Reconstruction Design of Guanlan River in Shenzhen | SHUISHI

Guanlan River

Guanlan River, like many rivers in China, has been losing its vitality in the process of rapid urbanization. Fortunately, Chinese people are now more aware of the importance of environmental protection. With opportunity, the designers was honored to be invited to revitalize Guanlan River under the leadership of the local government.

Guanlan River Shenzhen

The project is located in Longhua District, Shenzhen, Guangdong. It is a primarily research-oriented project, selecting a north-south 14.2km segment of the river and both riverside areas. The selected is a relatively long and complicated segment flowing from the city center to suburban areas, with different heights of the banks and different width of river channels in different areas. Moreover, it locates residences, parks, water-works, historical sites and farmland on both banks of this segment. The complicated existing conditions of the site and its surroundings required a variety of flexible and variable strategies for the design of this project.

To achieve a scientific and rational design, Our design team cooperated with a leading global Design & Consultancy firm for natural and built assets from Netherlands, to analyze the related problems on river channel improvement in a more scientific and rational way. According to the calculation data and suggestions provided by consulting team, the amain stream water replenishment system was designed to restore the hydrological cycle of the river, strengthen rainwater purification and infiltration, replenish groundwater, and further to replenish river water or to reduce the water loss. Meanwhile, the widths of some river nodes were widened, some micro-topography was renovated, and the existed water storage space was fully developed and utilized, in order to effectively increase the storages pace for rain and flood, achieve flood peak distributions, control the flow regulation and storage during flood season. On the basis of ensuring the safety of the urban water system, it was also planned to supply water to the river in the dry season, to maximally restore its original hydrological cycling function in a scientific and reasonable way. In addition, a symbiotic strategy was adopted into the design, to rebuild and conserve the river ecosystem and to protect the home of egrets by establishing ecologically conservational habitats and flood detention sponges.

According to the design, the Guanlan River will once again become the link between man and nature, also the cradle of urban civilization. It will be a harmonious coexisting habitat for both man and nature. The river will guard the city well during the flood season while nourishing it during the dry season. This urban habitat will be growing well day by day to attract more animals back to the city, and to build the clear water channel as the most ecological and vibrant landmark of the city.

Reconstruction Design of Guanlan River in Shenzhen

Landscape Archittect: SHUISHI

Consultants: ARCADIS

Client: Shenzhen Water Resources Bulletin

Image Credits: SHUISHI / ARCADIS

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