During the initial site survey, a very complex situation was identified with a number of significant issues to be addressed. Currently there is a lack of connection between the historical and scenic areas within and around the site. In addition, the historical blocks and surviving cultural heritage have not been effectively protected, leading to a gradual fading of the urban character. Finally, the entire site is divided by the Beijing-Guangzhou Railway, which forms a major physical and psychological barrier between the site and its surroundings, all of which pose significant design challenges.
The main focus of the urban regeneration design is to unify the currently disconnected areas through the creation of three distinct urban centres. Each centre embodies and promotes a different aspect of the site: historical, modern and natural. This proposal not only greatly improves the local cultural conservation, but also creates an economic zone that serves the entire Dongting Lake area. The design also integrates the existing waterfront resources into a continuous scenic route.
The route, coupled with a new transportation system, greatly reduces the physical and psychological fragmentation caused by the railway and serves to create an interconnected waterfront. Through respect for the existing conditions, integration of the historical and modern, and connection to surrounding resources, a waterfront city of profound cultural heritage was created. Construction of Dongting New Town, based on the master plan began in July, 2012.