Nurturing nature in a mega-city: a decadal assessment of the Beijing Olympic Forest Park

In this article, we showcase the Beijing Olympic Forest Park (BOFP), a large-scale urban park developed as part of the green infrastructure to support the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The BOFP represents an example of using strategically-placed and well-designed public open spaces to relieve stresses from high-density living in compact urban areas. Drawing from first-hand information from leading planners and designers, we present the ideas rooted in Chinese culture and environmental aesthetics that have inspired the overall layout of the park. Anchoring itself at the northern end of the city’s central axis, BOFP takes on the Chinese Shan-Shui Landscape layout and integrates into its design many elements of cultural significance. We then explain the park’s design elements inspired by Frederick Law Olmsted and his sons and modern construction technologies informed by ecological science. Through an extensive review of empirical studies, we evaluate the park’s performance in social and environmental aspects and identify areas in need of improvements. We suggest that the BOFP manifests a successful fusion of quintessence from both the western and eastern landscape fields. It illustrates an application of a culturally informed ecological approach to park siting, planning, and design, which has supported the park’s meaningful integration into its urban context and amplified its contributions to the city. Evidence cumulated through decadal evaluations of the park’s performance has revealed the accomplishments of this transformative place-making approach for both nature and people.



Work Title Nurturing nature in a mega-city: a decadal assessment of the Beijing Olympic Forest Park
Open Access
  1. Hong Wu
  2. Yizhao Yang
  3. Jie Hu
  1. Place-making
  2. Landscape performance
  3. Shan-Shui landscape layout
  4. Culturally informed ecological approach
  5. Beijing Olympic Forest Park
  6. China
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Socio-Ecological Practice Research
Publication Date April 13, 2021
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited July 25, 2022




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added Wu_et_al._-_2021_-_Nurturing_nature_in_a_mega-city_a_decadal_assessm.pdf
  • Added Creator Hong Wu
  • Added Creator Yizhao Yang
  • Added Creator Jie Hu
  • Published
  • Updated Keyword, Publication Date Show Changes
    • Place-making, Landscape performance, Shan-Shui landscape layout, Culturally informed ecological approach, Beijing Olympic Forest Park, China
    Publication Date
    • 2021-01-01
    • 2021-04-13