Dazhou, China

December 15, 2015

Urban Initiatives, in partnership with Urban Space Design Group and Peter Hogg and Toby Reed Architects, was commissioned to design a ‘vision for the future’ for the city of Dazhou in Sichuan, China.

Categorised as a prefecture level city, Dazhou is dissected by the Zhouhe River. Severe annual floods during the monsoonal season can see an increase in water level by up to 10m, reaching the first floor of the residential and commercial buildings which make up the rivers edge.

Photo - Zhouhe River, City Centre

Photo – Zhouhe River, City Centre

With plans in place to resolve its flooding issues, the Sichuan Government is keen to make major improvements to the functioning of its water front. Given a site area of 13km in length along the rivers edge, the design team established a master plan which looked to adopt sound urban planning techniques to help reconnect the city with its people, resolve major connectivity issues across and along the river and provide a diversity of public spaces which served both tourists and the local community. Improvements to the commercial, residential and tourism capacities of the area was a focus.

Based in Shanghai, an array of professionals from both Melbourne and China worked closely together on the project. As such, a holistic approach was able to be adopted, considering all aspects of the built environment including building, landscape, and urban planning.

Key detailed design aspects of the landscape master plan included the design of a lineal park at the river edge, the upper terraces along both sides of the river and connecting bridges, a small ‘satellite’ town centred around a university and a sports and recreational precinct, among others.

Artist Impression - Upper Terrace Landscape Design, City Centre

Artist Impression – Upper Terrace Landscape Design, City Centre

The lineal park was proposed to serve as the main artery of the city, connecting the north with the south. It was designed to break down the barrier between the terrace edge and the river 6-8m below. A key focus was in working intimately with the changing river levels to create a transient, seasonal landscape. The park will provide some much needed green space to the city and connect the outer regions of Dazhou with the city centre.

The upper terraces were identified as having a somewhat mundane, sprawling nature with few focal points – Dazhou is currently without a city square. UI focused on injecting interesting and diverse spaces of varying sizes and intensity into this area. A public space hierarchy was deigned to help to establish greater variety and establish key focal areas for future city squares and key meeting points.

Artist Impression - Residential and Commercial Towers, City Centre

Artist Impression – Residential and Commercial Towers, City Centre

 

Artist Impression - Yuanzhen Square, University Town

Artist Impression – Yuanzhen Square, University Town

Artist Impression - Tiger Bridge, City Centre

Artist Impression – Tiger Bridge, City Centre

In December of this year, the vision was presented to the Dazhou Government and is currently being assessed. Stay tuned for progress updates.

 

See other Urban Initiatives Master Plan Projects

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