Two river upgrade projects in Shenzhen, China
Following the approval of the design deepening and feasibility reports, the upgrade projects of three rivers in Shenzhen, China is expected to commence in April.
The design of the new river space and waterfronts of two rivers, the Xinqiao river and Shiyan river, were made by a consortium that involved Dutch urban planning architect NL Urban Solutions.
The upgrades are part of the river restoration Blueway programme conducted by the province of Guangdong and involves many rivers in the Pearl River Delta. The programme aims at the creation of multifunctional waterfront spaces with an integration of safe flood passages, scenic ecological corridors, beautiful recreation routes, culture, and green industrial chains.
For the coastal city Shenzhen the Blueway programme envisions the recovery of 1000 km of existing rivers, riverfronts, and lakes by 2025. With scenic rivers and lake shorelines as basis, Shenzhen wants to achieve a vision in which urban life and industry exists in harmony with safety, ecology, and environmental quality.
Winning designs for two rivers
In May 2020, the consortium NL Urban Solutions, Lingnan Landscape Design Group and China Design Group (hydrology) was shortlisted in one time as the only bidding consortium for three international Blueway competitions in Shenzhen: Xinqiao river, Shiyan river and Songang river.
One month later, the concept design proposal by NL Urban Solutions and the consortium was announced as the winner in two Blueway projects: Xinqiao river and Shiyan river. The investment for each combined river and reservoir project, is between 570-740 million Chinese renminbi (RMB).
Optimum use of limited urban space
NL Urban Solutions combined five main goals in its designs for the two rivers: ensure water safety, improve water quality, make greenways with continuous slow traffic paths along the riverfronts, recover ecology, improve city environment.
'We bring in smart solutions to enlarge the limited space and ensure connectivity with the city', explain directors Rong Hu and Marja Nevalainen, 'resulting in a lively, green, and ecological river space, with a chain of small pocket parks, sport, culture and recreational services for the citizens to enjoy the public space. The spaces are to be connected by attractive slow traffic paths along the river and the reservoir parks.'
Previous integral river design projects
NL Urban Solutions has been involved in several integral river design projects in China. Recently, in 2019, they won the design competition for the Jinghe river in Xi’an, a 17 km long river space with natural floodplain area, riverfront parks, wetlands and a boulevard park of 5 km with commercial spaces. In August 2020 they won the prestigious river design project for 47 km Chishi river in Shenshan, a new district of Shenzhen.