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Buji River

An urban watershed

The Buji River is running through Shenzhen’s oldest district, called Luohu. Over the course of time, the Buji River has transformed from a natural stream into a constrained urban drainage canal facing severe water quality challenges. Moreover the river has to cope with increasing climate extremes like prolonged periods of drought as well as extreme rainfall events.

The Luohu government is using strategic investments into transport and open space networks to boost the district’s urban quality. Strategies to improve the water quality and management are unified with the transformation of existing urban quarters and redevelopment of industrial plots. This offers an integrated roadmap towards a genuine shared identity for Luohu district.

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To turn the river back into a driver of spatial quality, we propose a strategy that transforms Buji River as a constrained drainage canal into a functioning urban watershed. Being located in a dense urban fabric with high socioeconomic value, Buji River cannot be simply restored to its original state. Instead, a number of small scale interventions have to be applied to gradually increase its water quality, discharge its capacity but most of all increase its position as a high quality urban resource that radiates over the complete area.

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CURRENT

In the current water system wastewater and storm water are partly combined. Different types of pollution are directly drained to the Buji River: river water, surface drainage, sewage systems, industrial waste water and storm water.

SEPARATED SYSTEMS

To establish a healthy urban watershed, the different water systems are (temporarily) separated into 3 spatial structures: the Riverfront, the Riverbed and the River basin. The advantage of this approach is control. By operating the different water systems independently, a staged and tailored approach can be exploited to revitalize them. When up to standard, they can be merged into an integrated system.

INTEGRATED SYSTEM

When the waste water network is exploited to the fullest, the main pollution of the Buji River is gone, and all surface water systems can be reconnected into an integrated system.

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Riverfront – sequence of rivers

The main challenge of the river is dealing with the large variability of water levels. The river gets a diversified sequence of sections, incorporating measures to deal with this variability in a way that responds to the surroundings.

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Riverbed - second river

To make the river a driver for spatial quality, the water quality has to be improved. Therefore we introduce a second water system that separates rainwater from the current River in the Buji Basin. The new ´river´ is an interconnected network of diverse spaces, turning the area into 3 distinct zones/environments:

  • Small squares and parks are integrated to store and infiltrate water in the upper catchment area
  • Existing (and new) open landscapes in the middle section are connected, and turned into water retention and purification facilities
  • The river canal is widened and streets are turned into amphibious boulevards to drain the rainwater as fast as possible in the southern part

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Riverbasin - Green-blue network

The infrastructure leading towards the Buji River is transformed into a green-blue network.

  • The upper catchment area integrates open and underground canals, increasing collection and (temporary) storage capacity
  • The central catchment area integrates wadi’s to delay water discharge to the river
  • The lower catchment area integrates amphibious streets to drain water as fast as possible to the river

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The integrated landscape framework generates a diverse public realm. Different networks connect facilities and services. Within 30 minutes, a diversity of landscapes are accessible: mountains, rivers, lakes and gardens. These landscape are surrounded by clearly identified neighborhoods offering diverse urban environments. Within 15 minutes, you can shift from a highly dynamic environment on the new plaza, to a quiet and natural environment in the park. Both are loaded with associated programs. Within 5 minutes, a diversity of recreational, sports, commercial and private spaces is within reach. This allows for a generous environment to live and work in.

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Year

2018

Location

Shenzen, China

Type

Masterplan, Infrastructure

Client

People’s Government of Luohu District, Shenzhen

Size

560 ha

Awards

3rd Prize

Team & partners

Michiel Van Driessche
Deborah Lambert
Marnix Vink
Fangfei Liu
Zofia Krzykawska
Fanny Genti
Ilva Mishtaku
Klaudio Ruci
Mariya Protsyk
Steven Broekhof
Thiemo Tippmann
MLA+
IHE Delft Institute for Water Education

List
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  3. Hondsrug Park Amsterdam
  4. Yangmeikeng Sea Boulevard
  5. 'Typhoon-proof' Shenzhen's East Coast
  6. Brainport Smart District Helmond
  7. Towards a healthy city by foot
  8. Isle of Dikes
  9. The Unbound Amsterdam
  10. A green entrance for the airport
  11. Almazov National Medical Research Centre
  12. Quartierlandschaft Dietenbach
  13. Bao’An G107 Corridor
  14. Cartesius Quarter
  15. Public Space Alpen
  16. Smakkelaarsveld Utrecht
  17. Darmstadt Masterplan 2030+
  18. Jonas Amsterdam
  19. Healthy Tracks
  20. Waterfront Novosibirsk
  21. City Square Tyumen
  22. Urban Food Forest Rijnvliet Utrecht
  23. Strategic Urban Green Study
  24. Public Space Strategy Kanpur
  25. ImageWharf
  26. Ódinstorg Square
  27. Overloon War Museum
  28. Lokhalle Leverkusen
  29. Ludlstrasse Munich
  30. Yaanila Country Park
  31. Redevelopment Strategy Vogabyggð
  32. Villa Garden
  33. City life in the woods
  34. Schie Quarter Schiedam
  35. Socio-technical city of the future
  36. Buji River
  37. Vaskhnil Novosibirsk
  38. Precincts Canterbury Cathedral
  39. Maritime Campus Almere
  40. Resilient Riverscape Berat
  41. Sijthoff
  42. Strategic Plan Shkodra
  43. Ekaterinburg City Campus
  44. City Extension Plan Yangon
  45. Transformation Strategy Gufunes
  46. Transformation Strategy Chelyabinsk
  47. Fish Market Leuven
  48. Zinder Culture Cluster
  49. Food Innovation Strip Ede-Wageningen
  50. S4 Highway Hangzhou
  51. Strategic Plan Fier
  52. Strategic Plan Elbasan
  53. Kronenburg Business Park
  54. Dharavi Mumbai
  55. Masterplan Smáralind Mall
  56. Urban Test Farm Emmen
  57. Ásbrú Enterprise Park
  58. Asylum Seekers Center Ter Apel
  59. Berlin Am Volkspark
  60. The Museum of the 20th Century
  61. Gardabaer
  62. Metropolitan Westerpark Amsterdam
  63. Science and Technology City Chongqing
  64. Yue Xiu 353 Transformation
  65. Erlongshan Recreational Park
  66. Danxia Recreational Park
  67. Campus Lelystad
  68. University Campus San Pedro
  69. Proto Tamansari
  70. City Gardens Tyumen
  71. Park Somerlust Amsterdam
  72. Agricultural Innovation Campus
  73. Bandar Lampung Park
  74. R&D Campus Fengxian
  75. S-West Eindhoven
  76. Biodiversity based dairy farming
  77. Heidelberg Creative Quarter
  78. Master Plan Ter Aar, Nieuwkoop
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