Balancing natural growth and urban sprawl: Landscape Restoration of Shanghai Jiabei Country Park by

2023 Public Projects / China / Built in 2018 /


Jiabei Country Park respects the memory of the site and the value of the original ecological landscape while maximizing the protection and reuse of the existing natural texture and following the principle of minimal intervention in high-quality existing ecological spaces. The plan aims to restore the vital hub of urban green belts while promoting the integration of production and recreation, and creating a livable, workable, and recreational living environment for both urban and rural areas, retaining the “simple and true countryside” living scene.

Integrating the five natural and cultural elements of “fields, forests, water, roads, and courtyards,” a wild landscape style blends agriculture, forestry, grasslands, and wetlands. Starting from the people-oriented concept, Jiabei Country Park shapes the countryside space to serve the Shanghai metropolitan area, meeting the growing demand of its residents for natural and ecological spaces. At the same time, it considers agricultural production and farmers‘ lives. Agricultural parks such as vineyards, flower gardens will promote the economic development of the area, achieving a balanced development of “production, life, and ecology.”

Wild Fun

Project aims to create a spatial forest pattern with points, lines, surfaces, and rings based on the existing forest resources. With moderate development, eco-permeable materials are used for pedestrian walkways to enhance the public’s experience of the forested space and activate the recreational space under the forest canopy. Various forest landscape styles be restored and created, like bird habitat forests, ecological conservation forests, and peaceful healing forests, to provide recreational activities for the public while ensuring the habitats of local wildlife.


Biological purification measures and native aquatic plants, such as emergent and submerged plants, are used along the bank boundaries of the artificial irrigation channels and natural ponds in the design. It effectively purifies water quality at a controllable cost while avoiding the adverse effects of invasive species, maintaining a stable aquatic ecosystem with minimal intervention. The design also softens the bank boundaries with a rich variety of colorful plants, creating a harmonious interplay between the river and the surrounding landscape at different levels. The result is a deep design that achieves both ecological benefits and a visually stunning water and landscape.


Enhanceing the biodiversity of the existing Camphor forest by introducing various deciduous trees, such as the American Red Maple, Yellowwood, etc. In addition, fruit trees like citrus, persimmon and loquat, are introduced to provide food sources for birds and enhance the visual experience of visitors. This approach improves the species diversity and ecological stability of the forest ecosystem.

The design team utilizes available farmland to introduce a variety of plants, such as flowers, berries, and wild grasses. With the existing early-maturing rice varieties, such as Minxiangjing and Xiangjing, the team optimizes the crop species, forming a diverse plant community and creating multiple ecological and activity spaces. The design integrates ecological function with agriculture, providing residents and other visitors with various rich spatial experiences. It promotes regenerative agriculture, enhancing the site’s ecological value while supporting sustainable production and community well-being.


The bridges in the park serve as essential carriers of Shanghai’s local culture. As a means of inheriting local cultural traditions and preserving site memories, the park’s bridge system includes 18 stone bridges, 1 rainbow wooden bridge and 3 folk-style bridges. Visitors can see boats floating on the river beneath the bridges, providing a popular leisure activity for locals. In addition, activities such as straw sculpture exhibitions and harvesting experiences are also held in the fields, centered on five themes: listening, watching, enjoying, playing with, and encountering paddy field rice. These initiatives promote agricultural education and enrich visitors’ understanding of the local culture.


In the context of scarce urban land resources, project enhances the area’s environmental quality and also provides space for outdoor activities such as wilderness training for children, mountain biking, lotus festivals, straw culture festivals, and picking festivals. The park’s nearly 4,500 acres of rice paddies with an expected yield of 450 kilograms per acre and the revenue from ten agricultural specialty gardens have also driven local agricultural production. Providing a model and confidence for balancing natural growth and urban expansion, this project is recognized as a new type of recreation for Shanghai residents and promotes economic development in suburban.

Location: Jiading District, Shanghai


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