Landscape Architecture - Honours

Regeneration of Yuhua Coal Mine

Abandoned coal mines have resulted in serious negative ecological and socio-cultural effects globally, negatively affecting ecosystems (both non-human and human). Yuhua Coal Mine (Yintai District, Tongchuan City, Shaanxi Province) is located in the Jin-Shan-Meng-Ning Zone of China (a national major distribution region of coal-resource) (Cheng, Ning, & Yuan, 2011, p. 7). Due to the industrial structure adjustment policy of Great Western Development Strategy (the Government of People’s Republic of China, 2001), Yuhua Coal Mine has been closed and abandoned in order to respond the call of sustainable development. However, air pollution caused by solid mine waste, contaminated soil & water resulted from remained heavy-metal elements, and changed landform by mining process within the site are all belong to the crucial problems that people have to face up (Li et al., 2014). Moreover, due to the closure of Yuhua Coal Mine, the GDP of that region has hardly increased, and the population loss rate has become relatively high (TTJ Shaanxi, 2021). Therefore, this project is aiming to mitigate these negative ecological and socio-cultural effects of abandoned Yuhua Coal Mine by regenerating it into a summer resort with the unique coal mining field culture by establishing a healthy ecosystem and vitalizing the remained industrial elements, which could not only provide an ideal place for visitors to enjoy the cool summer and experience the coal mining culture but also mitigate the local negative ecological issues, as well as provide employment opportunities and attract investments in order to improve the local economy and to retain the local population.

timeline of overall tactics & phases

Phase 1

— Dismantle the existing pavements and buildings within the demolition areas but also remain some of them for future transformation design.

Recycle of Mine Waste

Recycle the accumulated coal gangue into fertilizer and filling material— deal with the spontaneous combustion of coal gangue.
Smash the gangues in Gangue Accumulation Area into small particles, divide the gangue particles into Part A & Part B.

Part A—Composting (for utilization in Phase 3)
Add superphosphate, activating additive, and water into the gangue particles to make fertilizer (coal gangue will not able to ignite spontaneously in this condition). This type of fertilizer is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, which could support the growth of vegetation (Ye, 2017). Compost bins could be applied to contain this mixed material.

Part B— Filler Making (for utilization in Phase 3)
Add cement, sands, fly ash into the gangue particles to make filler (add water before use), which is a common solution to goaf stowing (coal gangue will not able to ignite spontaneously in this condition) (CCAU, 2019). Containers could be applied to contain this mixed material to wait for use.

phase 2


The bare factory plants are painted different colors on the rooftop and are added wall paintings in coal mining theme, and the art posters related to coal mining are hanging on the connecting corridors. These elements form an outdoor industrial art exhibition and make the block area rich and colorful. There are Museum of Yuhua Coal Mine, café in coal mining theme, etc., within the factory plants for visitors to experience the coal mining culture of the site.

Provided Jobs: museum docent, barista, waiter/waitress, installer, cleaner… (provide training)
Attracted Investments: cafe, museum…

Potential event during the day: Summer Farm Market.
Selling native summer fruits by nearby villagers who were unemployed due to the closure of Yuhua Coal Mine.

Provided Job: sales
Attracted Investment: fruit plantation
Potential event at night: Outdoor Movie event.
Visitors could watch movies of coal mining subject.

Provided job for unemployed nearby villagers: movie projectionist (provide training)

water purification

Dig 3 purification ponds to purify the highly acidic polluted water within the pit lake.

Pond A: Physical purification. Installed filter 1: fine grilles with resin balls to adsorb the heavy-metal elements within the water
Pond B: Chemical purification. Add iron salt (FeSO4) in water to further remove heavy-metal elements within the water (precipitate could be taken out).
Pond C: Biological purification. Installed filter 2: biological film (fungus & algae) to finally adsorb heavy-metal elements.

(theory from 360Library, 2016)

Lookout Point Construction

Construct 2 lookout points with a sightseeing vehicle road connecting the Cultural & Creative Block Area, allowing visitors to see the original coal mine before the design in this early phase.

phase 3

Soil Treatment

Adding fly ash into the contaminated soil could adsorb the toxic heavy-metal elements within it (Ge, 2015, pp. 40-42).
> Step1: remove the covered tailings on the top of the soil and apply fly ash into the soil.
> Step2: add a layer of healthy soil with fertilizer (made in Phase1) onto the original soil.

Glass Skywalk

Allow visitors to walk above and look down at the special topographical landform view of the previous coal mining spot to experience the coal mining culture. The transparent glass skywalk not only provides a good view of the underneath landform but also makes this journey breathtaking enough (offers a special cool/refreshment to visitors).

Terraced Field of Herbal Medicine

Terraced Field area is transformed from part of Sunken Exposed Rock Stratum area where could plant herbal medicine with effect of clearing away the heat (reflect the local culture of herbal medicine plantation & the site feature of summer resort), visitors could experience herb picking here. The filling material made in Phase 1 is used to elevate the ground level of each rock stratum, then place a layer of clay for isolation purpose, and add a layer of healthy soil with fertilizer made in Phase 1 to support the growth of herbal medicine.

Provided jobs: growers, groundkeeper, maintenance crews, herb docent… (provide training)
Attracted Investment: herbal medicine plantation

phase 4

— Build the hotel and lakeside restaurant
Provide infrastructures for visitors to ensure they could stay longer within the site to fully enjoy the cool summer and experience the coal mining culture.
Provided Jobs: hotel manager, receptionist, cleaner, chef, waiter/waitress… (provide training)
Attracted Investment: hotel investment, restaurant investment…

— Site Internal Path Construction and Completion

— Vegetation Planting in Open Green Space
Plant shade trees along the path to provide shade and potential rest spaces for visitors.
Provided Jobs: vegetation maintenance crews… (provide training)

— Herbal Medicine Processing Centre
Transform the southern factory plants into herbal medicine processing centre where could process the herbal medicine planted in terraced field into herbal tea to allow visitors to taste. Wooden deck and shelters are installed outdoors, providing comfortable space for visitors to enjoy the herbal tea with the effect of clearing away the heat.
Provided Jobs: skilled worker of herbal medicine processing, manager, waiter/waitress, receptionist, docent, cleaner… (provide training)
Attracted Investment: institution of herbal medicine processing

wetland zone

Transformed from 3 purification ponds, planting with different species of aquatic plants (i.e., sweet flag, common reed, lotus plant) showed the vitality of place after regeneration in contrast with its previous polluted industrial condition. The boardwalk is installed above the wetland, allowing visitors to access it and immerse themselves in massive of beautiful aquatic plants.

Provided Jobs: vegetation maintenance crews… (provide training)

Diving Area

Transformed from purified pit lake. Several abandoned coal mining equipment is placed under the water to form an underwater-industrial-scape for visitors to explore while they dive. The terraced landform underwater is also caused by coal mining, visitors could observe and touch it during diving.

Provided Jobs: diving instructor, security staff… (provide training)

Sightseeing Electric Train

Transformed from remained minecarts within the site. A railway and several stops will also be added. Visitors could enjoy the scenery of the site on the train and take off when arriving at the destination (act as a shuttle bus), as well as experience the coal mining culture.

Provided Jobs: electric train driver, ticket collector… (provide training)

Ruiqi Huang

Ruiqi is a 4th year graduating student from Xi’an, China, and is passionate about landscape architecture design. She has a strong ability for self-learning and wishes to build a healthy natural environment as well as to improve the life quality of human beings through her design.