Urban Parkland Upgrade to Multifunctional Water Treatment and Flood Management Asset (Case Study)

Urban Parkland Upgrade to Multifunctional Water Treatment and Flood Management Asset (Case Study)

Forest Park Ecological Wetland 

Location : Kunshan, Jiangsu, China orest park.jpg
Participants : E2DesignLab, CRCWSC, Kunshan City Construction, Investment and Development Company (KCID), Suzhou Garden Design Institute
Topics : Flood resilience, Ecosystem health, Stormwater treatment, Water sensitive parks and open spaces

Project description

Built in 2001, the Kunshan Forest Park is a National Urban Wetland Park covering an area of 166 hectares in the northwest of Kunshan city in Jiangsu province, China. The Forest Park boasts an array of eco-tourism resources and is characterised by parklands, forests and lakes.

The ecological wetland project aims to improve the water quality of five large park lakes by transforming traditional green space into multifunctional green infrastructure which provides water treatment, water recirculation, and extra flooding storage within a versatile landscape. In addition, an ecological restoration zone is planned to protect and remediate the local aquatic and terrestrial habitat, restoring the ecological values and encouraging flora and fauna back to the area.

Woody debris enhances fish breeding habitat

The Drivers: Improve waterway quality for enhanced community wellbeing and environmental health

Kunshan is a polder (a piece of land in a low-lying area that has been reclaimed from a body of water by building dikes and drainage canals) city, meaning it is a low-lying area enclosed by dikes, with no connection to other groundwater sources, except through diverted rivers or engineered canals. Polder waterway quality can be poor and flooding can be an issue in some areas of the city. A strategy was developed to help address this issue by integrating constructed wetlands into precinct parklands to enhance water quality. Canal water would be recirculated through constructed wetlands for treatment, creating a series of open cells within the polder waterway network. The incorporation of these cells has also been used for greater floodwater protection by connecting them as emergency detention basins. The Forest Park Ecological Wetland has been undertaken as a trial to test this strategy.

The Innovations: Working demonstration of innovative flood management and water treatment approach to protect a growing population and its downstream aquatic environments


The Outcomes

1. Cities providing ecosystem services

2. Cities as water supply catchments

3. Cities comprising water sensitive communities

Business Case



The case ​study was ​originally ​published by ​CRC for Water ​Sensitive ​Cities. ​ 
Find the full ​study attached ​below in PDF. ​