Shenzhen Bay
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Bay Restored as an Ecological Resource

Location Shenzhen,, Guangdong, China

Scope Urban Design, Planning, Landscape Architecture

Size 15 km coastline


Halts, mitigates 30 years of aggressive bay fill

Revived tributaries' saltwater-freshwater blend supports wildlife

Restoration of sense of place—mangroves, sea grasses, salt marsh

Parts of bay deepened, reversing siltation

15 programmed park spaces offer innovative amenities

Pedestrian-oriented ciculation system

Situated just across the bay from Hong Kong, the city of Shenzhen has transformed from a small fishing town of 30,000 to a booming city of over 10 million people in 40 years – and has grown over 200 times its original size since 1980. Along the way, the character of Shenzhen’s bayfront was radically altered. Over 65 km2 of marsh and shallow bay were filled to create more land and even nearby mountains were mined for fill. The landfill operations all but obliterated the native mangrove and salt marsh shoreline, and with it, rich marine, intertidal and coastal wildlife habitat. In a partnership with local clients, SWA’s Shenzhen Bay Coast Master Plan and its resulting projects will restore acres of mangrove coastline and marsh habitat, deepen the bay to reverse siltation, and design sensitive public access to these naturalized features. In addition to coastal restoration, Shenzhen’s new urban population demands new open-space amenities. Inland from the shore, the Master Plan proposes a more intensively recreational park, which would include a ferry landing, aquatic center, playfields, picnic sites, concessions, an amphitheatre and other attractions. Finally, a new planned residential community will extend from the existing street grid, and offer pedestrian connections to the restored coastline and recreation spaces.

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