Sasaki - Resiliency, Identity, and Vibrancy: Pingshan River Blueway Master Plan
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Resiliency, Identity, and Vibrancy: Pingshan River Blueway Master Plan

Sasaki

Public Space  /  Future
Sasaki

This river corridor possesses superior of the natural landscape. Residing in the region for over 300 years, Hakka people dominated the riverfront with their agriculture fields and villages, devoting themselves to farming, reading and their signature blue dyeing. Since 1960s, the accelerated economic development degraded the river’s environment and separated Hakka people’s lives from the river.

The concept, Pingshan Outdoor Gallery, was inspired by the region’s rich natural assets and cultural heritage. By restoring the local eco-system, celebrating indigenous culture, and integrating with the city, this project creates a resilient and vibrant riverfront corridor, offering a continuous natural and cultural exploration experience for reimagining Pingshan’s future.

This project presented an opportunity to create a continuous public riverfront path system, celebrate local culture, minimize flood risks, and guide the transformation of adjacent urban and industrial uses.

The local eco-network for a variety of habitats will be restored with native plant communities, by taking advantage of succession to make changes over time.

The completed bike path system will connect the Blueway to the adjacent subway and bus systems, facilitating a low-carbon lifestyle.

A variety of programs were planned and linked to the adjacent building programs, generating incomes to support the project’s operation and maintenance.

The Blueway will continuously interact with the city through the 15-minute green-life circles around the system.

The project was a pioneer in sustainable development through resiliency, habitat restoration, and carbon footprint reduction.

It established a comprehensive water management plan to mitigate the impact of climate change and sustain river ecology. A three-dimensional protection system will ensure the river meets 100-year flood control requirements.

The proposed ecological system, including mountain corridors, river corridors, and parks will provide a variety of habitats from land to water. Native and Hakka species will be planted to restore habitats and enhance bio-diversity.

The project reuses existing buildings, local materials, and recycled materials to reduce its carbon footprint. The proposed 265 acres of reforestation will also sequestrate 55,280 tons of carbon annually.

A resilient and vibrant riverfront corridor is created with 3 design strategies:

1. Ensure Safety and Restore Ecosystem to Build Resilient Waterfronts

  • Establish a comprehensive water management plan to mitigate impact of climate change
  • Restore ecological network through natural succession
  • Minimize use of new materials to reduce carbon footprint

2. Enhance Cultural Landscape to Celebrate Local Identity

  • Develop a cultural symbol of Pingshan
  • Plant native species associated with Hakka settlements and blue dye

3. Integrate with City to Sustain Long-term Success

  • Connect the path system and build an accessible Blueway
  • Establish a bike path system connecting with public transportation
  • Plan programs tied with adjacent developments to generate incomes

The plan with 4 characteristic segments, depicts a gallery-like experience:

The Gateway to Mountains and River traverses large green spaces to build a waterfront lifestyle focused on eco-restoration and Hakka culture.

The Journey of Time relies on its central location and rich resources to build a riverfront space focused on human experiences and commercial uses.

The Convergence of City and Lake is located in a lakeside development area, creating an urban living room integrating with public recreation.

The Joys of Farming and Reading sits in a natural backdrop, immersed in the educational atmosphere near a university and facilitating a continuous interface between the city and river.

The master plan offers a resilient riverfront corridor featuring inclusive cultural experiences, authentic natural landscape, and vibrant programs. The client highly appreciates the team’s effort and regards Pingshan River Blueway as “Pingshan’s new ecological brand for clear water and blue skies". “The plan explored Hakka culture, revolutionary history, industrial culture, and natural resources, and connected them through a continuous Blueway, creating a high-quality visitor experience.”

Credits

 Shenzhen
 China
 Pingshan Urban Management Bureau
 Public Space
 12/2025
 2833000 mq
 Confidential
 China Southwest Architecture Design and Research Institute Corp., Ltd.
 Tao Zhang, Dou Zhang, Yu Zhu, Tianwen Zhou, Zhangkan Zhou, Jing Liu, Yuwei Zhao, Qi Wang
 Guangdong Provincial Design Institute of Water Conservancy and Electric Power
 Sasaki

Curriculum

Sasaki is a leading design firm based in Boston, Denver, New York, and Shanghai. Founded in 1953, Sasaki has grown into a multi-disciplinary practice including Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, Architecture and Interior Design, Ecology, and Civil Engineering. Over the past 70 years, Sasaki has won over 900 design awards worldwide. In the Pingshan River Blueway Master Plan project, Sasaki has led the entire planning and design process.
Pingshan Urban Management Bureau, the client, was responsible for the development, investment and management of the project.
China Resources Land Limited works as the project manager.
Guangdong Provincial Design Institute of Water Conservancy and Electric Power was responsible for hydraulic engineering.
China Southwest Architecture Design and Research Institute Corp., Ltd. was responsible for architecture, structure, water supply and drainage, and electric engineering design.

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