Jiangdong New District, Hainan Island

From a dense urban development with a devastated coastal eco-system to a resilient, ecologically sensitive city. The masterplan for the Jiangdong New District in the Chinese tropical island of Hainan reconnects the island’s population to the water and preserves a particularly sensitive gem, China’s largest mangrove forest.

Decades of large-scale, often unplanned urban development and agricultural activities have degraded beaches, coastal wetlands and riverfront areas across Hainan. Pollution, flooding and dried up rivers have broken people’s daily interaction with water.

As the island shifts to free trade zone status, the government has appointed Hassell and UPDIS to envision the masterplan for Jiangdong in Hainan’s capital city of Haikou – a sustainable, flexible and organic new town with water at its heart – and an exemplar for the island.

Our masterplan reconnects Jiangdong’s waterways into five major water corridors, bringing wetlands into the city and managing flood discharge. These corridors will become waterfront destinations, with a coastal wetland park and an eco-village to actively conserve and restore wildlife habitats while prioritising biological diversity.

By restoring and protecting the precious mangrove forest on the new district’s periphery, the masterplan offers a natural protective screen for the city.


Leading group of Jiangdong new area, Haikou, China (Hainan) free trade zone


Haikou, Hainan Island, China


In progress




300 sq km



Design team

Richard Mullane, Chuhan Zhang, Xiaoli Zhao, Liu Yang, Jennifer Gonzalez, Yiwen Tang, Chris Kelly


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