Dongsheng Culture & Sports Park | Zibo City, China | GVL Design Group

Dongsheng Culture & Sports Park sits in the High-tech Industrial Development Zone of Zibo City, Shandong Province. It covers an area of about 179 acres, consisting of cultural and sports venues, parks, and a riverscape. Located nearby is the first “sky loop” of Zibo, allowing visitors to walk and ride on a path in the air. The cultural and sports buildings, whose curves follow the site’s topography, grow from the park and then integrate with it. Additionally, the park’s topography creates functional space for many immersive health activities, which stimulates the surrounding community and raises the effect of public events in Zibo. At the same time, the use of park space is maximized, which brings significant impact to local urban economic development and public image. The Laozi River, formerly of raw, singular functionality, is now fully utilized in the area in the form of multiple waterfront ecological spaces for water purification, scenic vistas, and a sports park with sustainable ecological maintenance.

The landscape simulates the natural elements of the mountainous area of central Shandong Province. These elements include ridge terraces, cloud layers, unique plants, flowing water, and a canyon. As a result, the natural wilderness is brought to life in the urban area. The park is defined as a mixed-use spatial sports park with an overall structure of “Nature and Health Loops”. It is a public and interactive area, providing natural spaces for children to play as well as professional-level facilities for athletes.

To adapt to the form and terrain of the site, a curved garden road winds around the park’s riverbank and hills. It connects the valley, forest, hilltop, and plain in the park. At the same time, this corridor forms a multidimensional experience walk linking people with the city and nature.

By reshaping river banks with various landscape methods, an ecological water-land transition zone is established to rehabilitate vegetation, enhance biodiversity, and purify water quality. Combined with sound ecological management, the area creates a river landscape where visitors can observe the ecological cycle, or enter the river to feel the flow of water and aquatic plants. Meanwhile, the large rocky beach has become a water-friendly play space for children.

Consequently, Dongsheng Culture & Sports Park was born. This landmark mixed-use area is based on the concept of “feeling the green flow, reshaping a healthy life”. It integrates multiple aspects, including community cultural activities, local art, ecological health education, and livable waterfront life. By creating a vibrant sports synthesis, it opens an international window for Zibo to showcase its special culture. It is crucial to satisfy the activities of locals, emphasize the sense of participation, and improve the people-oriented concept such as functional activity space for all ages. Secondly, urban parks should highlight local culture and traits. Thirdly, parks need to be blended into nature and be organized as an essential part of the urban ecological strategy. Dongsheng Culture & Sports Park is designed by following these principles. It will be a model reference for future urban park design.

Dongsheng Culture & Sports Park

Location: High-tech Industrial Development Zone of Zibo City, Shandong Province, China

Design Firm: GVL Design Group
Design Leaders: Da Zhang, Ajie Cai
Design Team: Kairan Chen, Huashi Wu, Zhaoyi Li, Chunyu Chen, Chunhua Ma, Yang Cao, Xiaolan Zheng, Xing Deng, Bing Wu, Xianxing Li, Chong Zheng, Huiqiang Xie

Construction Period: March 2021 – December 2021

Client: Shandong Zibo New Sun Group

Photography: GVL Design Group, Hining Laboratory

About Damian Holmes 3343 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at