Located in the West Bank of Xiangjiang River in Changsha City, with a total length of about 10km, a width of about 50-300m and a total area of about 154 hectares, the project faces the Orange Isle Scenic Area on its east, the Yuelu Mountain Scenic Area in the distance on the west, and is surrounded by colleges and universities. The site is superior in the excellent geographic advantages and rich native cultural resources for further development.
▼与橘子洲风景区隔江相望，Across the river from the Orange County Scenic Area ©林涛
However, as a tidal flat, the existed site did not demonstrate its ecological vibrancy of wetlands, nor provide an ideal public space for citizens to hold recreational activities during long local dry season after the rainstorm. The surrounding ecological system was damaged by rough artificial intervention and serious plastic pollution, as a result, the space was separated from the adjacent urban land. From the perspective of the city landscape structure, the most important landscape corridor in Changsha connects the old town, Orange Isle and Yuelu Mountain. Along the landscape corridor, the marshland here is the only landscape gap, where the dilapidated appearance has seriously interrupted the cityscape. Therefore, the objectives of the project were to design a friendly landscaping area to achieve ecology restoration, to build a green bridge between human and nature, and to create a cozy recreational space for local people.
▼ 改造前的场地，The site before the renovation ©林涛
▼ 总平面图，Site plan ©奥雅设计
Greatest Challenge of the Site
There is a great variation of the water level around the project site. The marshland is totally exposed onto the water surface and even drought sometimes during the period of low water stage from annual September to May of the following year. On the contrary, the site suffers from river erosions inordinately during the flood season in annual June, July and August. Hence, it is a vital challenge to well adapt such unstable site condition to make the major goal achieved.
▼ 场地水位受到降雨量影响，Water levels on the site is affected by seasonal precipitation ©奥雅设计
Multi-dimensional Design Strategies for Such a Changeable Site
In accordance with such a changeable site, the design team decided to adopt multi-dimensional design strategies for various planting and site configurations leveled by normal, wet-season and flood waterlines, to well obey the existed natural and hydrological characteristics with seasonal changes.
▼不同水位高度选用不同的植物，提高江滩的物种多样性和抗性，Various plants are planted at different water levels to achieve species diversity and to strengthen flood-resistance on the marshland ©林涛
▼丰富的植物为鸟类、鱼类、软体类动物提供了良好的栖息地，Species diversity of plants provides ideal habitat for birds, fishes and mollusks ©奥雅设计
The multi-dimensional design strategy for plant configuration was helpful to promote ecological restoration: the existed rough and hard riverbank with monotonous plant species was the main block on the east-west ecological corridor and the north-south ecological shoreline. To achieve plant diversity is an important approach to unblock the ecological corridor and to strengthen the stability of ecosystems. Local drought-tolerant plants were firstly selected, and weeping willow (Salix babylonica), Chinese wingnut (Pterocarya stenoptera), bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), pond cypress (Taxodium ascendens), Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera) and poplar (Populus) were selected as the main tree species to plant above the normal water level to create a scenic forest belt by successive on-site inspections on similar islands such as Xingma Island, Moon Island and Baxi Island along Xiangjiang River. Groundcover vegetation was planted on three different levels; considering flood discharge during the rainy season, couch grass was planted below the normal water level, for the purpose of maintaining the existing plants, to form an orderly large thatched grass landscape; drought-resistant plants, such as miscanthus, pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana), Chinese fountaingrass (Pennisetum alopecuroides), flabelliformis, Canna generalis, Water-garden Iris, purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), roof iris (Iris tectorum) and orange day-lily (Hemerocallis fulva), were planted in the transitional zone in between with the changing water level; above the 20-year flood water level, Verbena tenera, garden cosmos(Cosmos bipinnatus) and large-flowered tickseed (Coreopsis grandiflora) were planted on the embankment as rich multi-dimensional planting landscape with high-density flowering scenery.
Accordingly, the healthy ecological circulation was well restored by the species diversity, providing ideal habitat for birds, fishes and molluscs with reasonable plant community configuration and micro-scale landform construction.
▼从周边自然环境中筛选适宜的植物种类作为骨干树种，Selection of suitable plant species from the surrounding natural environment as the main tree species ©林涛
▼植物种类分层设置，different species for different layers ©林涛
There is another key point to select suitable artificial devices which were mainly designed to strengthen the site’s self-reinforcement and minimize its interference. Below the water level in the flood season, the walking path on the marshland was built by water-resistant materials such as concrete and steel mesh to resist the impact of river water; the elevated grid planks and viewing platforms were built on the water, providing sufficient space for plant growth to form a natural flood channel, and to further shorten the time of the suffering immersed.
▼观景平台鸟瞰，bird-view of the platform ©石川
▼深入水中的栅格栈道和观景平台，elevated grid planks and viewing platforms ©林涛
▼滩地步道采用了混凝土、钢网等耐水材料以对抗河水冲击，The plank path extending to the marshland is constructed by water-resistant materials, such as concrete and steel mesh, to resist river water impact ©林涛
Layered spaces were well designed for various leisure activities: three trails with different elevations were built to maximally meet the citizen’s requirements of leisure and viewing on different water levels. They are sightseeing trail on the top of dam, the multi-functional trial in the middle, and the promenade along the marshland.
▼为适应不同水位的活动及观景功能，布置了三种不同高程的步道系统，Three trails with different elevations are built to meet the citizen’s requirements of activities and viewing on different water levels ©奥雅设计
▼ 设计师用软件模拟了在不同水位场地的淹没情况，Related software was adopted to simulate the flooding at different water levels ©奥雅设计
The entrance and exit of the park were built at the top of the dam, with spacing of 700 to 1000 meters. The main entrance was connected with the pedestrian crossing facilities of Xiaoxiang Avenue to ensure its accessibility, and to strengthen the connection between city and nature. Above the flood water level, the existed road system in the middle of the dam was reconstructed as a double-functional passage both for bicycle riders and pedestrians. Additional leisure facilities were also set along the passage, such as seats and pergolas.
▼ 自行车和步行混行通道，double-functional passage both for bicycle riders and pedestrians ©林涛
Five activity grounds were built on the relatively flat land to maximize the value of this urban open space even during the flood season. The plank path on the beach was built above the regular water level line. There are several “no-seat” viewing platforms stretched out of the path to encourage people to approach the beautiful nature but without staying, so as to minimize the interference to the ecology.
▼ 滩地栈道位于常水位线以上，途中延伸出少量观景平台，plank path on the beach was built above the regular water level line, there are several “no-seat” viewing platforms stretched out ©林涛
▼ 游客在栈道上骑行，tourists ride on the plank road ©林涛
Social Benefit Stimulation
This project which is the largest urban public green space in Changsharepresented the completion of Xiangjiang River Scenic Belt in the city section with more than 40 kilometers. Relevant monitoring data indicated there are at least 100,000 people visiting this Section per day.
This project successfully changed the “wasteland” into an “oasis”, eliminating the destruction to the ecological environment by nearby residents and providing visitors with a healthier approach to the nature.
Always, a city processes its own native flavor. In this project, native culture inherent in the marshland park is the right flavor delivering the sense of belonging to its visitors. Bamboo slips, as one of the significant historical cultural relics in Changsha, was brought to be a key design element to create a traditional ancient image of Changsha by modern design techniques.
▼ 江滩公园使“荒地”变“绿洲”, changed the “wasteland” into an “oasis” ©林涛
▼ 小广场平面，Square plan ©奥雅设计
▼ 广场上图文形式的文化输出，cultural impression in graphic form on the square ©林涛
The public spaces in the park are well connected by the hydrological form of Xiangjiang River with landscape texture integrated. An ideal interaction is achieved between the park and its surrounding dynamic riverscape. The profound Lushan Culture occupies an important position in Hunan province. The design team integrated it into the landscape in the form of graphics and texts, combining with the cultural landscape structures to complement each other by the most direct way for cultural transmission. The visitors enjoy the unique local culture and spirit, slowing down and staying away from the fast-paced city life.
▼ 设计语言中采用了大量的波浪和弧线，a lot of arcs are used in the design language ©林涛
It is a nice choice to spend leisure time in this green park adjacent to high-rise buildings, strolling, cycling, and leisurely sightseeing and appreciating the intertwined sunlight and shadow. Some people are wandering along the embankment, while others are having a rest on the small sunken square, chatting with acquaintances and watching the river scenery.
▼ 游客在小广场上放松休闲，tourists relax on the square ©林涛
The plank path on the marshland acts as a friendly bridge between people and nature, attracting visitors to walk along the well-planting river beach. Visitors are immersed in the landscape on the viewing platform and nestle in this jigsaw puzzle of nature.
Not everyone may have a chance to overlook the beach, but as long as you go inside, you are already in nature.
▼ 黄昏的江滩，Early Eveningview of Marshland ©林涛
Project name:Changsha Xiangjiang River West Bank Marshland Improvement
Project location: The bank of Xiangjiang River on the west bank of Changsha, Hunan Province
Project type: Urban public space Waterfront space
Landscape design: L&A Design
Landscape area: 80 ha
Design year: 2015
Client name:Hunan Xiangjiang New District Municipal Facilities Construction Co. LTD