The preservation and restoration of the ecological system of industrial cities are to restore the old day glory and remark the vision to future life. Ecological restoration and visionary development planning set on green infrastructure become key strategies of urban expansion.

The Wenying Lake was once a prominent component of the Chinese coal belt city of Datong’s “Utopian Garden.” However, the Lake and its adjacent areas suffered deep ecological degradation due to the unprecedented rate of growth in urban development in the past few decades. The purpose of the project is to restore the ecosystem through meticulous planning and design, bringing back to life its waters and natural habitats in order to revive the Wenying Lake to its former beauty.

The 6.7 square-kilometer Wenying Lake Park built through the project is intended to drive the overall future sustainable urban growth for the city that currently hosts 1.8 million population. Because of Datong’s recent history of intensive industry, it has gained an unwelcome reputation as a polluted place – a 2007 World Bank Report classified it as one of the world’s 20 most polluted cities.

The Wenying Lake project addresses this environmental challenge head on. The blend of multidisciplinary services AECOM provided include the landscape design, the economic strategic planning and the environmental and ecological planning at the concept stage, and the landscape design and the wetland planning from the schematic design through design development stages.

The project won the 2014 American Institute of Architects Urban Design Award.