Intended to help change people’s perception about living in the plains north of the Yellow River, the principal goal for the Jinan North River District Master Plan is to provide a healthy, resilient, and economically viable city that more importantly protects human life and economic investment from the danger of a catastrophic flood.  Faced with this design challenge, the master plan for the new district is seen an opportunity to change perspectives, while designing with and elevating the critical role of landscape systems.
Architect: Michael Grove
Country: United States

Jinan North District (1)
Jinan North District (1)

Based on extensive study of the hydrology of the site, the district is designed to provide a resilient development alternative that accommodates flooding while minimizing damage.  Inspired by the vernacular elongated villages, or daizhuang, which can be found along levees throughout the North China Plain, the elevation of occupied structures and immediate streetscape are raised above the surrounding landscape to provide protection from rising waters.  Set above the 200-year flood elevation, the neighborhoods provide a safe haven should the existing levees fail.  In the event of this unusual but potential occurrence, uninhabited spaces will be allowed to flood while populated areas remain safe.  In more typical rainfall events and seasonal flooding, these water-receiving landscapes provide a robust and resilient strategy for stormwater management and irrigation storage, helping to improve water quality and regional biodiversity.  When not accommodating an influx of water, the development’s linear form maximizes the interface between the city and nature, with no single residence further than two blocks from a public park, waterfront, or one of the site’s diverse natural areas.  Building upon lessons learned from the historical vernacular, this configuration connects residents to the landscape while providing a resilient framework for accommodating flood risk, increasing the value of the development and enhancing the quality of life for its residents.
Jinan North District (2)
Jinan North District (2)

Aiming to reverse decades of degradation, the plan for the district aims to restore the native forest and wetland ecosystems, with over 200 hectares of reforestation, 230 hectares of restored wetlands, and more than 260 hectares of parklands and upland meadows.  This bold open space plan provides abundant space for a vast array of resident and migratory wildlife, enhancing environmental quality while increasing the economic value and livability of the development.
Jinan North District (3)
Jinan North District (3)

Walking and biking are prioritized and complimented by transit uses throughout the development to encourage accessibility and connectivity while reducing the overall carbon footprint.  Based on credits for LEED-ND Neighborhood Pattern & Design, the plan proposes compact communities served by a variety of transit options.  This urban design configuration organizes community services and amenities such as schools, neighborhood centers, parks, and convenience retail within residential neighborhoods to encourage walking and biking, reducing vehicle miles traveled.

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& Design Awards 2020

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30th April 2020

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