Taohua (Peach) Island Master Plan

Chonqing, China

Project Description

The environmental and cultural challenges created by the construction of the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River, along with the explosive growth of Chongqing—one of the five national central cities in China, prompted the local government to propose an international design competition to relocate the economic heart of the region to a low-carbon, mixed-use/live-work community on nearby Taohua Island.

The program brief stated nine primary design objectives for the enormous project:
• To create a world class master plan and design for Chongqing’s financial district
• To create a pedestrian oriented development with shared amenities
• To create an environmentally responsive urban framework plan that maximizes the landscape architectural opportunities
• To design places, spaces and events that reflect the local culture
• To create true destinations for local as well as international visitors
• To optimize the site’s density required for such an urban development
• To preserve, mitigate or restore the site’s natural areas
• To plan and design a national low-carbon city

The year-long planning exercise had the landscape architects traveling to China for a series of analysis, site visits, planning and design charettes and presentations. Incorporating a focus on optimizing density requirements and shared amenities, the Page team developed a design response that created a pedestrian-oriented residential urban center and tourist attraction surrounded by a protected environmentally sensitive ecosystem.