Shanghai’s population has grown dramatically during the last decade together with its ecological footprint, producing a great damage to the surrounding environment. As the most prosperous city of China in these first years of the XXI century, Shanghai is worried about its ecological impact over the environment, and proposed in 2003 a competition for the Master Plan of Chongming Island in the Yangtze River. This island is one of the largest alluvial islands in the river, with a length of 80 km, and located several kilometers north Shanghai, and is devoted to agriculture.
SOM won the competition proposing a “green island” focused on the production of food and the preservation of natural wetlands. The office planned also 8 cities (some new and other existing) along the south coast served by 8 intermodal stations minimizing the impact on the environment. The proposed development strategy that will guide the future growth is based in 8 themes: wilderness areas and eco-systems; organic farms; green systems; inland street grid; ecotourism; rail; green villages; and coastal cities.
Today, one year after the approval of the plan, we can see already some progress: the plan for one of the coastal towns with a very low energy use is almost finished, and the transport system connecting the island with Shanghai has started by the construction of one of the roads. However, we will have to wait long to see the final product of this ambitious plan and check the effect of these developments over the general impact of Shanghai’s growth on the surrounding environment.
Images by SOM