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Dou Zhang Speaks in AILA Symposium

Last month, director of Sasaki’s Shanghai office Dou Zhang, ASLA, PLA, LEED AP BD+C, SITES AP took part in a virtual symposium hosted by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA). The symposium’s theme was “New Water Cities in the Asia Pacific Region.” Design leaders and scholars gathered virtually to present case studies of urban water projects and discuss challenges such as rapid urban growth, pollution, livability and water security.

Zhang presented on Xuhui Runway Park, which sits on a former runway of Longhua airport in Shanghai, China and is mainland China’s first SITES Gold project. Sasaki repurposed the runway into a park, creating an interconnected sequence of runways for vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, and water. To honor the site’s history, the designers dubbed the park a “runway of modern life.”

Zhang also explained how the project offers a unique opportunity for the site to recover from its long-term industrial use and restore the resilience and the ecological function of Xuhui Riverfront District. The park incorporates a series of stormwater management and treatment measures which are also treated as landscape amenities, offering diverse spatial experience and creating a valuable wildlife habitat in a high density urban area.

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