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ASLA 2010 Design Awards




In the general design category, the 2010 ASLA Design Award of Excellence went to Shanghai Houtan Park: "Landscape as a Living System," Shanghai, China, a regeneration of a brownfied into a park and wetland.
Photo: Kongjian Yu

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The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) announced the winners of the 2010 Professional Awards, representing the best in landscape architecture worldwide in the categories of general design, residential design, analysis and planning, research and communication.

The jury received 618 entries, encompassing projects in 20 countries. The jury selected 49 projects for award designations, which will take Monday, Sept. 13, 2010 at high noon during the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Washington, D.C.

In the general design category, the Award of Excellence went to Shanghai Houtan Park: “Landscape as a Living System,” Shanghai, China. The design is from Turenscape, China and Peking University Graduate School of Landscape Architecture. The client is the 2010 Shanghai Expo Bureau.

This brownfield project on a narrow strip along the Huangpu River waterfront in Shanghai was home to a steel factory and shipyard. The design strategy was to treat polluted river water and restore a degraded waterfront to accommodate a large number of visitors during a May to October 2010 Green Exposition demonstrating green technologies.

The first challenge was restoring Huangpu River’s highly polluted water, rated 5, the lowest grade on a 1 to 5 scale. It was not safe for swimming and devoid of aquatic life.

The second challenge was improved flood control. A concrete floodwall, 22 feet at its acme, created a muddy and littered shoreline inaccessible to the public.

The third challenge was remediation of a narrow strip of land between the river and an expressway.

Regenerative design strategies included:

  • A constructed wetland one-mile long and 100 ft. wide through the center of the park, a natural means to treat contaminated water from the river and reinvigorate the waterfront. Cascades and terraces oxygenate the nutrient rich water, remove and retain nutrients and reduce suspended sediments. Selected species of wetland plants absorb different river pollutants. Field-testing indicates 500,000 gallons of the grade 5 polluted water per day can be regenerated to a level 3 pollution grade. This treated water is deemed safe for nonpotable usage and will save half a million U.S. dollars in comparison with conventional water treatment.
  • The wetland creates a flood buffer. The meandering valley along the wetland offers recreation, education and research opportunities. The terrace design of the wetland alleviates the elevation difference between the city and the river, safely reconnecting people to the water's edge. The concrete floodwall was replaced with riprap to allow native species to grow along the riverbank and protect the shoreline from erosion.
  • Terraces break down the 15–18 foot elevation change from the water's edge to the road and slow runoff directed to the stream in the wetland. The terraces are reminiscent of Shanghai's agricultural heritage prior to industrial development of the neighborhood in the mid-20th century. Select crops and wetland plants create an urban farm: golden blossoms in the spring, sunflowers in the summer, ripened rice in the fall and green clover in the winter. Visitors enter the terraces along paths that circulate through the park.
Visit www.asla.org/2010awards for the other project winners.
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October 13, 2019, 7:06 pm PDT

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