News: international firm SWA Group has been selected to redesign Futian District in Shenzhen, China - an area that's larger than Manhattan (+ slideshow).
Above: raised walkways and gardens are proposed for Futian District
Landscape architecture and urban planning firm SWA Group hopes to transform the congested and car-dominated district of central Shenzhen into a calmer, greener space where pedestrians are welcome.
As part of SWA's masterplan, titled Garden City of Tomorrow, residential streets will be made over with exercise areas for all age groups as well as quieter green spaces.
Office streets will incorporate gardens with seating areas, while retail streets will encourage pedestrian traffic with public art and better lighting.
A botanical garden in the shape of a circuit board, representing the Chinese city's electronics industry, has been proposed for a space alongside the Civic Center.
Three existing parks divided by major roads will be linked by a raised landscape of walkways, cycle paths and gardens called the Bridge Park.
Above: a botanical garden has been proposed alongside Shenzhen Civic Center
"Our landscape and urban design strategies will rebalance Futian from a car-dominated city with a challenging street system to offer a more beautiful, more functional environment, from landscaped boulevards and greenspaces to plazas and large gathering spaces," said Sean O'Malley, the principal leading the masterplan from SWA Group's office in Laguna Beach, California.
The first phase of construction is expected to begin in the second half of 2013, with completion by autumn 2014.
Futian is home to the Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture, where we made a series of movies in 2009, including one about a project to build a farm in a city square and another looking at an installation of 10,000 garments manufactured in Shenzhen.
Other projects in Shenzhen we've featured recently include a registry office that looks like its covered in confetti and the Kingkey 100 skyscraper, the tallest building in the city.