Key Dates

14 July 2022 - Launch Deadline
19 October 2022 - Standard Deadline
13 January 2023 - Extended Deadline
17 January 2023 - Judging
9 February 2023 - Winners Announced

Image Credit : ZEHO ECO, Tangshan Kaiping District Government


Project Overview

Tangshan Garden Expo Park is in Kaiping District, Tangshan City, Hebei Province. It covers 2.18 km² area and was completed in 2021. Tangshan is an industrial city in China with over a hundred-year history. Before its redesign, the site was an industrial wasteland formerly used for coal mining. The geological and geomorphic conditions are complex due to underground goaf, accumulated construction waste, coal mining subsidence, which lie between the downtown area and Kaiping, hindering urban development. The three pillars of ecological restoration, inheritance and innovation, and sustainable development characterized the design. Since 2018, the design team has assisted the local government to successfully create a near natural landscape base and build a stable internal ecological cycle system through land comprehensive utilization and ecological in-situ restoration. Considering post-expo operation in advance, the exhibition function space and supporting service facilities are designed to inherit the traditional garden art, convey the concept of green environmental protection, and present a grand meeting. Meanwhile, it creates the largest green open space in the city's northeast and enhances the well-being of citizens. It is a demonstration project for the transformation of Tangshan from a resource-based industrial and mining city to an innovative ecological and livable city.

Project Commissioner

Tangshan Kaiping District Government

Project Creator

Beijing ZEHO Waterfront Ecological Environment Treatment Co., Ltd.


Zhang Yijun, Huang Jun, Min Ying, Wang Shu, Chen Xiao, Han Chunhui, Ding Zhiyong, Lv Yang, Cai Jing, Jia Yulong, Sun Peijing, Shuai Kai, Yan Xiaohui, Qiao Hong, Liu Chenxiao, Wang Siyuan, Zhou Yingjun, Liu Shaolong, Xue Guoliang, Zhang Jin, Dong Zhijie, Zhang Wenyao, Ren Jing, Xue Jingjing, Zhang Xiaoyu, Fu Zhixiong, Song Wei, Xu Wei, Chong Xiaoze, Jin Guilong, Zeng Hongzhou, Wang Huilin, Zhang Liqun, Li Huan, Li Hongbin

Project Brief

Tangshan Garden Expo is a 2.18 km² urban park in the well-known industrial town of China - Kaiping District, Tangshan City in Hebei. It was formerly an urban brownfield with industrial and construction waste piled high, and subsidence ponds formed by coal mining scattered. This is a significant planning and design project for transforming the wasteland to an urban oasis which is ecological resilient, sustainable and low-carbon.

327 illegal buildings were demolished on site, 2.3 million m³ of construction waste and non-hazardous stockpiles were reused, and 13.5 km of greenways were completed during the project. Over 150 species of plants, with over 150,000 trees, are now cultivated to enrich habitats for biodiversity. Industrial wasteland was dramatically restored to an oasis with vibrant landscape and carbon sink capacity. The success of the Expo has presented the garden culture and the achievements of landscape development, attracted tourists, and enhanced the popularity of the city. The park now is an assistor which transforms Tangshan from a heavily polluted industrial city to a livable city. The park offers a public place shared by citizens, which makes up for the lack of green space in this area and enhances the well-being of people around and even in a wider range.

Project Innovation/Need

Tangshan Garden Expo Park transforms urban brownfield through ecological restoration and realizes the site’s regeneration and sustainable utilization. As an essential node turning coal mining wasteland into a landscape, it has healed the “urban cracks”. At the site, 327 illegal buildings were demolished, 2.3 million m³ of construction waste and non-hazardous stockpiles were reused, and 13.5 km of jogging tracks were completed. Over 150 species of plants are now cultivated in this area, with over 150,000 new trees. In the end, 916,000 m² of industrial wasteland were successfully restored. The Expo showed the achievements of traditional garden culture and landscape development, attracted passenger flow, improved the popularity of the city, driven the upgrade of 11 km² of industrial area, boost the improvement of the surrounding environment, and led the functional transformation and high-quality development of Tangshan. As a new urban center for recreation, it has become the only large public green space in the city's northeast. The well-being of the people in the surrounding areas and even in a wider range has increased.

Design Challenge

Mining activities and land occupied by factories in the past led to the unclarified distribution of shallow coal mine goafs, shallow goafs of vanadium earth ore, active seismic fault zones, and mining ground fissures. These complex site factors addressed significant risks for construction. Reasonably planning of the park and avoiding geological collapse is the first challenge faced by the design team. Massive construction waste accumulation on the ground by industrial buildings demolition, waste and subsiding potholes by mining activities led to the fragmentation of the ecological layout. The reconstruction of the ecosystem is the second challenge faced by the project. The project also faces the difficulties of functional transformation and long-term use post-expo commonly existing in other large-scale expo parks.


Safety is the most important concern during the three-year construction. To eliminate potential collapse, rigorous site investigation and geological exploration are specialized by the multi-disciplinary team. They used existing non-hazardous construction waste to create mountainous terrain in conjunction with the peripheral landform, which skirted the seismic fracture zones and saved transportation and material costs. The design connects and restores the subsidence ponds formed by coal mining, dredges and diverts water to form lakes and wetlands, and uses artificial wetland to reshape the self-purification and self-sustaining water ecosystem. Sponge facilities are arranged throughout the park. The buildings in the park absorb rainwater through the roof garden, and are equipped with sewage self-treatment facilities, which are connected to the water purification wetland for purification, to ensure that the rainwater in the park is not discharged and the sewage is 100% reused. Bursting with designed native plants with water conservation and soil stabilization functions, the park highlights the natural and ecological stability of forest structure. Perennial and drought tolerant flower species are filled in the trail curbs and forest edges to create low-maintenance and self-sustaining plant communities. Relying on the restored ecological foundation and anticipating the functional transformation post-expo, the functional spaces are designed. The sustainable facilities include children’s playgrounds enrich daily local life in the future. Inheriting the essence of Chinese landscape garden characteristics and showcasing gardening skills and artisan spirit, Traditional wooden architectural structure assembling with innovative thermal insulation materials and ancillary structures guarantee long-term and sustainable utilization post-Expo.

This award celebrates creativity and innovation in the use of practical, aesthetic, horticultural, and environmentally sustainability components, taking into account climate, site and orientation, site drainage and irrigation, human and vehicular access, furnishings and lighting.
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