Open Call: International Competition for Conceptual Design of the Greenway around Xili Lake (Phase I)

Bureau of Public Works of Nanshan District, Shenzhen Municipality
Wednesday March 8, 2023

I. Project Background

The construction of the Greenway around Xili Lake is an important part of implementing President Xi Jinping’s thought on ecological civilization, applying the green development spirit of the 20th National Congress, firmly establishing the concept that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets, and building a beautiful and healthy China; it is also a powerful measure to deepen the construction of ecological civilization in Shenzhen, optimize the urban natural landscape pattern, let the public enjoy the green ecological well-being, and promote the green and coordinated development of the city.

In Shenzhen Municipal Government Work Report (2022), it clearly states that Shenzhen will build a first-class livable city, construct a park city, implement the "Mountain-Sea-City Connection Plan", and connect the urban ecological structure of "one ridge, one belt and twenty corridors".

As a typical high-density mega-city, greenways in Shenzhen are of great significance in promoting the integration of ecological, living and production space and building a healthy living environment. The greenway construction needs to firmly grasp the new situation, new mission, and new requirements, from the perspective of the whole area and all elements, respect the authenticity of natural ecology, adhere to the people-centered principle, carry out overall planning and layout based on the requirements of land space governance, build a whole-area greenway network interweaving the blue and green, clearly define the overall construction and management requirements and recent greenway construction plans, accelerate the realization of the construction goal of building 10-thousand-kilometer greenway network in Shenzhen, promote the greenway construction with high standards and quality, create greenways that highlight the mountain-sea resources and urban characteristics of Shenzhen and represent the “Shenzhen Brand”, give full play to Shenzhen’s demonstration and leading role in greenway construction and management as a high-density city, and help Shenzhen build a beautiful and livable park city. 

Xili Reservoir, also known as Xili Lake, located in the northern area of Nanshan District and at the southern foot of Yangtai Mountain in Shenzhen, is a source reservoir for drinking water to millions of people in Nanshan and Bao’an districts, and has the functions of flood control and water source regulation and storage. Also, it is the water transfer hub of the East River Water Source Project in Shenzhen, which belongs to the urban drinking water source conservation area.

Xili Lake ranked first among “lakes and rivers” in the early development of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, surrounded by Kylin Villa, Wildlife Zoo, Xili Golf and Country Club and so on, making it the earliest resort in Shenzhen. In 2003, after nearly 20 years of development, its function as an area for higher education was becoming more and more mature in Xili Area, gathering Tsinghua University, Peking University, HIT, SUSTECH, Shenzhen University and other universities. In 2019, the area was upgraded again. Aiming to become a world-class science and education city, Xili Lake International Science and Education Town has been expanded with the construction of Shibilong, Yanqing River, Baishiling, Liuxiandong headquarters bases, Xili HSR New City and other areas.Project Location

Project Location

II. Design Contents

The overall route of the greenway project encircles Xili Lake, along Shahe West Road, Xili Lake Road, Qinyuan Road and other municipal roads, and across Lishui River, Baimang River, Makan River, Dakan River, Yanqing River and other rivers, with a total length of about 15km. The greenway length included in this competition scope is about 12km, and the project investment is about 1.2 billion yuan in RMB (excluding the demonstration section). Construction of the demonstration section (it starts by connecting with Yanqing River Greenway, and then passes through Kylin Villa and Zijing Villa to Xili Reservoir Management Office, with a total length of 3.75km) has already been commenced and is not included in this Competition, but should be considered as a whole in the design process.

Worke Scope

Work Scope of the Greenway around Xili Lake

There are three levels of work scope included in this International Competition, and it requires the development of a comprehensive conceptual design proposal that is creative and can guide the implementation.

1. Conceptual Planning

Analyze and interpret the project, and put forward the conceptual design proposal for the greenway masterplanning, including planning connection, project positioning, design concept, landscape structure, crowd analysis, activity planning, ecosystem, water source protection, planting planning, traffic connection, facility layout, operation and maintenance, phased development, and project investment, etc.

2. Route Selection and Design of the Greenway

Refine the thematic characteristics by sections, and comprehensively consider the route-selection path, road width, color/material, vertical slope, section form, structural pattern, and connection mode of each section, specifically design the supporting facilities, signage system, urban furniture and facade style along the route, so as to create a barrier-free, age-sharing high-quality greenway around the lake.

3. Detailed Node Design

According to the planning and analysis of current situation, carry out detailed design for the landscape nodes along the route, including conceptual ideas, plan layout, traffic organization, planting design, buildings/structures, etc. The node design should consider the ecology first and be people-oriented, fully excavate the local culture and coordinate with the area features, and the engineering solution should be feasible.

III. Competition Rules

The Competition will be announced through the website of Shenzhen Center for Design and other media, and is open to design teams worldwide.

Prequalification: Design teams will be required to submit corresponding registration documents (including the commercial documents and the concept proposal) pursuant to the Competition Rules and the Design Brief. Five design teams (including consortia) and two alternative design teams (including consortia) will be selected through a prequalification meeting to participate in the subsequent conceptual design.

Conceptual design: After the five selected design teams (including consortia) have submitted their conceptual design proposals, a Design Evaluation Panel will be legally established by the Host, consisting of nationally or internationally renowned experts in landscape, architecture, urban planning, etc., and the Host’s representative(s). The Design Evaluation Panel will discuss and compare the five design proposals submitted, and then select and recommend the top three to the Host.

Design finalization: With full respect to the evaluation comments of the Design Evaluation Panel and taking into account the specific circumstances of project implementation, the Host will determine the final winning proposal and the specific ranking in accordance with relevant procedures.

IV.  Timetable


Feb. 17, 2023 Release of the competition announcement and the announced version of design brief

Mar. 3, 2023 Submission of registration information

Mar. 8, 2023 Submission of the hardcopy and softcopy of registration documents

Mar. 10, 2023 Prequalification on the registration submitted by applicants, and selection of 5 shortlisted design teams and 2 alternatives

Mar. 11, 2023 Announcement of the prequalification results and release of the official version of design brief

Conceptual Design

Mar. 16, 2023 Site visit and Q&A

Early April, 2023 Mid-term communication (if needed)

May 11, 2023 Submission of design proposals

May 12, 2023 Design evaluation meeting

May, 2023 Finalization

Note: The above timetable adopts Beijing time and is subject to adjustment by the Host.

V. Relevant Fees

The relevant fees (tax included) of the Competition are set as follows:

First prize: with the award of RMB Two Million Yuan (¥2,000,000);

Second prize: with the award of RMB One Million Six Hundred Thousand Yuan  (¥1,600,000);

Third-fifth prize: each with the award of RMB Eight Hundred Thousand Yuan (¥800,000).

Note: 1. The project is planned to be implemented in the near future. The Host and the Construction Agent will then assess the design team's ability to undertake the design detailing and invite the team to provide services for any detailing work deemed necessary by the Host and the Construction Agent in conjunction with the assessment results.

2. If the first-place winner has outstanding design capability and good design coordination, the Host and the Construction Agent will consider inviting this design team to provide design services for the subsequent engineering plan.

3. The prize money of RMB 2 million yuan awarded to the first place winner in the Competition will be deducted from the design fee of the subsequent tender for the general design contractor.

VI. Registration Requirements and Method

1. Registration Requirements

Open registration is adopted worldwide. No threshold in terms of qualification certificates is set. All local and international design teams are eligible for the registration. Design Consortia are acceptable.

(1)Joint participation of outstanding design firms in various disciplines is encouraged. In view of the complexity of this project, it is recommended that the design team be composed of landscape, architecture, urban planning, ecology and other professionals or consultants, with the chief designer taking the lead and the professionals and consultants having corresponding working experience and project experience.

(2)Each consortium should have no more than 3 members (including the leading party).

(3)The design team shall provide the corporate registration certificate, design license certificate or relevant documents of the same effect. Design firms headed by the same individual or whose shares are directly held by the same individual/have a direct holding relation are not allowed to separately register for the Competition at the same time. 

(4)Members of consortia should meet the following requirements:

  1. Members of a consortium are not allowed to register twice for the Competition by their own name or via another consortium in the name of another firm.

  2. The members should sign a legally effective Consortium Agreement, and specify the division of work between the members, and the proportion of design fee, etc. 

(5)The chief designer directing the project and specialty consultants shall attend the milestone presentation meetings. Should the chief designer present during the Competition be inconsistent with the one specified in the registration documents, the Host has the right to disqualify the team from the shortlist and competition.

(6)Individuals and teams of individuals are not acceptable.

2. Requirements of Registration Documents

The Competition requires the submission of both the commercial documents and the concept proposal for entry. Their contents are as follows (see the appendix: Competition Rules for detailed requirements):

(1)Contents of the Commercial Documents

The commercial documents shall be ten copies, with one signed and sealed original copy, nine duplicate copies, and their softcopy. The hardcopies of commercial documents shall be in A4 size (210mm×297mm), vertical, and not exceed 60 pieces of paper (print on both sides with the page number stopping at 120, excluding front and back covers, title page and table of contents). Preferred sequence of contents:

(a) Statement;

(b) Consortium Agreement;

(c) Business license or effective business registration documents;

(d) Profile of design firm;

(e) Company achievements;

(f) Resumes of the chief designer;

(g) Resumes of the core designers;

(h) Overview of the design team.

(2)Requirements of the Concept Proposal

The concept proposal mainly expresses the project understanding, analysis of key issues, preliminary ideas and referable cases in various forms with a mix of graphics and text. The proposal should include one original and nine duplicate copies made in A3 size (297mm×420mm) and horizontal, and one display poster in A0 size, vertical and anonymous, as well as their softcopy shall be submitted. The title page of the original copy should indicate the design team’s name and be affixed with the design team’s corporate stamp, while the duplicate copies and the display poster should not indicate any information or sign related to the design team (anonymous). The proposal’s content should not exceed 10 pages in A3 size (with the page number of the content stopping at 10, excluding front and back covers and title page).

3. Registration

(1)Design teams that are interested in this Competition should visit the website: or scan the following QR code to complete the registration information and submit by 16:00, Mar. 3, 2023.

(2)After successful registration, submit the hardcopies (including the commercial documents and the concept proposal), a display poster, and their softcopy in the form of a USB flash drive (2 copies in duplicate, including the scanned copy of the original sealed copy of the commercial documents and concept proposal, the unsealed editable copy of these documents, and the display poster). Design teams shall deliver the complete registration documents (including the commercial documents, concept proposal, display poster and their softcopy) in sealed package, which shall be marked with the project name and name of the design team, to Room D, 6/F, Block B, Building 10, Xingfuhai'an, Luotian Road, Xin'an Subdistrict, Bao'an District, Shenzhen, in person or by mail by 18:00, Mar. 8, 2023; contact person: Mr. Zhang, Tel:13631600111.

(3)The registration is subject to the receipt of the hardcopy. Any overdue registration documents will not be accepted.

VII. Organizers & Contact

Host: Bureau of Public Works of Nanshan District, Shenzhen Municipality

Construction Agent: China Resources (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.

Service Unit: Benecus Consultancy Limited

Contact: Mr. Zhang 13631600111   Ms. Zhou 13265572115

Email: [email protected]

VIII. Information Disclosur

All relevant information of the Competition is subject to that announced in the official website of Shenzhen Center for Design ( For more information, design teams can send an email request with the company name and contact details to [email protected].

Link to the current status:

Posted February 20, 2023

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