Dear Friend of Robert Edson Swain Architecture + Design,
Recently Bob led a team of designers in China to provide a comprehensive master plan for Jiaozhou City, a sub-city of Qingdao with a prominent position on Jiaozhou Bay. This is an example of the projects in Bob's new role as Chief Architect and City Planner for the China Greenland Broad-Green-State Group, Shanghai. Aside from a position at a state sponsored ecological planning and environmental firm, this appointment acts as a stamp of approval from Chinese leadership.
Frequently in China’s rapid urbanization, precious and essential coastal and river wetlands have been destroyed. The central government is attempting to rectify these mistakes through the restoration of wetlands within development projects. Jiaozhou bay has particularly suffered coastal intrusion by surrounding development and this project is the first major attempt at repairing the natural landscape and water quality.
The central government expects city and provincial governments to self fund these projects, so it is essential to provide integrated economic engines for this to work. The zones outlined in the Jiaozhou Bay master plan focus on valuing ecology to increase revenue through tourism and industry.
The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge is a 41.58 km (25.84 mi) long bridge between Qingdao and Huangdao, built in 2012. It is the world's longest bridge over water. This new bridge enables easy access from Qingdao to the Jiaozhou Bay wetland restoration and development.
Wetland restoration is a specialty of Bob's, and he has completed several wetland related projects in China. The Jiaozhou Bay project offers an opportunity to highlight the immense diversity in varying types of Chinese wetlands. Three distinct wetland zones are designated based on the natural micro-climates of the region. These wetland zones are particularly important for water quality, as they are natural filters that clean fresh water effected by urbanization. Restoring wetlands in China is a completely natural solution to the wide scale pollution issues that the country faces.
Da Gu River Wetland Park
As fresh water makes its way to the sea, river wetlands are the first phase of natural cleaning and filtering. Chemicals and heavy metals are captured by the sediment around wetland plant roots and are slowly absorbed by the vegetation. Wetland vegetation is uniquely suited to neutralize pollution in this way.
Da Gu River Wetland park boasts beautiful wetland forests in a freshwater river system. Boardwalks meander through and around the inlets, much like the snaking river that has changed its own course over time through erosion. Paths offer resting places along the way to rest and take in the landscape and diverse wildlife.
Central Wetland Park
Marshes along the perimeter of a lake basin are an important step in the journey of freshwater to the sea. In this zone the flow is able to slow and settle, creating an important habitat for fresh-water birds, fish, and other freshwater wetland inhabitants.
Central Wetland Park is formed between land to the west and a coastal breakwater to the east. A lock system at the entrance allows medium sized vessels to enter from the sea (large vessels are able to dock in the deepwater marina connected to Jin Hu Wetland Park).
An interpretive center in Central Wetland Park gives visitors a chance to learn about the varied landscape and wildlife in Jiaozhou Bay
Jin Hu Wetland Park
The estuaries of the tidal wetland zone are the final filter in this natural process of cleaning fresh water before it enters the sea.
On the cusp of open sea, the tidal wetland zone of Jin Hu Wetland Park is formed by sand dunes, vegetated shoals and bars. Wildlife in this zone is uniquely suited for an environment that is periodically flushed by rising tides. It is an important resting and feeding ground for sea birds.
Pathways give hikers access to this wonderful landscape from the shore. A deepwater marina allows larger vessels to come ashore.
Fishing is an important economic driver for Jiaozhou Bay. Saving the existing fishing port allows visitors to interact with the area's tradition of fishing.
Clean Energy Center
This business district focuses on sustainable solutions for industry. It is important to offer a hub for business so that local companies can maintain there presence rather than commute to neighboring cities. This ensures that amenities in other zones are supported by a local population and workforce.
Landau Classical Garden
The re-establishment of a classical Chinese garden will attract tourists and create a soothing park for locals to enjoy.