The sky is no longer the limit in Shanghai. With heavy metro construction planned for the next few years, Shanghai is looking to expand its current urban underground network immensely (10 million sq m/107 million sq ft by 2010). Shu Yu, deputy director of the Shanghai Urban Underground Space Development Institute, has revealed that local architects are working on developing China’s first underground park. Architects will landscape one of Shanghai’s existing underground shopping malls or pedestrian walkthroughs and complete the park in three years. The park is set to cover hundreds of square meters and eventually look like a small forest with winding streams.

“Green areas will be extended from the ground to the walls and ceilings of the subterranean structure, and some indoor plants, such as the broadleaf bracket-plant, will also be used.” In addition to being “ a relaxing and comfortable environment,” the park will help clean Shanghai’s air.

Still in the initial planning stages, specific details as to how the city will maintain plant life below ground are still in question. As the China Daily reports, they are considering using an above ground sunlight receiver to capture the sun’s rays and a below ground transmitter which will disperse sunlight through optical fibers. They also plan to use tubes to carry water directly to the roots of the plants.


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  1. fiona July 3, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    there r roof parks nowadays….dun feel silly eber..

  2. eber June 14, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    Why not just have the buildings underground, and the parks on top? Or maybe I’m just being silly….?

  3. Sep June 14, 2007 at 7:43 am

    This might actually work, but why not call it Botanical Gardens and make something Shanghai doesn’t have like dry desert. It would be easier to maintain than a wild fungus park, that would result from a typical Shanghai park when it’s moved underground.

  4. Micah June 14, 2007 at 2:45 am

    Oh, and in answer to rek, the park would be a part of the main subway station to receive visitors to the World Expo being held in Shanghai in 2010.

  5. Micah June 14, 2007 at 2:44 am

    When this was reported on in the Chinese media, city officials were very non-commital. So far it sounds like it’s just a wild idea coming out of the Ivory Tower.

  6. rek June 13, 2007 at 12:41 am

    What is the point of an underground park where the sky is just 5 feet overhead and everything has to be artificially lit and watered? Wouldn’t a city-wide roof park make more sense?

  7. Tyler June 12, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    It seems to me that the cost of such intensive underground infrastructure (water, light) would be extremely taxing on the economy. Also, I’m curious as to what type of wildlife would venture beneath the surface to call the park their home. Just imagine flocks of migrating birds sandwiched between you and a fiber optic dotted cement ceiling. Odd…

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