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Xuhui Runway Park Takes Off

Xuhui Runway Park, a notable adaptive reuse project in Shanghai, kicked off in 2016. Two segments were recently completed, from Longlan Road to Fenggu Road, and from Longyao Road to South Langshui Road. They are now open to the public, and have been embraced by the district’s residents as a new social space for the community.

“The Xuhui Riverfront area has changed dramatically. The factories have relocated, several large open spaces have been created for public uses, and some industrial buildings have been renovated as cultural landmarks,” says Dou Zhang, co-director of Sasaki’s Shanghai office, in a recent article on the transformation. The neighborhood has welcomed this refreshing breeze of modern life—the park is already popular with runners, weekend picnickers, and visitors to the arts center.

The site, once a runway for the only civil aviation airport in Shanghai, inherited the mission to serve Shanghai’s citizens and transform itself to multi-purpose “runways.” The park’s diverse linear spaces not only record and celebrate this unique slice of Shanghai’s history, but also set the stage for creating new stories.

“Through the creation of diverse linear spaces, this urban space transforms the former Longhua Airport runway into a runway system,” says Zhang. “This system is composed of individual ‘runways’ for each mode of transit and movement: car lanes, bike lanes and paths, various pedestrian paths, the canal and rain gardens, and a series of linear green spaces.”

With Phase II and III of the construction scheduled to be completed in 2019, we look forward to seeing our vision— a runway of modern life—taking off with Shanghai’s new urban oasis.

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