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Finalist World Award - Category Water

Submitted by: Turenscape, and College of Architecture and Landscape, Peking University
Country: China

Qunli stormwater park - a green sponge in the city

Along with the expansion of urbanization and the climate change that causes unpredictable precipitation, urban floods caused by storm water become a global issue. Particularly in China, where most cities experience monsoon, 70-80% of the annual precipitation are in the summer; and in some extreme cases 20% of the annual rainfall can happen on a single day.
Contemporary cities are not resilient when faced with inundations of surface water. Conventional underground pipe and pump systems solve this problem but have a lot of disadvantages: Construction is very expensive, storm water is drained and wasted although aquifers are decreasing and cities suffer from water shortage, surface water and therefore water sensitive habitats disappear while water from the aquifers has to be used for irrigation. Multiple problems can be addressed when landscaping takes these issues into account.
A new urban district, Qunli New Town, with a size of 2,733 ha is being built in the east outskirts of Haerbin City in Northern China. Within this project, a storm water park was created in the middle of the new town which acts as a green sponge that cleanses and stores urban storm water, recharges the aquifer, protects native habitats and also offers recreational and aesthetic experiences. The park can retain and filtrate up to 500,000 m3 of storm water annually and has successfully solved the storm water inundation problem for an area of 3 km2 (10 times the area of the park). Water quality has improved dramatically since the storm water is being filtrated by a bio-swales system. Many native species of flora and fauna have been spotted in the park, including more than 20 species of birds. It serves as a unique public space for the residents of the new community, which has increased the value of the land surrounding the park by 100% within 2 years. Through the transformation of this dying wetland, storm water that has frequently caused flooding has now become a positive environmental amenity in the city.


  • Project: Qunli stormwater park - a green sponge in the city
    Applicant: Turenscape, and College of Architecture and Landscape, Peking University
    Country: China

  • Project: Ceramic Pot Filters for water treatment
    Applicant: Safe Water Ceramics of East Africa
    Country: United Republic of Tanzania

  • Project: Tehran sewerage project
    Applicant: Tehran Sewage Company
    Country: Islamic Republic of Iran

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