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Chishi River China

Ambitious landscape architects from The Netherlands impress with FUTURE vision on the city of Shenshan

With their nature based approach ‘DiverCity’ NL Urban Solutions – located in Rijswijk, the Netherlands, has won the design competition for the Chishi river, the ecological backbone for a new city for 1,5 million people in Shenshan. They won the competition in a consortium with Power China Huadong Engineering Corporation Limited, Lingnan Design Group Co. and Plus 8 Consulting Limited. In the top three were two other Dutch design offices; KCAP and MLA + consortium team.

The research-based design was praised for the excellent embedding in the landscape. The floodplain of the Chishi River will be built into a tidal park, an ecological paradise. “With four strategies for safety, ecology, connectivity and recreation we have designed a livable hometown for local residents and newcomers. The design with nature-based solutions for various water challenges, helps to build a resilient and ecological foundation for the Shenshan Cooperation Zone. In this way, we can balance fast urbanization with nature and culture”, says Rong Hu, managing partner and project leader at NL Urban Solutions.

According to Mr. Tang Kai, chairman of China Association of City Planning, and chairman of the expert review committee, the level of the international consultation on the planning and design was ‘extremely high and completely beyond his imagination’.

“I am delighted to win this extremely challenging design competition. It was an inspiring experience knowing that the competition was between respected agencies from around the world. It is the crowning glory of our work in the past seven years in China. We were able to use our experience and creativity in this competition to show how a future healthy and sustainable city can be built. ” says Marja Nevalainen, managing partner of NL Urban Solutions.

The competition started already in June 2020, when six consortia from a total of 90 design firms from 37 consortium teams from 12 countries around the world were selected, based on their outstanding concept design on the Chishi river in Shenshan Cooperation zone in Shenzhen. Three months later, on September 10, NL Urbans Solutions consortium team was announced as the winner.

In the follow-up process the design will be further deepened, focusing on the planning ideas that highlight the natural beauty of the mountains and the river, the ecological beauty of the shoreline, the cultural beauty of the local villages and the beauty of the future intelligent city. Shenshan Cooperation Zone can become an example for living in harmony with nature.

Project Context

In 15 years Shenshan will grow from a rural area with 70,000 people to a city with 1.5 million people and the Chishi river area will become the center of the future new city. The design scope covers the 36.8-kilometer-long Chishi River basin and includes mountains, tributaries, river floodplain and estuary. As the mother river of the people of Shenzhen and the Shenshan Cooperation Zone, the river connects the mountains, sea, forests, fields, lakes, wetlands and other ecological elements of the area, as well as towns, villages, and historical relics, forming the most ecological and cultural diverse area in the region.

Chishi River China