DLC: As part of a major campaign of environment improvement, Jiading Shigangmentang Wetland Park is designed to encourage ecological awareness within the Yangtze River Delta, and help capture the long lost natural beauty and ecological diversity that are naturally found in the delta lowlands near Shanghai. It is important to educate and understand that industrial and plastic pollution, agricultural run-off, siltation, and loss of wetland and lakes, which exacerbates seasonal flooding, can be reversed.
China’s Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia, the third-longest in the world and the longest on the planet to flow entirely within one country. It rises in the northern part of the Tibetan Plateau and flows 6,300 km (3,900 mi) in an easterly direction to the East China Sea. It is the sixth-largest river by discharge volume in the world and flows through a wide array of ecosystems, and is habitat to several rare and endangered species including the Chinese alligator, the narrow-ridged finless porpoise, the Chinese paddlefish, the Yangtze river dolphin or baiji (believed to be extinct) and the Yangtze sturgeon.
The Yangtze River drainage basin comprises one-fifth of the land area of China and is home to nearly one-third of the country’s population; one of the most densely populated regions on earth including Shanghai, one of the world’s largest city with a density of 2,700 inhabitants per square km (7,000/sq mi). Due to the large population densities that exist both upriver and within the delta area, agriculture and industrial needs such as coal, steel and cement are dependent on water, irrigation, sanitation and transportation and as a result the Yangtze River, as claimed by the World Wide Fund for Nature is one of the largest cause of marine pollution in the Pacific Ocean.
Concrete edged inland waterways in what was once a site of heavy industry are converted into natural stream and tributary networks that meander their way through twenty-seven hectares of newly created wetlands/ grasslands/ meadows and woodland environments. The concrete embankments of channelized river were removed and a natural riverbank restored to revitalize the riparian ecology and maximize the river’s self-purification capacity. The strategy was to slow the flow of water by creating a water-based ecological infrastructure that retain and remediate stormwater.
Water, the active agent in the regeneration of a healthy ecosystem provides a natural setting for a continuous ribbon of public linear paths that animate the river bank. Nature trails, pedestrian paths, bike paths, open activity lawns, themed gardens, floating bridges, playgrounds and a skateboard park provide a new living interface between neighborhoods and the river for everyday activity. Access to the wetlands has transformed the former industrial setting into a livable human habitat and reestablishes a water heritage found originally in the Yangtze Delta Shanghai metropolis.
Name of the project: Jiading Wetland Park
Short Office name: DLC
Role of the Office in the Project: Landscape Architect
Client: Jiading New City
Project location: Jiading District, Shanghai, China