Built on a brownfield of a former industrial site, Houtan Park is a regenerative living landscape on Shanghai’s Huangpu riverfront. The park’s constructed wetland, ecologicalflood control, reclaimed industrial structures and materials, and urban agriculture are integral components of an overall restorative design strategy to treat polluted river water and recover thedegraded waterfront in a aesthetically pleasing way.
2 Project Narratives
2.1 Objectives and Challenges
The site is a narrow linear 14-hectare band located along the Huangpu River waterfront inShanghai, China. This brownfield, previously owned by a steel factory and a shipyard, had few industrial structures remaining and the site was largely used as a landfill and lay-down yard for industrialmaterials.
Challenges?The first challenge was restoring the degraded environment. The site is a brownfield littered with industrial and construction debris throughout the site. The water of HuangpuRiver is highly polluted with a national water quality ranking of Lower Grade V, the lowest grade on a scale of I-V and is considered unsafe for swimming and recreation and devoid of aquatic life. Theeminent site design challenge was to transform this degraded landscape into a safe and pleasant public space. The second challenge was to improve flood control. The existing concrete floodwall wasdesigned to protect against a 1,000-year flood event? but it is rigid and lifeless. The 2.1 meter daily tidal fluctuation creates a muddy and littered shoreline and is currently inaccessible to thepublic. A conventional retaining wall would continue to limit accessibility and preclude habitat creation along the water’s edge, so an alternative flood control design proposal was necessary. The thirdchallenge was the site itself. The area is long and narrow locked between the Huangpu River and an urban express way with water frontage over 1.7 kilometers in length but averaging only 30-80 meters...