Chapman Taylor’s concept for a new 38km2 Eco-Tech City at Wuxi Xiyan Lake, China

Our Shanghai Studio, alongside the Guangzhou Municipal Planning Institute and Deloitte, has developed a conceptual urban design for a new 38.1 km2 Eco-Tech City which perfectly integrates ecology and technology. The design combines Sponge City and Smart City principles. Two major urban development zones include "breathing channels" in their design to increase connectivity with the natural environment and improve land value.

The masterplan concept

The masterplan proposes a world-class city to be developed in and around the existing conurbation of Wuxi, in southern Jiangsu province, eastern China. The design aims to maximise the ecological benefits of the waterway culture of the region by promoting interaction between people and nature.

The existing main water network dictated the structure of the entire project and it will be fully utilised and respected, ensuring optimised feasibility and ecological sustainability.

Sponge City principles

The 1776km long Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal to the north edge of the site is the largest man-made waterway in the world. It is directly connected to Xiyan Lake at the heart of the site. One of China's greatest calligraphers, Wang Xizhi, during the Eastern Jun Dynasty, used to ‘dip his brushes’ into Xiyan Lake.

Through smart water network monitoring and various sponge facilities, the risk of flooding will be minimised and the problem of water pollution solved. Rainwater will be purified and new habitats created. The Xiyan Lake wetland park, Xiyan Lake, will be the green lung of the area while helping restore rainwater during wet/cloudburst days. Chinese garden-style landscape design based on the existing topography will be incorporated to minimise cut and fill.

The central wetland park

The Xiyan Lake Country Park in the centre of the site will be rich and diverse in dry seasons, flexible in wet seasons and ecologically safe in heavy rain seasons. On the periphery of the lake, a network of paths will facilitate exploration, sports and recreation, promoting a connection between the community and nature. We designed seven educational, recreational and cultural hubs around the central park for the benefit of residents. Three different types of pedestrian circulation systems on varying levels link the wetland park with the clusters that surround it.

Zero-carbon initiatives

The project will help to lead the transformation and upgrade to regional manufacturing and facilitate smart logistics and emerging industries such as zero-carbon and smart cultural tourism. This includes zero-carbon emission residential and scientific venues, including an iconic zero-carbon Exhibition Centre.

Ecology and technology

The design for Wuxi Xiyanhu Ecological Science and Technology City includes an upgrade to Huishan Station and Wuxi West Station in response to national strategies. Empowering the city with ecology and technology will help it to lead a transformation of the region.

Yichun Xu (M.U.P.)

Associate Director, Shanghai

Graduating from the University of Michigan (Postgraduate) and Nanjing University (Undergraduate), Yichun has 4 years of experience working in New York, and 3 years of experience working in China, before joining Chapman Taylor in 2018.

As an expert in the Chinese market, she has worked on a wide range of design projects including largescale masterplans, urban design projects, tourism planning, station design, landscape design and architecture projects.

Areas of expertise:

Masterplanning / Urban Design / Project Management

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