Over the past few decades, Shanghai has been the site of some of the world's most expansive development. The city's unprecedented economic growth and rapid urbanisation - there are 10 million rural migrants in Shanghai - are contributing to its rising status as one of the world's most influential cities.
A concept from international design practice Hassell to create an urban forest along the Huangpu river, aims to further unlock Shanghai’s potential by creating world-class green spaces and public places along the river’s edge.
Much of Shanghai's recent development has been focused along the Huangpu River, which flows right through the heart of the city.
The area includes the former site of World Expo 2010 and is currently congested with ferry docks, commercial buildings, a cement plant, and construction sites. Only 45% of the river edge is open to the public, with very little continuity or sense of public space. Shanghai's government decided to launch a competition to see how the whole riverbank could be opened up to the community.
The East Bank Urban Forest would see a continuous woodland of two million trees planted – one tree for each of Shanghai’s two million children.
This expansive landscape would have a significant impact on the city and its people. It would expand green space in the city centre by 25%, improve air quality and energy efficiency, create new places to gather and support Shanghai’s aspiration to become a more sustainable, attractive and prosperous world city.
More than 50 local schools could be invited to participate in the creation and custodianship of the forest, within new outdoor classrooms and through tree-planting events.
Pathways for walking and cycling would run the full 21 kilometres of the site, winding along the river’s edge and through the forest.
A system of walking loops would lengthen and heighten the promenade experience, giving people a new perspective on the river and city and overcoming existing barriers such as waterways, ferry terminals and industrial sites.