CAMBRIDGE, MASS.–BASED Chan Krieger Sieniewicz (CKS) has won a two-stage international competition to redevelop a 1.8-kilometer-long section of Shanghai, China's Bund waterfront along the Huangpu River. This section of shoreline is opposite the Pudong district, where towers are proliferating at a furious pace. “Our project links the past to the future,” says CKS project director Liang Zhao. “On the one side, you have 1930s banks and institutional buildings. On the other, you have 21st century skyscrapers,” says Zhao.

Today, a promenade atop a levee and 10-lane highway separates the riverfront from the city; the city's effort to relocate the highway underground provided the opportunity for the redevelopment. “Our work focuses on the area between the promenade and the existing buildings,” says Zhao.

The CKS scheme proposes connections between the existing promenade, the city, and the waterfront through bridges, landscaping, and a new boulevard with a wide median. Reducing on-grade traffic to four lanes will create a better pedestrian experience. Aesthetically deficient underpasses will be replaced by more urbane street crossings along the boulevard.

Individual places are proposed as sites for new activities and programming. These include a viewing tower, a community park, a 200-meter-long floating “barge park,” and a pedestrian bridge. Folded landscape planes help mitigate the topographic challenges of the site. Pavilions appear between the folds, while the landscaped areas become relaxed green places for picnicking and ad hoc recreation.

The design is part of extensive urban redevelopments that the rapidly expanding city is implementing for the Shanghai 2010 Expo. Collaborating with CKS on the design are Klopfer Martin Design Group and Beijing Urbanscape Co.