A new masterplan along the central Pailao River in Shenzhen proposes a climate-proof regeneration of the area, using nature and water retention ecological zones to mitigate the risk of flooding. Created by urban design and architecture practice VenhoevenCS, with landscape vision by Hope Design and water management plan by Huadong Engineering, the Pailao River Blueway Project capitalizes on the coexistence of the urban and the natural environment, ensuring resilience and enhancing the economic growth of the city district.
The rapid urbanization of the area located below sea level, the increased intensity of rainfalls in this subtropical part of China and the density of construction and infrastructure make the Bao'an vulnerable to flooding. VenhoevenCS developed the masterplan using the UN Sustainable Development goals as design agenda, considering the district in connection to the surrounding network of rivers and neighbourhoods and basing the project on research into design for areas with risk of imminent flooding.
Our proposal for the Pailao River Blueway Project is layered. We organized the requested water storage there, but with our integrated approach, we will make an existing district climate-proof and enhance urban regeneration at the same time. - Ton Venhoeven and Yi Yu, VenhoevenCS architecture+urbanism
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Climate adaptation translates into a series of elements that organize water storage, such as ponds, green roofs, wetlands, parks and soft banks. With pavement and asphalt replaced with pockets of nature, the mobility plan of the district changes but remains accessible. The concrete quays of the Pailao River are replaced by wide, soft banks that act as sponges in the rainy season. The spaces underneath the existing car viaducts are transformed into spaces for socialization and cultural activities. A series of pavilions raised on stilts to accommodate various water levels will contain services and retail, thus helping transform the area into a local destination.