Turenscape transforms "lifeless ditch" into
wetland park with meandering causeways

| 3 comments

Spindly orange walkways are raised above the waters and meadows of this wetland park designed by landscape architects Turenscape on a neglected river in China (+ slideshow). 

Minghu Wetland Park by Turenscape

The Slow Down: Liupanshui Minghu Wetland Park was designed by Beijing landscape studio Turenscape for the River Suichenghe, in the city of Liupanshui, Guizhou Province.



Minghu Wetland Park by Turenscape

The industrial city – once dominated by coal, steel and cement factories and the pollution from their industrial chimneys – sits in a valley surrounded by limestone hills with the river running though its centre.

Minghu Wetland Park by Turenscape

Now, elevated walkways wind across the wetland on concrete stilts plugged into the riverbed silt, while grasses and flowers line the river and an observation tower made from metal framework perches on a waterside platform.

Minghu Wetland Park by Turenscape

The regeneration project was commissioned by the local government as part of a campaign of environmental improvement for the city.

Minghu Wetland Park by Turenscape

"A rainbow bridge that flies above the wetland park acts as an access into the designed wetland," said the architects, "and as a linkage that invites the ever busy residents to 'slowdown' their pace to enjoy the everyday landscape surrounding the city, the beauty of which has been forgotten and misused over the past decades."

Minghu Wetland Park by Turenscape

The bulk of the project is situated around the river's drainage basin, where pedestrian and bicycle paths thread across the expanse of water and around its perimeter.

Minghu Wetland Park by Turenscape

The orange causeways take a twisting route across the terrain, designed to slow down the pace of promenaders.

Minghu Wetland Park by Turenscape

The architects widened the banks of the river, which was channelled into a narrow flow in the 1970s as an unsuccessful solution to flooding.

Minghu Wetland Park by Turenscape

"The former meandering mother river became an ugly concrete, lifeless ditch and its capacity for flood retention and environmental remediation was totally lost," said the architects.

Minghu Wetland Park by Turenscape

They also added a seres of interlocking bioswales – terraced pools designed to stem the flow of storm water and strain surface sediment from the water.

Minghu Wetland Park by Turenscape

It is hoped these will also act as "a green sponge" that filters the harmful pollutants washed into the water from neighbouring agricultural land.

Minghu Wetland Park by Turenscape

Mud banks emerge above the water's surface at the edges of the terraces to support patches of planting, while narrow decked pathways fork around the pockets of water and an avenue of trees lines one crescent-shaped trail.

Minghu Wetland Park by Turenscape

The 90-hectare wetland park is the first phase in the wider infrastructure development and is expected to become a catalyst for other urban development. The site was officially designated as a National Wetland Park in 2013.

Minghu Wetland Park by Turenscape
Site plan – click for larger image

Photography is by Chunjie Xing and Kongjian Yu.

  • spadestick

    Well at least this looks promising, let’s hope much more landscape, soft-scape and reforestation efforts are underway in China.

  • CHARLES_GARRETT

    So, so good. I’d love to see some info-graphs on bio-rehabilitative parks and green space, just to see what rate they’ve increased over the years in various countries and their efficacy on soil and water health.

  • Sally

    Brilliant. London, take notes!