Sasaki's vision for Fuxing Island encapsulates the most forward-thinking approaches to two of the world's most pressing issues: creating a stable and regenerative economic environment and eliminating the negative environmental impacts of an increasingly developed world. Envisioned as one of China's leading innovation districts, the development is physically, intellectually, and symbolically linked to nearby Fudan, Tongji, and other highly esteemed universities. Strong links to these institutions will help to attract and retain some of the brightest minds in the country to work in the corporate campuses, business and training schools, and incubator industries envisioned for the island. Sasaki's plan creates a mixed-use environment that combines these research and development uses with residential neighborhoods and a vibrant waterfront that positions Fuxing Island as a truly unique destination for Shanghai.
The creative class that will live and work on Fuxing Island must be supported by a diverse, mixed-use community that provides opportunities to share ideas and cultivate new ones, cultural experiences to help keep these creative ideas flowing, and interactions with nature to relax and recharge. With this in mind, Sasaki's plan includes facilities such as conference centers and exhibition venues which will offer forums for intellectual exchange, and training centers for multi-national corporations to provide continuing education to their employees. And because Fuxing offers a rare opportunity to create new development right on the banks of the Huangpu River, the vibrant urban waterfront includes space for retail, restaurants, entertainment, museums, and theaters. These urban amenities are integrated within the fabric of former warehouses and shipbuilding facilities, allowing for the adaptive reuse of existing structures while retaining the industrial aesthetic and cultural history of the island.
Sasaki's approach to sustainability at Fuxing Island went far beyond creating just a collection of green buildings. Sustainable strategies began at the planning level, focusing on optimal building orientation, access to transit, and the organization of open space all contribute to reducing energy demands and lowering the carbon footprint of new development. Fuxing Island's natural features also draw upon the existing landscape structure of the island. The existing park at the center of the island was expanded to create a central green, while also playing a role in treating stormwater. The Fuxing Canal, which separates the island from the mainland, is restored as a recreational amenity, with filtering wetlands at both outlets to the Huangpu to help to naturally cleanse polluted waters. Finally, green roofs and biofiltration zones are also planned extensively throughout the development, utilizing native plants and soil microbes to remove surface pollutants and contaminated soils on this brownfield site. Guidelines for the development also require the use of locally available, recycled, and rapidly renewable materials.