Jiangyin Greenway is a 10km walking loop that winds through the city of Jiangyin alongside the Yangtze River in China and acts as a response to the growing movement for a cleaner environment, sustainable transportation and a public discourse with nature. The greenway consists of segments that include plazas, playgrounds and viewing platforms, which each respond to the spirit of its location.
Constructed by Brearley Architects + Urbanists (BAU), the segments include a northern loop (which has already been built) that passes through the docklands parks and reflects the history of shipbuilding and the port, and an eastern segment that leads to and responds to the Yangtze River – the river to which Jiangyin owes its existence.
The greenway is intended to be a place of personal and social tranquillity, where the cacophony of city life fades away in place of enjoying the natural scenery. Sound walls guard from the adjacent freeway sounds, and solid and transparent balusters create private areas to relax or socialise. Shade structures provide reflection and seating spaces, and sculptural truss systems that run along the path provide framed views of the surrounding landscape.
An amphitheatre lies along the path, providing a place for outdoor events, performances and community gatherings. The greenway also offers an exercise playground, slides, climbing ramps and long swings below the elevated pathways.
The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia and the third-longest river in the world. Industries and farming along the river contribute to 40 percent of China’s economy and has a huge variety of flora and fauna that are important to the country’s ecosystem. The greenway project is a reminder to the public of the extraordinary aspects of this internationally renowned river.
BAU’s design seeks to generate better public spaces in the urban fabric that respond to current social issues while being cost-effective and engaging with the local and global culture. The greenway offers places for optional public spaces to be introduced, including cafes and restaurants, markets, gyms, bicycle hubs and more, in order to generate activity and make the greenway a safe and exciting place to be.
The Greenway project is built on the emphasis that cities are built for people, not for cars, and hopes to shift transport to more sustainable practices such as walking and cycling.
Images © Pavel Shubskiy – Egghead Photo