Taichung Huilai River and Chaoyang River, River Restoration, Landscape Planning and Design

Taiwan

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In order to create a sustainable water environment and restore the ecosystem of the of Huilai River and Chaoyang River, we drew on the successful river restoration experience from the Liuchuan of Taichung project. This project sought to create textured landscapes and provide a pleasant riverside recreational area for densely populated communities.

About the rivers
The upstream flow of Huilai River and Chaoyang River reach Shuinan Trade and Economic Park and Feng Chia University; while their downstream flows through the important development areas in Taichung City, including the 7th Rezoning District, the National Taichung Opera House and the Maple Valley Garden. Flanked by densely populated residential and commercial districts on both sides, the rivers’ water and environmental quality degraded due to domestic and commercial wastewater discharge. Meanwhile, the riverbanks and bed were protected using impermeable concrete, which caused an overall gray, cold and stiff landscape with poor visual sense and an unfavorable environment for biological habitats.

Original design intention
This project started with the goal of simply improving the rivers’ water quality. We then explored the potential of a ring-shaped pedestrian belt featuring the urban river channels. The pedestrian belt was built to connect the Taichung New City Hall, Shuinan Trade and Economic Park, Central Park, Fengchia Commercial District and Chaoma Sports Park, and integrate the key development areas of the city government. The river improvements were extended to create a new water environment with one pedestrian ring and three landscape highlights for the city. This perfectly created the third ring belt of Taichung City.

Improving water quality, creating a natural water space
The top priority of this project was to improve water quality by constructing sewage interceptors along the rivers to divert approximately 15,000 CMD of domestic sewage to the Chaoma Water Purification Plant for treatment. Flood control facilities were designed to meet the necessary requirements and standards to protect the area from a 10-year flood event, without the bank overtopping for a 25-year flood event. The compound river cross-section was used to allow the natural conditions of the river to flourish. The existing concrete lined river channel was opened up while pebbles and boulders were added to cover its riverbed to increase the river’s permeability. A porous meandering channel pattern was designed to create a more diverse ecological habitat and improve the cold, gray and impermeable conditions. In order to avoid insufficient ecological base flow of the river due to sewage interception, a project was specially designed to divert clean water from Gang-Wei-Zi River to Chaoyang River. Considering the interception facilities and the durability of the revetment, the appropriate strength and quantity of concrete and steel bars were used. In addition to meeting the flood control capability, it also reduced the excessive utilization of resources.

Chaoma Sports Park was designed in conjunction with the outflow pool of the water purification plant to create a water-friendly environment. The park was designed with diverse plants and native tree species. Plants were selected to attract butterflies and to increase biodiversity by multi-layer planting. A landscape pedestrian bridge was built to connect the Chaoyangli Activity Center and Chaoyang Environmental Protection Park, creating a recreational space along the riverbank and a different waterfront experience. The landscape bridge was designed to blend into local features, and the park was filled with campanula trees and night lights, providing an excellent spot to admire the flowers and watch the sunset in downtown Taichung.

Awards

  • FIABCI-Taiwan Real Estate Excellence Awards 2022
  • Taiwan Landscape Award 2021
  • Public Construction Golden Quality Awards 2021
  • Taichung City Government Public Construction Awards 2021
  • The 22nd National Architecture Golden Award Public Construction Quality Award, 2021
  • National Construction Golden Awards 2021
  • Public Construction Golden Safety Awards 2020