The first sod on the Jiangsu–Victoria Sponge City Innovation Park was turned in the City of Kunshan (in China) on 10 April 2018. The Hon. Richard Wynne MP (Victorian Government Minister for Planning) and Tony Wong (CEO for the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities) joined other dignitaries from China and Victoria for the event.

L to R: Karen Surmon (Trade Commissioner and Commercial Consul, Shanghai), Tony Wong (CEO, CRC for Water Sensitive Cities), Zhou Jichun (Deputy Director, Kunshan Hi-Tech Zone), Glen Brandum (Adviser to the Hon. Richard Wynne MP), He Lingjun (Deputy Head of Urban Development, Jiangsu Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development), Graeme Meehan (Australian Consul General, Shanghai), Chen Haodong (Deputy Director, Jiangsu Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development), the Hon. Richard Wynne MP (Minister for Planning, Victorian Government), Xu Minzhong (Vice Mayor, Kunshan Government), Lisa Renkin (Deputy Commissioner for Greater China, Victorian Government), Xu Feihu (Jiangsu Foreign Affairs Office), Christine Wyatt (Department Secretary, Victorian Government Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning), Shi Jiangang (Director, Kunshan Bureau of Housing and Urban-Rural Development).

The Innovation Park is a 10 hectare site that will exhibit cutting edge water sensitive infrastructure and technology, with facilities for validating emerging sponge city technologies and products. The CRC for Water Sensitive Cities and our partners will lead the park’s development and master planning, and undertake infrastructure, landscape and building concept designs that will showcase CRCWSC innovation at both building and public open space scale.

See what we’ve got planned for the park in our flythrough video. These are some of the innovative features:

  • The recirculation wetland manages water quality and keeps water moving in the adjoining polder canal.
  • The riparian ecotone establishes the exemplar template of how a riparian zone can be restored. It shows the diversity of ecological transition from aquatic, deep marsh and shallow marsh to terrestrial plants.
  • The central median biofilter shows how the streetscape will capture road runoff for stormwater attenuation and pollution reduction.
  • The nutrient recovery glass house will produce nursery plants irrigated using nutrient-rich recycled water from the wastewater treatment facility.
  • The structure soil tree pit will provide sufficient quality soil volume for healthy tree roots and growth in an urban environment, as well as treat stormwater.
  • The swamp forest wetland will add a vertical dimension to the traditional stormwater wetland and provide visual screening for the overhead power lines.
  • Together, the sub-surface wetland and surface wetland will form an ecological landscape around the administration building precinct. It will also help to clean up the canal, which e black and odour problems.

The park is supported by Liveability Victoria International (within the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning) and Trade Victoria. We’ll keep you updated about progress as construction continues at the site.

Jiangsu—Victoria Sponge City Innovation Park – Flythrough