Parkhill Greens | Shenzhen, China | PLAT Studio

A Vibrant Community Hub

The project is located on a south-facing hillside in the northern part of the Jiangangshan neighborhood in the Baoan District of Shenzhen, China. Jiangangshan Avenue is a broad, tree-lined road, combined with the adjacent reservoir and lush forest creates a pleasant microclimate environment. Twenty years ago, the first batch of garden houses were built between here and it has gradually grown into the largest low-density residential area in western Shenzhen. However, its public facilities have not kept pace, with few public spaces and amenities.

A new masterplan for the area integrates Jiangangshan into the urban core. A number of projects are under construction nearby, including new subway stations, schools, high-density residences, and commercial areas. A large influx of new residents will follow these expansions, highlighting a dearth of public space. Parkhill Greens and surrounding streetscapes have added 4,000 square meters of new park land, the only public open space in the neighborhood.

Parkhill Greens is acting as a green hub, connecting the public realm, old and new residential areas, new business districts and schools, and highlighting the neighborhood’s natural beauty. Using elegant design strategies, the park provides modern amenities to promote a vibrant, social and health-focused park. The verdant space balances ecological and human needs; managing rainwater and mitigating urban heat island effect, while setting the stage for a lively neighborhood with activities for all ages.

Systematic Design Of Community Open Space: Starting At The Core Of A Foothill Community

Designers studied the context to plan a forward-thinking community that will be comfortable while accommodating a high density of residents. The next round of development will bring new neighbors to the park, breathing it to life. The space will be an anchor, inviting residents to build community in the comfort and calm of urban nature. The three elements of neighborhood open spaces — park, streets and homes — are designed to work as a complimentary system, building the framework for an inviting community.

Parkhill Greens is central to the the first phase and implementation of the larger vision. Radiating outwards, it connects recreation with green streets. Acting as a community hub, it will connect new and existing residents, retail and housing, everything from urban plazas to lush gardens.

A New Park For A High-Density Community: People-Oriented, Compact And Flexible

With the rise of high-density urbanism, we are creating a unique and timeless refuge where residents can let their hair down. Everyone can feel like the main character in this unique and welcoming environment. With a variety of amenities and environments, people can relax with friends and family for gatherings large and small.

The site has a significant grade change and an unusual shape. However, these unique features set the stage for a distinctive design language – with gradual slopes, steps and retaining walls coming together to create people-oriented spaces. Efficiently using space for a variety of functions and flowing from one area to another, the result is a strong central gesture with lush planting surrounding each area. 

Vibrant Streets For Safety, Greenery And Community

The streetscapes extend the park’s calm atmosphere, with narrow roads to slow traffic and wide tree-lined sidewalks to encourage walking. Bike and running paths give space for faster movement while being separated from auto traffic. Custom street furniture gives the street a distinct public realm for residents to enjoy with any mode of transport.

Street corners provide shade, seating and sculptural signage for easy navigation and a comfortable experience. The northeast corner has an elaborate weathervane, with silhouettes of the various sports and activities that visitors can enjoy at the park.

Ecological Framework: Keep Mature Trees And Absorb Stormwater

The design prioritizes ecology from the outset. The northern edge stays at street level grade to preserve the many mature trees that existed there. This mature canopy creates a lush backdrop for the layers of diverse planting on the slope between lawn and northern road.

Due to the high volume of rain in the wet season, the park acts as a sponge for the neighborhood to prevent flooding. A large underground basin is connected to overflow pipes to create a rainwater system that holds water onsite until storms pass. Signage shows visitors how the system works to increase engagement with the local ecology.

Parkhills Green

Location: Baoan District, Shenzhen, China

Landscape Architect: PLAT Studio
Image Credit: PLAT Studio

Photography: ACF Photography, Holi Photography

About Damian Holmes 3292 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