Our agency is asked to make a climate-adaptive concept for seven city parks in a rapidly developing city. Shenyang is located in the north of China and has a warm continental climate with four clearly distinct seasons. The summers are hot and humid under influence of the monsoon. Due to Siberian winds in winter, it can be very cold. In addition, the winter months are also dry, so sandstorms may occur.
Through climate change conditions will be even more extreme. Water will become more scarce and the summers even warmer. With our designs for these parks we want to apply and integrate strategies whereby water is being held longer and polluted water is being purified. In addition, by applying lots of greenery and trees, the earth can be held by their roots and the heat stress reduced.
In summer it is important to drain the excess rainwater rapidly. We do this in large “storage” ponds. In times of drought this excess should be re-used to water the planting. With these ponds groundwater does not have to be pumped up and thus we do not attack the natural water system. In addition, there will be wadi's in the plans, blocking the flow off of water through the sewer but infiltrating it back into the soil and supplementing the groundwater. The most important task is to restore the natural water system in an urban environment as much as possible.
The Sponge City parks have a varied location in both urban, natural and agricultural areas. The design and application of the water is diverse but the water system will be made visible as far as possible. The balance between water storage capacity, nature and recreation is very important. These three will also strengthen each other. By, for example, applying the correct water plants the water quality will be improved, we increase the biodiversity and we create attractive park zones for the visitors.
In five of the seven parks there is existing water and two water parks are adjacent to a water structure or a water treatment area. By storing and reusing the water the level may fluctuate a lot within a year and you have to take this into account as a designer. We do this by applying natural banks mainly with loose stones and vegetation. In addition steps and overflows in the water can also bring a recreational solution.