Ecology, industry, and culture interweave to restore a city’s connection to its waterfront


LocationShenzhen, China
ClientShenzhen Longgang River Pingshan River Watershed Administration Center
Size4,819,000 m2

The Shenzhen Longgang River Blueway System is envisioned to unlock the tremendous land value of this 13-mile-long suburban watershed and galvanize the city’s future growth. SWA’s proposal addresses urbanization issues pertaining to water, the environment, and open space shortage, while also activating industrial and cultural revitalization in the surrounding district. The design builds riverside ecological corridors at a regional scale while guaranteeing water quality and quantity; by incorporating pockets of native planting and habitat that extend deep into the adjacent urban areas via rain gardens and bioswales, streets move water as well as people and vehicles. Striking murals line the riverside walls and punctuate urban villages and new developments, conveying the history of Longgang and the Hakka people who inhabited these lands centuries ago.

Residents and visitors are offered a rich variety of outdoor pursuits: art, craft, and food markets; music events, and fascinating evening light shows. Unique developments engage the river as a new recreational resource. Sporting opportunities for young adults, adventure play for children and families, and birdwatching for seniors define the new open spaces along the river.

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