New park in Ningbo designed around shipping containers in homage to the region's heritage
The city of Ningbo China is in the process of creating a 10-hectare central park and plaza in Ningbo East New Town CBD area, dedicated to business people, visitors and city dwellers. The design incorporates a geometry that is symbolic of cargo shipping, reflective of the city’s history, in combination with multiple sustainability features. The landscape draws from the surrounding urban fabric to provide comfort and familiarity; yet it also blends together a series of informal places to allow for micro-ecologies to emerge within the larger framework. Layered plantings provide the critical habitat densities and structure for a diversity of species to move into and across the site to establish a living urban ecology.
Container modules, stacked in tight clusters towards the center of the park, create ‘Habitat Hill’. The terracing of the containers provides the critical height and layering of canopies to provide refuge for migratory birds. The sides of the containers act as the structural framework for vegetation to grow up and around the containers. Extensive green roofs are built atop the containers and the land bridge, with critical soil mass providing an opportunity for rich landscape systems.
All of the surfaces in the park collect and filter water towards a series of canals and rain gardens in the southern terminus of the park. Street-side water filtration systems catch and filter street runoff through planting beds and natural filtration systems to cleanse the street storm water. Each container can also act as a self-contained water filtration system, able to filter 150,000 gallons of water per container per day: this water can be from streets, from urban runoff, or connected to grey water systems of local buildings to capture and cleanse grey water directly on-site. The park serves as a living filter supporting biological processes that act as a ‘green lung’ for the urban area.