A grand future of Pearl River Banks to come

BY : Billiam Zhong SilkRoadP

UPDATED :August 22, 2018


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The Guangzhou government will beautify the landscape along the banks of the Pearl River and build a world-class waterfront, according to a plan released last week. Designs of the plan project a grand future for the river environment. Here are some of the enhancements being projected.

Public space to be expanded

The plan calls for expanding public space along the river. For example, green belts of 100-200 meters in width will be preserved when new riverside areas are developed and the existing green belts (if less than 100 meters wide) will be widened. Public recreation areas and sports facilities will be provided in the green space. Riverside buildings will be encouraged to set aside space on the first floor for the public to rest or enjoy leisure activities.

Waterfront architecture to shape a harmonious skyline

The height of waterfront structures should be restricted to no higher than 60 meters in the future, and they will be arranged from low to high to build a harmonious skyline. High-rise buildings in waterfront blocks will be separate instead of continuous.

Every bridge to become a scene

All bridges spanning the Pearl River will be upgraded and decorated in line with their respective features and characteristics, so that each will present a unique scene. Facilities like traffic signs, sidewalks, and elevators will be improved to provide better experiences for pedestrians and vehicles.

Scheme to illuminate the river

The river banks are divided into 3 sections (each extending for 10 kilometers), and a lighting program will be designed in accordance with their distinctive features.

The west section, from White Goose Pond to Guangzhou Bridge, will adopt warm yellow lighting to illustrate the combined Chinese-Western historical landscape. Colorful lighting will be limited.

The central section, from Guangzhou Bridge to Pazhou Island east, will use white lighting to depict the charm and energy of Guangzhou.

The east section, from Pazhou Island east to Nanhai God Temple, will use warm white lighting to light up the open and dynamic port.

A 60-kilometer waterfront slow traffic system

A slow traffic system will be established along the river banks by joining three routes together--walkway, jogging path and bicycle path. Urban furniture and features (including benches, signs, and street lamps) and landscape pieces will be installed along the routes, for both practical and artistic purposes. Newly-built bridges (if shorter than 500 meters) will be required to be equipped with user-friendly public facilities (such as elevators and barrier-free facilities) to help people cross the river more conveniently.

Historical places to be protected and utilized

The plan also stresses the protection and utilization of Guangzhou's historical places, architecture, industrial heritage, as well as its historical features. For example, people in Guangzhou used to socialize under the banyan trees. The banyans could be a typical feature to represent Guangzhou's daily life in the past and thus should be preserved. The area around them could be designed to meet modern people's leisure needs.

Photo source:《珠江景观带重点区段(三个十公里)城市设计与景观详细规划导则》