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Shanghai’s Ecological Infrastructure: Houtan Park

October 16, 2014

The Huangpu river cuts through Shanghai, and is one of China’s most polluted waterways. It was in the news recently when people found agricultural waste (read: dead pigs) floating down the river. But there is good news, too. People are working to reverse this pollution and it’s coming in the form of public parks.

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Turenscape built Houtan park in Shanghai as a restorative, water-purifying, public space on a brownfield of a former industrial site. Terraced levels with plantings help decontaminate the water as it descends along a linear band of constructed wetland on the Huangpu riverfront. Treated water (up to 500,000 gallons a day) can be used for non-potable uses.

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The park also acts as flood protection. Where a slowing degrading concrete flood buffer was limited in its protection, the replacement riprap allows native vegetation to grow and strengthen the riverbanks against future flooding and erosion. I love the intersection of public engagement, environment restoration and design.

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images via Turenscape

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