As part of an international competition organized by the Shenzhen Bureau of Urban Planning & Natural Resources, Mandaworks, Gossamer & Arcadis were commissioned to create a new resilient masterplan for one of Shenzhen’s last remaining natural coastlines. On the doorstep of one of China’s largest cities, the new Xichong Coastal Reserve enhances the natural seaside getaway experience, protects local ecosystems and communities, while supporting a new ecological tourism industry for a burgeoning Chinese middle class. The Coastal Reserve protects the region’s rich biodiversity and restores historic fishing villages.
In late 2018, Typhoon Manghut devastated southern China, causing billions of dollars in damage. Since then, a slew of reconstruction projects have been underway. Despite being in a typhoon zone, popular beach destinations have approved new high-density mega-developments along their beachfronts. The Xichong Coastal Reserve is markedly different. The masterplan prioritizes typhoon resistance, ecological restoration and preservation of local villages. In this way, the design reflects the broader shift within China towards sensitive development, environmental protection, cultural preservation and genuine nature experiences.