TongZhou Model Ecological Park
TongZhou, China

In collaboration with the Beijing Planning Bureau, Betsy has worked on projects for ecological model plans and designs for numerous places. The first was for TongZhou, a town of less than a million with a planned population of more than 3 million, whose water supply is already too little per capita. In the plan, all the water is recycled and cleaned through a biological system which include solar aquatics and wetland aeration.

1500 years ago TongZhou was a thriving port town that received by ship goods from the south and delivered them to Beijing. At that time, a pagoda was built at the confluence of the major rivers to honor the economic well being and serve as a beacon to the ships. The city is no longer a port town and most of the waterways have disappeared. However, inside the city park is the pagoda, remnants of the city wall, and water bodies which were once integral to the survival of TongZhou. The design problem is to create a sustainable model in a region where there is insufficient water. Solution: All used water must be recycled. Our plan includes three water collecting sites near the central park and the use of existing water bodies to clean, store and distribute water. It is not clear that this plan will be implemented, but it is a very solid example of contemporary, sustainable planning.