China's Jinji Lake development offers new challenges for
By Mary G. Padua, ASLA
© EDAW 2003, Photography by Dixi Carillo
The scale and complexity of the Jinji Lake project are extraordinary even by
Chinese standards. It is comparable to planning a new mixed-use
Manhattan waterfront covering an area from the East River to Second
Avenue and the East Village to Harlem. At more than 500 hectares
(1,235 acres), the Jinji Lake Landscape Master Plan probably is
the largest landscape master planning and design effort being implemented
anywhere in the world.
The Jinji Lake development is a new community along the shore of a natural
freshwater lake. It lies in the heart of New Suzhou, a planned town
about four kilometers away from the old Suzhou city center. Suzhou
is a city of more than 5 million people located about 50 miles from
Shanghai in an area marked by some of the most rapid industrial
development on the planet. Suzhou is known throughout China as home
to classical Chinese gardens, including several that are world heritage
sites. The Jinji Lake project includes high-end residential facilities,
commercial areas, an arts and entertainment district, and extensive
open space for recreation.
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