As one of the eight major green wedges within Shanghai’s overall urban planning in the city center, Sanlin Valley Park serves as an important intersection between ecological corridors along the Huangpu River and Shanghai’s outer ring road. During the rapid urbanization process, the city’s ecology has been facing constant deterioration. Furthermore, the city is experiencing an alarming loss of biodiversity, as well as increasingly severe urban heat island effect. To alleviate these issues, the project adopts a “valley” concept as the core of its design and utilizes thoughtful design strategies in five aspects: water management, wind corridors and micro-climates, ecosystem, transportation, and program and experience. With these strategies, the design team aims to improve the site’s connectivity, restore its ecology, reshape habitats, create a resilient landscape, and forge a vibrant urban hub that can also serve as the city’s ecological research base.
During the design process, the design team adopts certain principles of landscape practices within the USA — that a project should encourage public participation of all socio-economic levels and place emphasis on the experience and benefits of the public. This form of multi-lateral cooperation allows for the park to constantly have its design plan reviewed and improved. It also allows for iterative responses to issues on the ground during construction. Last but not least, it instigates careful considerations of how to manage the park and its ecosystem, both in terms of cost and feasibility. By adopting all of these principles, the design team aspires to truly accede to citizens’ needs, all while introducing a sustainable ecosystem that would, ultimately, contribute to a much improved ecology and economy.