This 900 hectare site is the last major undeveloped area within the greater Eastlake Park District, the famous 33 square kilometer lake region of Wuhan, China. The site, located on a 3000-acre peninsula is located between two sets of parallel mountains and surrounded on the other two sides by nothing but water. The northern mountains abut the Regional Park and Wuhan Botanical Gardens, and the southern mountains protect the site from the encroaching urban development. The rolling site is currently used for growing tea and other vegetable crops, a landscape nursery, forest cover and scattered farm housing. A soon to be abandoned military base provides the opportunity to reuse much of the infrastructure for future development.

The plans for the site explored a range of urban to recreation and open space uses that would compliment the existing parks and open space now operated by the Park District. The most developed plan included housing for 30,000 people with a new town center served by an extension of the City’s light rail transit system. The plan also featured a new Paramount Studios theme park, two golf courses and several resort hotels. The less intensive schemes explored expanding the existing Botanical Gardens, creating a continuous “necklace” of open space and parks around the sites water edge and providing three small neighborhoods capable of accommodating 7,500 people.

Based on the alternatives, government officials decided that development on the site should be less intensive and decided on a series of uses that would directly compliment the existing open space and recreation uses. Tourist hotels, golf courses, and a major meeting center, to promote economic development in central China were the preferred uses. Based on this direction, further work was undertaken to develop the Meeting Center as a distinct project and to relocate the site for the proposed Paramount Studios theme park closer to the regional airport.

Location: Wuhan, China

Role: Master Planner

Client: Wuhan Yangtze Entertainment Development Company

Date of Completion: 2004