Against the backdrop of the CPC centenary, the “Nine Rivers for One Heart” is an important project to improve the livability and achieve transformational development of Jiaxing, a southeastern city in China. With its waterfront view system as the structure of urban development, we focused on ecological restoration and cultural vitality, created a versatile mixed-use waterfront eco-neighborhood, boosted the industrial upgrading, and built a Jiangnan (an area to the south of Yangtze River) waterside city to invigorate the city through culture promotion and ecological restoration. It is a bridge between urban development and livability improvement and an important part of Zhejiang “River of Happiness” construction.
Since Jiaxing is known as “Hé City”, the project put forward a vision of “Héhé Waterside City” (a city where everything coexists in a harmonious but not uniform way) in which people, water and nature are interdependent. On the theme of “Stay true to the original aspiration”, section Ⅱ (Changqian River, Pinghu River and Jiashan River) was aimed at bringing scenery and culture into people’s daily life for “not just the view, but those in the view”. In the project, we proposed transportation facilitation, historical culture promotion, focus point and lighting environment enhancement, water and ecological purification and varied vegetation, following The United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework and pursuing a people-centered principle for higher life satisfaction.
Apart from mapping out the process and developing the waterfront, the project particularly mentioned trans-loading, setting up facilities in waters and the idea of exploring new views with every step. “A stroll in the scenery is a search for different views with every step.” The new Jiangnan landscape area allows people to enjoy themselves in the scenery, showcasing the local trait of being confident but not shallow and redefining the confident and relaxing Jiangnan lifestyle.
Following the principle of ecological restoration, the design sought to build a waterfront neighborhood with new Jiangnan features. Besides mapping out the process and developing the waterfront, it also included purifying water by protecting shorelines and wetlands, restoring the ecosystem in riverside areas with Jiangnan waterfront flora, creating an eco-friendly corridor, adding microclimate comfort, and reminding people that the best views are always around. It is a successful cultural landscape project which presents the idea of “A stroll in the scenery is a search for different views with every step.”