Ningbo East New Town Eco-Corridor
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Award-winning "Living Filter" System Replaces Brownfield

Location Ningbo, Zhejiang, China

Scope Planning, Landscape Architecture

Size site: 250 acres - 101.2 hectares; buildings: 10 acres - 4.05 hectares; landscape: 240 acres - 97 hectares


Winner, 2016 ASLA Honor Award: “They succeed admirably in making this site feel natural. There are so many opportunities to enter and enjoy it.”

Constructed meanders and marsh settle silt, aerate water

Hill-and-valley design utilizes surplus excavation material

Renewable-energy-powered pumps circulate water

Plant program mirrors vegetation of nearby national park

SWA provided planning and design services for the 3.3km long, 250-acre metropolitan Ningbo Eco-Corridor, which transforms a former agricultural plain that had been taken over by industrial use into urban green infrastructure. Located in the heart of the Yangtze River Delta on China’s coastline, Ningbo is one of China’s oldest cities, with an area of 3,616 square miles and a population of 5.43 million. Ningbo, which translates to “tranquil waters,” has been a well-known key port for foreign trade since ancient times. The development of this area inspired a strategy to establish Ningbo as a larger metropolitan area of economic and environmental importance and has set the stage for an ecological approach to the re-development of the city. Acting as a living filter, the design utilizes ecological strategies of hydrology, vegetation and topography, providing recreational, educational and cultural facilities for the Ningbo Eastern New City. Each area of development exemplifies a sustainable ecological approach by treating and recycling surface run-off water, harvesting solar energy, and reducing the urban heat-island effect. SWA additionally implemented a sustainable hydrological design that allows water to be filtered and aerated effectively and retained for aquifer recharge. The design seeks to offer a link between humans and their environment, fostering a community relationship to water and opportunities for environmental and ecological education. By linking together the ecological network in this region, the Ningbo Eco-Corridor enhances public health, quality of life, and property values of local and neighboring communities, and encourages other cities in the region to support ecological components in their respective developments.

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