Australian practice McGregor Coxall had the winning scheme to transform a degenerate landfill site into a new migratory-bird wetland sanctuary park in Tianjin, China. The Asian Development Bank and the Port of Tianjin co-launched the park design competition in response to the increasing loss of critical bird habitats and declining shorebird populations in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, which an estimated 50 million migratory shorebirds use every year. The EAAF extends to Alaska and Russia's Taimyr Peninsula in the north, East Asia and parts of Southeast Asia, and Australia and New Zealand in the south.
As a pilot project in China's national sponge city program, the project in the Lingang region is a 60-hectare masterplan of constructed wetlands, parkland, and urban forest.
Described as a “bird airport” by the architects, the wetland sanctuary will allow weary migratory birds to feed and rest, while human visitors can check out the Water Pavilion education and research center or trek through the 7-kilometer nature trail network in the park. “The wetlands are surrounded by a 20-hectare fringing forest to protect the birds from intrusion by nearby urban development”, says McGregor Coxall. The project is currently scheduled to begin construction later this year. And if all goes smoothly, it could be completed in 2018.