Jinhua City: Yanweizhou Wetland Park: A resilient landscape

Yanweizhou Wetland Park
Objective: 
  • Developing climate change adaptation; improving risk management and resilience.
  • Multi-functional nature-based watershed management and ecosystem restoration.
  • Preserve the remaining patch of riparian habitat while providing amenities to the residents of the dense urban centre.
  • Identify best approach to flood control (prevention with a high, concrete retaining wall or cooperation by allowing the park to flood).
  • Integrate the existing building into the surrounding environment to create a cohesive landscape.
  • Connect the separated city to the natural riparian landscape to strengthen the community and cultural identity of the city

Yanweizhou is in the urban heart of Jinhua city (population > 1m) in China and it is managed by the municipal Government.  For years it was an underdeveloped natural riparian wetland (>64acres). Located where two rivers converge to form Jinhua River.  Beyond this tail, riparian wetlands had already been eliminated by the construction of an organically shaped opera house. Before the interventions, the three rivers (each > 100 meters wide), divided the densely populated communities in the region. The inaccessibility led to the underutilisation of the surrounding cultural facilities, and the adjacent green spaces. The remaining 50-acre riparian wetland was fragmented or destroyed by sand quarries. The existing wetland was covered with poplar trees and Chinese Wingnut that provided habitat for native birds.

Actions

  • Adaptive tactics to preserve and enhance the remnant habitats: Water resilient terrain and plantings were designed to adapt to the monsoon floods;
  • Water resilient terrain and planting design: Resilient spaces are created to fulfill the need for temporary, intensive use by the audience from the opera house, yet are adaptable for daily use by people seeking intimate and shaded spaces. The river currents, the flow of people, and the gravity of objects are all woven together to form a dynamic concord. This is achieved through the meandering vegetated terraces, curvilinear paths, a serpentine bridge, circular bio-swales and planting beds, and curved benches.
  • A resilient pedestrian bridge connecting city and nature: A resilient bridge and paths system were designed to adapt to the dynamic water currents and people flows. The bridge and paths connect the city with nature and connect the past to the future.
Potential impacts/benefits: 

Developing climate change adaptation; improving risk management and resilience

Success and limiting factors

The project has given the city a new identity and is now acclaimed as its most poetic landscape. The park is a proven success. After it opened in May 2014, an average 40 000 visitors used the park and bridge each day.