Vitality Towards Water: Exploring the Construction of Urban Waterfront Public Space-A Case Study of Wuhan's Yangtze River Waterfront Spatial Planning Design

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The Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia, crosses nearly one-fifth of China's land area. She is known as the "Mother River" of China. Wuhan, located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, is located at the junction of mountains and plains. The city has laid a unique urban pattern as two rivers meet and three towns stand together. Water control and flood fighting has been the primary task of successive cities. However, the waterfront is the most significant public space for citizens. Every year, many major public activities such as the swimming across the Yangtze River, the Douyu live streaming celebration,and the city marathon are all held on the riverbank in every year. The annual average visitor volume achieves 30 million people which ranks first in Wuhan all the year round. It also built an unique spiritual space connecting between people and the city. Hence the widespread criticism of defensive and safe flood walls, which impede the urban landscape and vitality. This paper discusses the concept of space making of Yangzi River marshland in Wuhan from three aspects: development and evolution, ecological consolidation and urban activities. First, By arranging the experience of flood control and urban water management and the evolution process of waterfront space in the past,this paper analyzes that the riverbank of the Yangtze River is the most local space, the harmonious coexistence between people with city and people ,and the integration of the human wisdom accumulated from the interdependence of cities and water throughout the ages. Secondly, In terms of ecological environment, the promotion path of public space in urban waterfront area is explored from two dimensions as total elements and full space. Whole space refers to the horizontal space from the water to the city, which is divided into five levels, from river to bridge, from wharf to tidal flat, riverside parks, embankment and road, waterfront buildings. The study puts forward optimization strategies to build a unique waterfront space with the organic integration of river, garden and city. Total elements refers to the investigation of the whole ecological elements of mountains, rivers, forests, lakes, grasses and protozoa along the Yangtze River, according to their original living environment characteristics, according to local conditions to restore the ecology, from the central urban area to the peripheral suburbs using different spatial strategies to control. Total elements includes five aspects such as safety, ecology, humanity, transportation and economy. These elements such as dike, mountain, water, green, bank, bridge, sculpture, architecture are integrated with each other and systematically improve the spatial quality of the urban waterfront. Thirdly, from provention and control to integration, the historical traces, industrial development and emerging activities between the city hinterland and the Yangtze River have special relevance. Planning and construction stand for three dimensions, from the humanities, transportation, vitality. So that the embankment, bridge, sculpture, architecture and other elements to achieve flow and resonance, systematically improve the spatial quality of urban waterfront. The whole process emphasizes the participation of people in all stages of planning, design and construction.
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5: Uniqueness and connectivity. Al-Baraha: unlocking urban futures
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Wuhan Planning & Design Institute
Wuhan Planning & Design Institute
Wuhan Planning & Design Institute

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Dr Hiral Joshi
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