Turenscape: Through Regenerative Design and by changing landforms, the natural process of plant adaptation and community evolution is introduced to transform a former deserted shooting range used as a garbage dump, into a low maintenance urban park; providing diverse nature’s services for the city including containing and purifying storm water; improving the saline-alkali soil, providing opportunities for environmental education and creating a cherished aesthetic experience. This is a park of twenty-two hectares (fifty-four acres) in the northern coastal city of Tianjin, China. Rapid urbanization had changed a peripheral shooting range into a garbage dump and drainage sink for urban storm water; the site was heavy polluted, littered, deserted, and surrounded with slums and temporary rickety structures, which had been torn down before the design was commissioned. The soil is quite saline and alkaline. Densely populated at the south and east boundaries, the site is bounded on the west and north sides by a highway and an overpass.

In early 2006, in response to residents’ call for environmental improvement of the site, the municipal government of Tianjin contracted the landscape architect with the difficult task of an immediate transformation of this degraded site. The overall design goal for this project is to create a park that can provide a diversity of nature’s services for the city and the surrounding urban residents, including: containing and purifying urban storm water; improving the saline-alkali soil through natural processes; recovering the regional landscape with low maintenance native vegetation; providing opportunities for environmental education about native landscapes and natural systems, storm water management, soil improvement, and landscape sustainability; creating a cherished aesthetic experience.

The regional landscape is flat and was once rich in wetlands and salt marshes, which had been mostly destroyed by decades of urban development and infrastructure construction. Though it is difficult to grow trees in the saline-alkali soil, the ground cover and wetland vegetation are rich and vary in response to subtle changes in the water table and PH values. Inspired by the adaptive vegetation communities that dotted the landscape in this region, the solution for this park was developed called The Adaptation Palettes, which was designed to let the nature work. A simple landscape Regenerative Design strategy was devised, one that included digging twenty-one pond cavities varying from ten …    … Read more on Turenscape.com >>

Landscape architecture: Turenscape (Beijng Turen Design Institute)
Location: Tianjin City, China
Area: 22ha
Design: October 2005 – May 2008
Complete: 2008
Owner/Client: Environment construction and Investment Co., Ltd, Tianjin City