare urban park is part of a key civic initiative encircling the city to create major “Green Lungs” and combat the effects of global warming in a city of 24 million with exploding urban density. The park is anchored on the Huangpu waterfront (New Bund) with a great festival plaza and landmark arch framing views into the park and a new mountain overlook containing an art museum.
The park is about “working the land” and is energized by weaving together diverse strands of Sanlin culture – symbolized by the local “drunken lion dance”.
The park is given life by a constantly varying topography of hills and valleys utilizing harvested rubble and fill from on-site urban demolition and housing and underground garage construction. This shifting topography organizes site hydrology and allows for the greatest degree of biodiversity and multiple ecosystem cultivation including Cypress bogs, aquatic gardens, emergent wetlands, lowland meadows, and vast upland forests. Much of the park is covered in this dense native forest which frames a series of “valleys” each with a programmatic focus including urban sports, sustainable farming with rustic lodge, sculpture park, children’s ecological learning center, and wind harvesting.
The topo design is also carefully shaped to funnel summer breezes through living areas and adjacent areas of the city as well as to block cold winter winds.
Slow Traffic System
A park-wide system of pedestrian bridges span from knoll to knoll over roads allowing pedestrians and bikers to circumnavigate the vast park without encountering cars.
New and proposed canals as well as seasonal streams and ponds are laced throughout the park to create a massive bio-filtering response to the governments’ call for a “Sponge City”. This system cleans canals and runoff as well as retaining and infiltrating rainfall to mitigate the frequent flooding typical of overnight urbanization. In an area once widely known for its riverfront farming, fishing, and nurseries, the land is returned to cultivation – this time by farming native ecosystems.