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Dou Zhang Receives USGBC Leadership Award

Sasaki’s director of our Shanghai office, Dou Zhang, FASLA, was honored with a Leadership Award from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Zhang received the award as part of USGBC’s 2021 Conference, “Towards 2060 Carbon Neutrality, Transformation Paths and Opportunities of the Real Estate Industry.”

At the event, Zhang sat in on a round table discussion about achieving carbon neutrality by 2060. She discussed how landscape architects can take different approaches to making cities more resilient, like incorporating green infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions.

“Sasaki is a company that is deeply dedicated to pursuing sustainable design,” said Zhang when she accepted the Leadership Award. “Sasaki provided me with opportunities to gain experience and professional knowledge, and to explore and develop sustainable landscape design as part of my practice.” 

Zhang was recently elevated to Fellow by the American Society of Landscape Architects, another significant honor.

Zhang also recently participated in USGBC Live, which is part of a series of insightful and engaging conversations about the future of buildings, cities, and communities. Zhang presented, “A New Model of Residential Community in China: Public Open Space as a Catalyst,” with Wei Qi, a Senior Product Partner of Vanke.

As part of the presentation, Zhang discussed how public open spaces played critical roles in the success of both Xuhui Runway Park and U Belt at Nanchang OCT Super Community. 

Xuhui Runway Park is mainland China’s first SITES Gold certified project. The park is situated on a former industrial area that housed factories, warehouses, and an airport, and was transformed into a new urban district along the river. The new park serves as a much-needed open space spine running between new, high density developments.

“The park’s design aims to blend the park and street together to create an integrated public realm,” said Zhang. “The diverse programs have attracted people to attend symposiums, see exhibitions, visit the gardens, or simply just get together and watch other people walking by.” 

U Belt at Nanchang OCT Super Community sets a new model of offering public spaces on private land. The landscape design integrated public and private spaces and applied a series of sustainable site design strategies, creating an important public realm for the entire community. From rain gardens, pollinator gardens, bird playgrounds, to the road of urban life, the design interweaves nature with the city, bringing back ecological value, educational content, and social activities for the new residential community. “The rain garden has already outperformed during the heavy storm season in Nanchang this year, protecting the site from flooding,” says Zhang.

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