Zhoukou Shahewan Wetland Park | Zhoukou, Henan, China | Beijing Sunshine Landscape Co.

On the site of Zhoukou Shahewan Wetland Park was originally the ash pit of a thermal power plant, which has been left abandoned since 2010. Ash and cinders are piled up year after year, forming a contaminated area. Therefore, through pollution treatment and natural habitat restoration, the design team re-establishes a stable and sustainable ecological network, providing a favorable habitat for animals and plants, and making Shahewan Wetland Park an important carrier of Zhoukou’s ecological restoration programme. Designed with the principle of ecology first; the park integrates human-oriented experience, interactive landscape and science popularization education, providing an ecological, recreational and educational urban space. It is the first and only state-level urban wetland park in Zhoukou city. Its success is of great significance not only for controlling pollution in Central China but also for the benefit of 10 million residents of Zhoukou.

Covering an area of 45 hectares, Shahewan Wetland Park is located in Chuanhui District, Zhoukou City, Henan Province, along the Shaying River. As a typical province in Central China that basically relies on thermal power, Henan faces serious pollution problems caused by coal burning. Zhoukou Shahewan Wetland Park, as a demonstration project of pollution control in Central China, is of great significance.

Low Impact Development
Sponge City Measures: The design team took advantage of the terrain, dry creek and grass swale, and updated the technology to reduce the cost, creating a more flexible wetland landscape. No addition of supporting facilities: The team made full use of the abandoned building, transforming it into a landscape architecture at the entrance for service, science education and display. In addition, purchase standardized modules instead of building additional supporting facilities.

Reuse of waste materials: adhering to the concept of low-impact development, the team made full use of the waste materials, such as permeable bricks, rubble stones, coal ash and other landscape materials; kept and transplanted the trees on the site and replanted some.

Biodiversity Improvement
The original plant community is kept; non-invasive and adaptive plants are added to create a
vegetation corridor and improve the ecological structure; the periphery is broadened and various
plants provide more food and habitat for birds.

Minimal Earthwork
Transform the muck pits into ponds; test the soil and select adaptive plants accordingly to
remediate the mildly and moderately polluted areas; remove and replace the soil in the heavily
polluted areas to minimize the earthwork; connect the separate ponds to form a natural and
ecological filtering basin.

Restoration and Protection of Wetlands
The original central is reserved; a terraced flower field and paddy field are created taking advantage
of the altitude difference. Through the internal water circulation system, the downstream water is brought upstream and then is then filtered. Ecological modularization improves the management: conservation area in the south, artificial intervention and wetland restoration in the north and east, and vegetation restoration in the periphery. The plants form a natural barrier to protect the ecological system of the wetland.

Winner of the 2022 WLA Awards – Merit Award in the Built – Large category

Jury Comments: “An outstanding project that through pollution treatment and natural habitat restoration re-establishes a sustainable ecological network, a landscape for the symbiosis between animals, plants and people with contemporary design discreetly integrated into the natural landscape. “

Zhoukou Shahewan Wetland Park

Landscape Architect:

Beijing Sunshine Landscape Co.,Ltd:

Xiaoyu Cao, Yang Liu, Xiaoqing Zhang, Xiong Gao, Dongli Zhang , Ye Zhou, Yuqing Zheng, Jixue Zhang, Min Shi, Ke Wang, Borui Zhang

Client: Zhoukou Longdahuaheng Real Estate Co. , Ltd.

Image Credits: Qi Luan

About Damian Holmes 3223 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/