Yangpu Riverfront South Section Phase II | da landscape & Original Design Studio

Winner of a Merit Award in the 2020 WLA Awards for the Built – Large category

Yangpu Riverfront South Section Phase II is located between two ferry stations with a 1.2-km shoreline of Huangpu River, Shanghai China. Compared with other Riverfront landmarks such as the Bund and the Lujiazui CBD, the Yangpu Riverfront section is well known as the birthplace of China’s modern industry. A large number of factories related to textiles and manufacturing have brought a long-term prosperity. Now the population density of Yangpu District has exceeded 20,000/km2, which makes the lack of public space of the aging communities.

The Challenges
Post-industrial vacant buildings and abandoned docks blocked people from entering the riverfront and also cut off the walking flow along the river. Based on a high-density city nearly 30 million people, Shanghai implemented a strict standard against the threat of flood. Therefore, the top elevation of the floodwall is 2 to 3 meters higher than ground level,making it impossible to see the river.

The Green Park Design
The landscape architect cooperated with municipal engineer to transform the original single floodwall into a two-level system. The top of the first wall is same as the preserved high-pile dock ground elevation, forming a continuous open space. The second wall is raised a 1000-year standard, which position is 20~30 meters back and completely hidden under soil and planting. The new flood control system enriches the landscape topography in a flexible way while reducing the threat of typhoons and rainstorms. A multi-level greenway for users of all ages was established and extended to the surrounding communities via a pedestrian network.

The green space near city road is designed as a rain garden which alleviating the burden of the municipal drainage network during storm. In addition, an underground rainwater harvesting device provide irrigation water for the park. The rain garden also serves as a place for ecological education to explain the sponge city to visitors.

All high-pile wharfs were retained and reused to avoid unnecessary new construction costs and the industrial legacies are transform into new attractions. The riverfront space is redefined as a city grandstand with Shanghai’s beautiful skyline for daily use and various events. On the first opening day, it welcomed nearly 20,000 visitors, including those who had worked in the factories before. The revitalized riverfront has truly returned to the public with the coexistence of industrial legacy and green park.

Yangpu Riverfront South Section Phase II

Location:  Anpu Road, Yangpu District, Shanghai, China

Type: Public Space

Landscape Architect of Record/Firm: da landscape, Original Design Studio

Client:Pujiang Office of Yangpu / Yangpu Riverfront Investment Co., Ltd.

Photo:da landscape, Jin Xiaohui, Shinning

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 https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/