MLA+ Felixx wins the Bao’an Urban Design Competition in Shenzhen China

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Bao’An G107 Fashion Business Zone from MLA+ on Vimeo.

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Aerial View

MLA+ in collaboration with Felixx Landscape Architects & Planners and Chinese partners China Academy of Urban Planning and Design (CAUPD) and Shenzhen Municipal Design & Research Institute has won the first prize in the design competition for the regeneration of the area along the G107 highway in Bao’an district in Shenzhen. The other competing teams consisted of Nikken Sekkei, KCAP, OMA and ISA- Internationales Stadtbauatelier.

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Existing City

The 1-2 kilometre piece of land on both aspects of the G107 forms the 53 km2 area of the competition. The G107 highway used to be the main entrance road from Hong Kong to ‘Factory of the World’ city Shenzhen. Consequently, a fragmented industrial landscape emerged along the high way. In the past few years this landscape was further complicated by pieces of residential areas and independent developed commercial functions. Besides direct problems like regular flooding and traffic problem, the area is vulnerable in view of Shenzhen’s transition from an industry based economy to an economy based on innovation.

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Industrial Upgrade Strategy

Therefore, the main challenge was to come up with a future-proof design that carefully integrates and addresses the complexity of the existing urban fabric.

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Riverpark Masterplan
Riverpark Masterplan | flooded
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In the design of MLA+ the highway G107 is still the driving force of the area to connect the different areas, but its function changes from an utilitarian infrastructure to a key driver for urban regeneration. Within this main structure hubs are created for different urban functions. Besides that, the public spaces are used to connect different elements of the existing city.

“This assignment is an extremely interesting cocktail, of all fundamental challenges for future-proof urbanization within an incredible divers existing urban fabric. Important environmental, social and infrastructural tasks in an almost entirely built-up area and very limited open space. With this project we aim to develop a strategic framework that revalues open space as a necessary mechanism to address these tasks, and transform the current fabric into a resilient urban environment.” – Michiel Van Driessche – partner Felixx

In the time to come, the consortium of MLA+ will refine the plan resulting in an implementation plan that will be implemented in the coming three years.

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Existing Condition
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“The issue of urban regeneration is a very topical issue in China. Where the focus used to be on building new cities, at the moment the necessity of transforming the existing urban fabric starts to pervade. In our plan we address this issue by carefully studying what we can (re)use and how we can turn this into a quality for the future.” – Brechtje Spreeuwers – China Director MLA+

Bao’an Urban Design Competition in Shenzhen China

Design Team | MLA+ & Felixx and Chinese partners China Academy of Urban Planning and Design (CAUPD) and Shenzhen Municipal Design & Research Institute

Image Credits | Copyright images Felixx/MLA+

About Damian Holmes 3314 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