A rainy morning in Suzhou for the start of the 2010 IFLA Congress. Police escort for the bus convoy to the Suzhou Expo Centre in the newer part of Suzhou. Welcoming speeches from Chinese and Suzhou Government officials. Professional, friendly conference to further landscape architecture. The Keynote speeches gave an overall view of Chinese historical & modern landscape, modern landscape architecture, heritage through digital records and reviews of Landscape Architecture efforts by Shanghai, Suzhou & Guangzhou government officials. There was also a presentation by Niall Kirkwood titled Resilient Landscapes which gave us much to ponder about the role of landscape architects.
With only 12 days to the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai you have probably seen images of the new Expo site with its amazing pavilions. But there is more going on in Shanghai in the last 2-3 years than the construction of Expo. Last month the main promenade in Shanghai known as the Bund or Waitan was recently reopened after a two years of renovation which involved removing the main elevated expressway onramp and constructing a new traffic tunnel under the fill length of the road and the pedestrian promenade was widened and extended.
The Bund is a historical piece of the city that has dramatically changed from in the last century from a mud flat riverbank with wooden planks for baording boats and ships whilst overlooking the opposite bank of farmland to becoming a thriving pedestrian promenade in front of buildings dating from 1880’s to 1930’s now overlooking a modern metropolis of contemporary architecture; most of which was built in the last decade.
The renovated Bund is 2000 metres long (1.25 miles) with three levels – roadside, promenade and lower level plazas beside the river. The new Bund has done away with the concrete upstand walls replaced with a curved balustrade which is more comfortable to lean against and watch the ships, barges and ferries go by whilst looking across at Lujiazui, the modern financial district.
The new expansive bund is accessed by long ramps that create dramatic sense of arrival to the promenade which is paved in light coloured large unit granite paving and timber paving replacing the small sized pink ceramic tile (installed in a 1993 renovation). The new design also includes some new wave like glass sculptural roofs that give a different architectural dynamic although they are placed at the south end to ensure an unobstructed view of the historical buildings.
The renovation of the Bund also includes renovated and new ferry terminal & jetties, a renovated weather station, thematic lighting and water sprays into the river. The lower roadside promenade and plazas are to include commercial shopping and restaurant areas.
The slideshow above can be enlarged to full screen by clicking on the four-arrow button (right side)
If you are coming for Expo or the 2010 IFLA Congress in Suzhou – the Bund is an interesting place to visit and take in the city. We will be featuring other posts about the changes that Shanghai has undergone in the last few years including Expo.
KCAP Architects & Planners has won the international competition to design a masterplan for Keqiao Water City in Shaoxing, China. The 45 ha site, which is currently occupied by redundant textile industry and residences, will be redeveloped for residential use with community functions and sport and commercial facilities in a landscaped setting of waterland, parks and gardens. KCAP’s masterplan design has been chosen as winner out of 3 international entries.
Keqiao is the major development area of Zhejiang province, occupying a strategic location between Shaoxing, a city of 3 million inhabitants, and Hangzhou, close to Xaoshan airport and along the highway to larger local cities and further to Shanghai. With its unique landscape of lakes, canals and rocks it forms a setting of scenic beauty. The area will become a recreational centre and will give new development impulses for the entire region.
KCAP’s masterplan introduces a landscape framework formed by different conditions found on the site such as the two lakes with their waterfronts, the canal and road system, the green spaces and the bridges. Enriched with carefully designed elements like public squares, parks, roads and paths a continuous landscape fabric is established which ties the entire development together.
KCAP will elaborate the winning masterplan scheme throughout 2010 in close cooperation with Shaoxing developer Gemdale and the local authorities. The first projects are estimated to start construction in 2011. ‘Working on this project is a great opportunity for us. It is an important stepping stone for our growing portfolio in China,’ says Markus Appenzeller, director of international projects of KCAP.
Recently Li Shouxin, director of the Development Planning Department stated that China’s urban population had reached 622 million by the end of 2009, with the urbanization rate standing at nearly 47 percent with the urban population growing by just under 1% annually over the last five years.
Zhang Qin, deputy director of the Urban-Rural Planning Department under the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD), said the rapid urbanization of China will continue for 15 to 20 years and China will become an urban society during the “12th Five-Year Plan” period (between 2011 and 2015 ).
The process will create a market of at least 1 trillion yuan ($146 billion) in the coming 20 years, according to a report by the Xinhua News Agency.
Beijng is planning to build six lakes and two wetlands along the currently dry Yongding River (known as the Mother River of Beijing). Part of the river flows for 170 kilometres through several districts of Beijing.
The six lakes to be constructed are Mencheng Lake, Lianshi Lake, Xiaoyue Lake, Wanping Lake, Daning Lake, and Daotian Lake, and will 50 kilometers long and 270-hectare water area. Recently, the construction of Wanping Lake and Lianshi Lake started simultaneously at the lower reaches of the Yongding River. These lakes and wetlands are part of a bigger ecological corridor 170km long project which is budget to cost 17 billion yuan (2.5 billion USD).
The water required for the project is 130 million cubic meters is needed to recover Yongding River, and the water will mainly come from reclaimed water and rain. The Qinghe, Xiaohongmen, Lugou Bridge, Wulituo and Mencheng reclaimed water plants will help provide Yongding River with quality water resources that meet the three-star surface water standard. In addition, two million cubic meters of rain can be stored every year for use. A wetland will be built at the upper reaches of every lake in order to further purify the water and ensure that the water in the Yongding River can meet the three or even four-star standard of surface water.
The four lakes will be constructed and filled with water by the end of 2010. The bigger 170 kilometers long ecological corridor projects will be completed by 2014.