Much of the original site, located at the edge of a beach, was used as a garbage dump and included deserted slums and irrigation facilities. The site was unkempt and largely inaccessible, so mostly deserted.
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Yu Kongjian’s plan was to preserve as much of the natural river corridor as possible, promoting the lush, diverse natural vegetation as a key draw.
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Instead of paving over the riverfront with hard pavement and ornamental flower beds, the design uses a “red ribbon” steel structure stretching 500 meters along the riverbank. The idea was to provide access for jogging, fishing, and swimming with minimal intervention in the landscape.
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The Red Ribbon snakes along a boardwalk, providing walking access throughout the park. Many of the park visitors are former farmers and “newly urbanized.” The park provides helps maintains visitors’ environmental connection with rural China.
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The Red Ribbon provides access for wildlife, with animal crossings built into the ribbon at different points.
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Native vegetation, including local wolf tail grass, is featured throughout the park. Plant species are grown strategically within the Red Ribbon’s steel structure.
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The site also educates. Each of the four pavilions is named after a local plant species.
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Bikers can use a previously inaccessible site, encouraging community buy-in. While urban, modern, and accessible, Red Ribbon Park highlights and preserves riverfront’s natural ecological systems.
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