Shenzhen residents see the Da Sha River as their “mother river.” Unfortunately, the pollution from rapid economic development and increasing population in the past few decades far exceeded Da Sha River’s capacity, which resulted in a sharp increase in the overall pollution level, and the river became black and stinky. As a result, residents gradually forgot the fun of living by the water, and the river had become distanced from the city and the neighborhood.

From the ecological point of view, the Da Sha River is an integral ecological corridor between the mountains (the Yangtai Mountain-Wutong Central Mountain) and the coastal belt in the fundamental Shenzhen ecological pattern “Four Belts and Six Corridors”. Given its importance, relevant government departments have given the critical priority to manage the river pollution condition in recent years, which has achieved remarkable results. As part of the overall pollution control and restoration project, and since the water quality of the Da Sha River gradually improves, the government moves on to focusing on ways to uplift the river landscape and reconnect the people back to river while reducing flood risk.

Inspired by its heritage, culture and urban characteristics of Shenzhen, AECOM’s plan for Da Sha River created a high quality public landscape space to enhance the city’s ecological environment and rejuvenated Shenzhen with vibes and different layers of dynamics. Such design not only improved the quality of the existing waterfront vegetation, features and facilities, but also by reconnecting bicycle lanes and walkways on both sides of the river, it created a comfortable pedestrian experience along the river and a sense of inclusiveness linking the different pocket spaces in the area.

In the Da Sha River project, AECOM’s holistic approach and multi-disciplinary consideration resulted a comprehensive solution that not only ensured the water quality and flood control of the Da Sha River, but also created a cohesive ecology and a series of multi-theming public spaces that reconnect the originally fragmented urban areas.