The project, named 'from Gold to Pearl' proposes a framework of eco-friendly industry catalyzing river revitalization for river waterfront landscape design and takes advantage of various ecological problems, such as an excess of sediments and heavy mental and degradation of riparian habitats that stem from Gold Rush, as opportunities for Sacramento River revitalization. This project seeks to make full use of the unattractive vacant areas along Sacramento River in order to achieve riparian habitat recovery, storm water management, waterfront activity space recreation and pearl industry development. It can also rebuild a unique identity for Sacramento River as 'Pearl River' with ecological sustainable development in the new era instead of the controversial 'Gold River'.
River as the bearer of the history and civilization of the region, has witnessed the city's wax and wane. It could be defined by historical events or special function in every era. Its identity would be rebuilt in a new era.
Such is the case of Sacramento River whose definition changed from Fertile River for Indians to Golden River in Gold Rush, implying big change of Sacramento. The heyday that California accounts for 45% of global gold production has ended; nonetheless, ecological problems still remain, such as sediment, heavy mental excess and aquatic species reduction. For the reason of its unsustainability and prodigious ecological rava-ges, gold mining industry is on the wane nowadays, which threatens the identity of 'Golden River' after Gold Rush.
America as the world’s largest pearl market is facing a severe situation that only 15.7% of freshwater pearls are domestic products. Sacramento River is suitable in cultivating freshwater pearls due to rich nutrition. Thus, it is feasible to develop the pearl industry to supply the pearl market. Furthermore, mussels as filter feeders play a significant role in accumulating heavy mental and clarifying water, and are widely used as bio-indicators to monitor the health of aquatic environments.
High breeding density of traditional cultivation can easily cause the problem of water pollution. Thus, we need to create a new Mussel Cultivation Floating Bed to meet the needs of rational density, mobility, changeability, shade and root-filter for best pearl cultivation. In order to take advantage of the existing site conditions and problems as opportunities for Sacramento River revitalization, the plan 'from Gold to Pearl' including three planning strategies is proposed as below:
The design seeks to offer a template for “from Gold to Pearl” and set up a framework of eco-friendly industry catalyzing river revitalization based on the three strategies.
The site covering 300000 square meters is contiguous with the big community of West Sac and the tourist attraction in Old Sac, which is facing an excess of sediments and heavy mental from Sacramento River and American River, and is unattractive for residents due to poor maintenance. The operations require a series of proposed changes and a long-term evolution after the analysis on the dynamic water table, vegetation resources and traffic of the site. The design consists of three functional layers, including riparian habitat recovery, storm water management and pearl industry.
From Gold to Pearl
As a generative waterfront landscape, this site creates a triangular connection between the big community of West Sac and the tourist attraction of Old Sac, and gradually develops into a center of freshwater pearl trades and municipal public activities for residents and visitors. In addition, it serves as a wildlife shelter, offering an opportunity for people to learn the nature and culture of Sacramento River.
“From Gold to Pearl” proposes the framework of eco-friendly industry catalyzing river revitalization for the design of river waterfront landscape. The widespread usage of the proposed plan along Sacramento River would improve water quality, recover wetland ecosystem, store floodwater and achieve economic growth. It can also rebuild the identity for Sacramento River as “Pearl River” with ecological sustainable development in new age instead of the controversial “Gold River”.