The Tianjin Mingzhong Development aims to revitalize an underutilized 11-city block area currently occupied by outdated automobile-related services. This new mixed-use development proposes similar uses dedicated to the automobile, in addition to high-rise residential, retail, office, entertainment, recreational and hospitality functions. A large central green park gradually lifts up in the middle of the site, extending over building roofs to create a natural open space with various recreational amenities. To the west of the site, an indoor/outdoor movie theater, retail, restaurants, and hotel activate the streetscape and invite pedestrians to gather along the lively storefronts and plazas. To the north, facing the central green, lies a high-rise residential district and to the east, further residential towers surround a lake.
In an effort to offset the known negative consequences to having a “car culture”: air and noise pollution, congestion, and the demise of coherent urban centers; the design of the site is based on sustainable principles and methods of mitigation. In addition to reusing displaced earth to reduce urban heat-island effects and storm-water runoff, the Green Park provides a living laboratory and testing ground for future technologies that can help reduce air pollution, and produce fuel that may one day power our cars and buildings. Through the use of nanowire trees, it produces the hydrogen used in hydrogen fuel cell cars, with water as its only byproduct. Algae devices onsite that extract CO2 and then produce oxygen and bio-fuel, can also purify the air. The Green Park will stand out as a case study in ecological stewardship and promotion of quality of life.