Making Shenzhen’s East coast ‘typhoon-proof’
East Dike is located in Dapeng, a mountainous peninsula in the direct proximity of Hongkong and Shenzhen with an extraordinary lush and green environment. In 2018, the typhoon Mangkhut damaged the coastline of the Dapeng peninsula to various degrees. In 2019, team KCAP+FELIXX was selected to develop plans to restore the coastline and increase protection standards. The team developed the ‘Triple Dike Strategy’, an integrated approach towards the climate adaptive reorganization of the 130 kilometres long shore.
The project integrates water safety strategies with ecological shoreline restoration, seawall construction, landscape, and public space remodelling. It recreates the tourism identity of Dapeng and promotes local economic development. On the premise of ecology and safety, it combines local culture with the geographical environment and shows the coastline’s beauty and diversity.
Project ‘East Dike’ stimulates the integration of resources in the village and the whole region. It coordinates with three local districts: Kuichong, Dapeng, Nanao; two river basins, and 9 coastal tourism zones. It also combines with the other projects ongoing in Shenzhen.
The ‘Triple Dike Strategy’ moves away from a generic protection wall along the coast, often built by the local population itself, towards the creation of three development zones, carefully embedded in current conditions and responding to the specific future needs of every single area. The project builds a ‘200-year return period standard dike’ to ensure safety protection to protect the livelihood and economy of the local community.
The first ‘outer’ dike zone increases the resiliency through wave attenuation, erosion reduction and the enhancement of sedimentation. The second ‘middle’ dike is an elevated embankment, to stop the storm surge and the water pushed up by the waves. It is conceived not as a big wall but as a multifunctional zone: an exciting hilly park, an elevated waterfront with urban promenades, a tidal park or even a public building. The third ‘inner’ dike is a hybrid structure which manages the rainwater following the principle of a sponge city. All runoff from adjacent villages and mountains is buffered, delayed and temporarily stored in rain-parks, raingardens, wet forests, wetlands and green streets.
For the structural strength, the design follows the local geological and soil conditions. A double drainage system handles excessive mountain runoff and waves under extreme weather events. That allows reducing the dike height for better spatial quality. The natural rocks are (re)used to reinforce the embankment. The restoration of coral reefs habitat near the shoreline will increase the ecological value and function as a growing first protection line in the long term.
With ‘Low Impact Design & Development’ as principle and maintaining the same hydrological characteristics of the site before and after the project local resources (like soil, stone) were (re)cycled and filled them back on-site to strengthen the shoreline against erosion and future climate challenges.
On a 500m long strip in the village of Yangmeikeng, a real demonstration zone completed in 2020, the performance of the proposed nature-based strategies for the ‘Triple Dike Strategy’ are tested, explored and refined. It is the first milestone in the construction of 18 kilometres of enbankment to be completed by 2021.
The project is based on the village itself with the characteristic identity of a fortress between mountains and sea. The first zone of the ‘Triple Dike‘ consists in a collection of ‘rain-gardens’ as part of the communal space. The lush vegetation of trees and shrubs blends with the adjacent mountains and offers covered and shaded places. The gardens collect and infiltrate rainwater and wave overflow. The middle zone is composed of a sequence of shifting walls, with different heights. They create plazas and sheltered terraces on different levels, connected by a scenic walk. The third protective zone consists of ‘wave-gardens’, mitigating the impact of the flow during storms. They are planted with robust beach vegetation and rocks and offer places for picnicking and enjoying the view on the beach. Walls and pavement blend in with the sand colour of the beach. The materialization illustrates the characteristics of the three dike zones: more delicate materials are used for sheltered places; robust and solid elements are used for the exposed zones.
The demonstration zone improved the quality of public places and services upgrading the village to match tourism development and residents’ needs. It has already brought the whole Yangmeikeng village around 30% more visitors and a 20% profit increase for local business. The project protects the community and is a valuable driver for the village’s regeneration, ensuring its resilience in times of climate change.
KCAP: Masterplanner, landscape designer and supervisor
Team KCAP: Ruurd Gietema, Yahsin Chen, Danli Sheng, Jiabiao Lin, Gaia Dal Cero, Gabriella Georgakaki, Emmanouil Prinianakis, Kallirroi Taroudaki, Pieter Theuws
Felixx Landscape Architects & Planners: Landscape architecture and supervision
Team Felixx: Michiel Van Driessche, Maria E. Castrillo, Eduardo Marin Salinas, Fangfei Liu, Ilva Mishtaku, Ramona Stiehl, Natalia Andreeva, Klaudio Ruci, Zamira Abazi, Naya Tzika Kostopoulou, Shuangyun Chen, Nancy Smolka
Other offices involved in the design:
Deltares (Water engineer Consulting in Nature-Based Solution)
China Resources Group (Design and Construction management)
Shenzhen Hope Design (Local Design Institute on Technical Landscape Design)
CCCC Water Transportation Consultants (Local Engineering)
Project location: Xindong road 14, Yangmeikeng, Dapeng district, Guangdong Province, China
Design year: 2019 – ongoing
Year Built: Realization Yangmeikeng Demonstration Zone in May 2020 (Yangmeikeng village belongs to one of six reconstruction sites, the realized demonstration area in Yangmeikeng is a first part of the project)