Dashengguan Park – reverse thinking



Tablet - Desktop
Tablet - Desktop
Tablet - Desktop


Bureau of Natural Resources and Planning Nanjing


120 ha nature park at the edge of the city center


2022 Competition


MLA+: Binghui He, Chuanzhi Sun, Jahnavi Bhatt, Keyan Tang, Martin Probst, Naomi Xuankun Liang, Samantha Au Young, Tan Li, Xiaolu Sun, Yusheng Huang
Ecologist: Taoran Guo


2022 International Landscape Design Competition, winning group

We changed

Reverse thinking: A nature-first paradigm for a green zone at the edge of a metropolis


+ Infrastructure for nature, not humans. Special focus on water system and habitat zones
+ Animals and plants as target groups, before human users
+ People follow nature, to enjoy and to benefit from the rich life of others: recreational visits, education and volunteering programmes


+ Nature regeneration as priority
+ Self-circulating ecological water system
+ Multi-layer habitat reconstruction


+ Collaboration with nature via a local ecologist
We tend to see all our work from our own - the human - perspective. This is how we have shaped the planet ever since we are on it. Now we see, that this leads to problems. Exploiting nature and its resources has reached a point where Earth is reaching the limits of what it can support. Can we find a different approach? Can we change the way we define ourselves in relation to the environment? What if we do not chose a nature inclusive approach, but a human inclusive one?
The design of Dashengguan Park is a pilot for a human inclusive approach. Instead of designing a park for humans where also other species can exist, we designed a park for all species where there is also space for humans. The design priorities lie on the creation of a water and habitat system as a habitat for a wide range of local flora and fauna. It connects to the surrounding ecosystem, and adds new places for life to thrive. Human visitors can experience the beauty of the natural landscape, but their access is strictly limited to a small part of the park - a system of carefully curated pathways and nature experience nodes.
The result is a landscape with framed views onto nature and with explorative routes that allow us to see and understand nature in all its layers without destroying it. It is embedded into a new wild landscape in the city. Inclusive nature is the way forward to recalibrate human impact on Earth.

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