Chongqing is one of China's five megacities. Famous for its history and recognized as the birthplace of Bayu culture, it is also regarded as the economic center of Yangtze River's upper stream region—a modern manufacturing industrial center—and as the transportation hub of China's southwest region. Guangyang Island Park is a 54 hectare urban oasis located on the second largest inland island on the Yangtze River, just east of downtown Chongqing.
Sited at the intersection of two major roads on Guangyang Island, the park is filled with fresh air and beautiful views of the water and mountains. Most of the site's slopes are south-facing, making them suitable habitats for the wide variety of plant species native to this subtropical zone. The site also connects to other large open spaces on the island, allowing visitors to wander through and wildlife to migrate.
Our design creates a unique destination integrating recreation and education in the natural setting with restored native plants and wildlife habitats, which sets an example of land reclamation in the region via a human-accelerated natural succession process. The colorful paths flowing through the forest link the park's major destination points and viewing platforms—creating a series of walkable "necklaces" throughout the forest, with brightly-colored benches located at stopping points, representing colorful jewels. These trails and "jewel" destinations combine to present the entire park as an emerald jewel box, filled with activities that celebrate the return to nature for all ages.
Park design strategies include: providing diverse recreational programs for different age groups based on varied site conditions; arranging universal access across the park to allow people in mountainous areas the same opportunity to enjoy the park; restoring an existing quarry into a forest habitat through accelerated succession to reduce cost of forestation in the initial phase; creating wildlife habitats with the help of a developing forest in succession and food resources at remaining orchards and farmlands; promoting local tradition of food and fruit production by integrating land art and education programs with continued agricultural practice; and advocating for the local herb planting tradition by incorporating herb gardening into the recreation center and related courses.
The site's stormwater management system has been designed to mimic the pre-existing hydrology of the site in order to mitigate impacts on the stormwater runoff quantity and quality from the proposed development. It has also been designed to reduce erosion and sedimentation of waterways. Existing ponds have been preserved and new retention ponds are proposed to retain runoff from the site and release it at lower rates. This will help prevent erosion of downstream channels. These ponds will also help reduce sediment and pollutant loads by allowing suspended solids to settle and nutrients be absorbed by vegetation in the ponds. Rainwater gardens will also be used to capture runoff from smaller areas, such as building roofs, to provide groundwater recharge as well as detention. Sediment ponds are proposed at the base of steep slopes to capture potential eroded soils from impacting downstream drainage systems. Vegetated bioswales are planned in existing stream channels and along proposed roads to reduce the velocity of runoff and provide additional sediment and nutrient reduction.