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Chongqing Cliff Trail Won Gold in Paris Design Awards 2022

By RAN ZHENGICHONGQING|Feb 21,2022

Chongqing- The Chongqing Cliff Trail, designed by T.Y.LIN international ltd (China), won the gold medal of Paris Design Awards 2022 in the international environmental design category.

The Paris Design Award serves as a global and multicultural competition award, where L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, the temporary hit artwork for Paris, has also been awarded the gold medal.

The blueprint of the Cliff Trail Park of Chongqing.

The blueprint of the Cliff Trail Park of Chongqing. (photo provided to iChongqing)

People-based design concept

Begining in a residential area and zigzags, winding up by the cliff, crossing through parks and protected green areas, Chongqing Cliff Trail is located at the Dadukou District, where it creates a beautiful space to enjoy the beauty of the city and the river, and a colorful jog or cycleway to exercise.

The old mountain trail was not accessible to the disabled because many steps could only be walked on foot.

“The terrain height difference in Chongqing inspired us a lot of in creation,” said Yang Jing, the project manager and the manager of the landscape section of T.Y.LIN International Ltd. “The distance between the urban area of Dadukou and riverside road is a drop of more than 60 meters, with many scenic spots scattered, citizens need to detour a long distance to reach riverside.”

Trails with ramps winding the cliff line.

Trails with ramps winding the cliff line. (Photo/Visual Chongqing)

The newly renovated trail is 44 kilometers long in total, while the main cycle section is 6300 meters, connecting the historic town, parks, renovated industry site, and districts with 16 focus points and 22 entrances. People can enter this area from all directions and explore views from different angles.

It has combined land development with trails and commercial buildings, integrating it with other various types of business areas. This provides easy access from different locations so the public can freely enter and pass through whether in wheelchairs, pushchairs, or able body runners and joggers.

Urban memory preservation

The people-based design concept considers not only the physical needs of people but special mental needs as the fundamental guidance.

Half a century ago, Dadukou District was set up to develop Chongqing Iron & Steel Group Co. Ltd, which local people referred to as Chonggang. This “Ten Mile Steel City” along the Yangtze River once is an important national steel industry base.

The locals in Dadukou District have a deep bond with Chonggang; they have witnessed the prosperity of Chonggang and relocation due to environmental protection.

“During the research phase, we found that the locals have a deep bond with Chonggang. So, we especially displayed the culture of Chonggang through sculpture and painting on the trail, such as putting some real machine tools and displays to tell its history,” said Yang. 

The mainline trails are 4 meters wide, and the grey represents calmness, the red represents vitality, Dadukou District, Chongqing. (photo provided to iChongqing)

The first cliff online aerobic zone

The trail is the first online aerobic zone in Chongqing.

It connects high-quality resources for commerce, tourism, residences, and parks, including the Chongqing Industrial Museum, Yidu’s Ancient City, Jiugong Temple Area, and Jingke’s Commercial Centre and commercial resource links.

The blueprint of the Cliff Trail Park of Chongqing. (photo provided to iChongqing)

The blueprint of the Cliff Trail Park of Chongqing. (photo provided to iChongqing)

The design considers the aesthetic, characteristics, sustainability, and biodiversity by using color-permeable concrete and local composite materials as the mainstays. It also removes and rebuilds the monotonous and destructive ecosystem by using a variety of all-season interesting local plants.

It considers the geographical advantages and makes all efforts to create the trail as a historic museum responding to the sequence of the development, integrating the green vitality with leisure and health transformation to create a characteristic scenic vista.

Without any steps, the new landscape cliff trail serves as the first trail running along the cliff and overlooks the river. 

Design challenges

Chongqing’s geological characteristics are rich in variety. Rivers flow across the complicated terrain, undulating hills, and steep slopes in several places. Building roads and bridges is a huge challenge.

It is a big challenge to install the trail with a maximum gradient of 8% ( according to Chinese Cycle Way Regulations). The problem is solved by installing curves and winding sections.

There are mounds of construction surrounding the plots, including defensive tunnels, high slope walls, high-standing steps, municipal roads, and other large projects. The design and construction team solved these technical issues smoothly.

The project design includes professionals from the following fields: Landscape Architect, Civic Engineer, Architect, Soil Scientist, Biologists, Geologists, and other specialists.

“Chongqing has planned 60 characteristic mountain trails for the urban renewal project. The Chongqing Cliff Trail is one of them. This trail reflected the characteristics of the mountain city, Chonggang, and ancient towns,” said Zhang Min, an official of Dadukou District.

Last year, the “Chongqing as a China Top Outdoor Sports Destination” Map series was launched. 

“This trial is the first cliff line runway in Chongqing and is located in the Yangtze River Culture and Art Bay area. We welcome runners from all over the world to come to enjoy the view,” Zhang added.

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