Located in the south of Weishan County in Jining, Shandong Province, the Weishan Lake National Wetland Park forms part of the eastern route of China’s South-North Water Diversion Project, a multi-decade infrastructure project that provides a reliable water supply to China’s arid north.
With abundant natural resources and diverse landscapes, the original ecological environment of the wetland was once perfectly self-sustained. However, located away from major economic centers, the site had limited transportation to neighboring urban areas, the existing ecological connections to the wider region were poor, and the progressing fishing industry had resulted in significant environmental pollution.
In 2008 AECOM was commissioned by the Weishan County government to develop a tourism and conservation master plan for the wetland park. Led by landscape architects, a multi-disciplinary AECOM team brought together master planners, environmental planners, ecologists, economists and architects to plan and design a new paradigm of parkland to restore this part of China.
Given the complexities and ecological fragility of the site, the team conducted thorough research, analysis, field investigations and evaluations to understand the site conditions before developing suitable strategies and a comprehensive master plan. The design of the park brought together comprehensive planning, nature conservation and ecosystem management to maximize the potential of existing ecological resources and achieve operational flexibility. By weaving in local cultural elements with low-impact design strategies across scales, the AECOM team created a “poetic wetland of the north”, in local phraseology, to celebrate the vernacular landscape and cultural characteristics, and to achieve an aesthetically pleasing and sustainable low-carbon development.
This beautiful park and now an attraction, artfully integrating waterway improvements, ecological conservation, habitat restoration and tourism development, is one of the most important best practice cases created by AECOM in exploring the integration of nature and urban development in recent years.
- The Weishan Lake National Wetland Park was selected as one of the “Top Ten Charming Wetlands in China” in 2013
- The project was awarded the 2015 ASLA Professional Awards