Harmonizing Urban Development with Ecological Restoration — Qianhai Water City’s First Waterway Promenade Park by

2023 Public Projects / China / Built in 2022 /


Qianhai Guiwan Park is located in the heart of Qianhai district in Shenzhen, China. Based on the eco-development framework of “Qianhai Water City”, which proposes five linear waterway parks called “Water Fingers” as part of the new city’s ecological development, the project is the core of the development.

The project takes water as its core and creates a rich ecological base through terrain shaping and diverse vegetation planting. The embankments are softened, and three-level terraces are built for waterfront spaces and respond to tidal changes. After completion, this place is not only a leisure park and green space in the city, but also an effective urban ecosystem to improve water quality, air purification, and residents’ quality of life.


The original flood prevention canal in Guiwan Park was straight and rigid, and the high salinity and eutrophication of the water quality were the first challenge in purifying the project’s water quality. The second challenge was injecting a lively atmosphere and cultural life into a deficient environment while creating a continuous vitality network. The third challenge was creating a mangrove ecological wetland in a unique environment where saltwater and freshwater intersect and completing the essential functions of flood prevention, tide control, and drainage.


The project bears the dual mission of promoting urban development and controlling ecological problems brought by the city and aims to combine urban lifestyle and ecology. Design through the softened embankment reshapes the river, creating a more diverse shoreline ecosystem. Multiple terraces are built on the natural terrain as a buffer for flood control and water purification.

The park is built as an urban ecological park using tide changes, sponge facilities, and diversified canopy systems. The park presents a lively mangrove wetland ecological landscape, increasing biodiversity. A mangrove ecosystem of 50,000 square meters is created to purify the water and attract various benthic animals such as fish, shrimp, crabs, and snails to breed and, in turn, attract various birds.


On the basis of ecological chassis, through the construction of different habitats in different areas of the park, an urban forest is formed integrating a mangrove wetland, freshwater wetland garden, tropical dense forest, recreational birch forest, palm forest, and another diversified ecological environment.

The mangrove wetland in Guiwan Park softens the park’s shoreline by combining with the tidal patterns of Qianhai. Within the 51,300 square meters of the mangrove ecosystem, red mangroves such as Aegiceras corniculatum and Rhizophora stylosa are planted in the low tidal zone (0.65-0.8m). Like Aegiceras corniculatum, Avicennia marina are planted in the middle tidal zone (0.8-1.6m). And minor mangroves trees such as Heritiera littoralis, Pongame oiltree are planted in the high tidal zone (1.6-2.5m) to purify the water and attract benthic species and birds to inhabit. At the same time, the remarkable adaptability of mangrove plants to high-salinity seawater soils has created a unique landscape and ecological environment for the seawater wetland.


While strengthening the ecological foundation, a series of customized spatial areas are arranged in the park: the climbing paradise combines fashion elements, outdoor sports, and leisure spaces; various pergolas use mathematical logic to generate visual effects, and the twisting angles create an infinite play of light and shadow. The architectural facilities inject personality into the park through “lines + undulations”, floating above the ecological foundation, creating a complete “spatial sculpture” for Guiwan Park, to bring beautiful scenery and pleasant experiences to the citizens.


As the first large-scale linear park in Qianhai district, Guiwan Park has provided a model for restoring coastal environments, purifying water quality, and creating park spaces for Shenzhen city. The design is based on maximizing ecological functions, increasing biodiversity to regulate the environment, and improving water quality. As more wildlife inhabit in Guiwan Park, it further proves the vision of achieving biodiversity and brings a beautiful natural space to the city. The park injects vitality into the ecological space through special designs such as spatial sculpture systems, blending a series of facilities such as parent-child games, recreation and entertainment, and multifunctional outdoor theaters into the park. This creates a harmonious “Qianhai hyper-nature” environment where people and nature coexist. The completion of the project has activated the vitality of the surrounding city and attracted more people and organisms to settle here. It has not only achieved the ecological development of the core area of “Qianhai Water City” but also practiced ecological urbanism in China’s waterfront space.

Location: Guiwan Park, Qianhai Avenue, Nanshan District, Shenzhen

Design year: 2018.03 – 2019.04

Year Completed: 2022.03


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