Zumtobel Group award nominees in focus: Qunli Stormwater Park
City and wetland coexist in harmony
The list of candidates is out for the Urban Developments & Initiatives category of this year's Zumtobel Group Awards, which is sponsored by Thorn Lighting. A strong contender is Qunli Stormwater Park, a project that proves that densely populated cities and natural ecosystems can coexist in harmony.
Rapid industrialisation and economic growth in China's cities is driving immense demand for new housing. In 2006, planners began building a new urban district called Qunli New Town on the eastern outskirts of Haerbin in northern China.
The new development, which spans 2,733 hectares, will be home to more than 300,000 people within the next 15 years. However, the area's natural wetlands have caused flooding and waterlogging frequently in the past, which was a concern for developers.
To preserve the area's natural wetland habitat and reduce the risk of flooding, landscape architect Turenscape was commissioned to design and build a 34-hectare wetland park right in the centre of Qunli New Town. Based on sympathetic earth works, an outer ring of mounds and ponds has been created, acting as a stormwater filtering and cleansing zone for the core wetland.
The project, known as Qunli Stormwater Park will protect the urban development from flooding and ensure that the wetland ecosystem receives clean water. It will also give local people much-needed contact with the natural environment.
Specifically, a network of paths, platforms and benches has been created, allowing visitors to walk around and enjoy the wetland. In addition, a skywalk connects different areas of the park, giving residents and visitors an impressive aerial view.
This highly successful project has restored the health of the area's wetland habitat. This achievement has been recognised by the Chinese Government, which has upgraded the site to a National Urban Wetland Park based on the excellent ecological and biological conditions it provides for local people and wildlife.
The winning project will be announced at the Zumtobel Group Award press conference in London on September 22nd. For more information, visit www.zumtobel-group-award.com/en/957.asp
Turenscape, Bejing, China