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Asian Development Bank

50 climate solutions from cities in the People's Republic of China

In less than a year, the city of Wuhan has transformed over 50 ha of a closed landfill into a garden for city residents to enjoy, improving life in the city and solving pollution challenges.

The closed Jinkou landfill in Wuhan caused pollution, which natural degradation would have taken decades to remove, affecting not only the environment but also the more than 100,000 residents in nearby areas. To restore this wasteland more efficiently, the city began an aerobic ecological restoration project. Not only does it alleviate risks of long-term safety issues from pollutants and eliminate the threat of methane explosions, this project also restores more than 50 ha of land for city landscaping. Proving that even the most polluted areas can become ecological havens, this former landfill site hosted the International Garden Expo in 2015.


The restoration process, which began in 2014, introduced proper planting techniques, diverse plant species, and measures to improve the soil, aiming to promote continuity of the fundamental ecological system. The project ties in with Wuhan’s general urban planning scheme to improve the quality of the city’s ecological environment and enhance sustainable urban development, and eventually become a National Garden City, which is a title the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development grants to Chinese cities focusing on green, sustainable initiatives.

The landfill underwent revitalization, maximizing land resource values to become the unique green garden it is today (photo by Hongmin Dong).

The Challenge

Natural degradation of pollutant from the Jinkou landfill would have taken at least 30 years, and restoration through excavation measures is very costly. To solve the issue, Wuhan restored the landfill and the surrounding environment by using aerobic ecological restoration, thereby ensuring that the land is reutilized for enjoyable purposes.


Economic  The project saved CNY829 million by using aerobic ecological restoration compared with conventional restoration methods.

Health Restoring the landfill site ensures reduced air pollution for more than 100,000 people living in close proximity to the landfill.

Social The new ecological park improves the quality of life for the citizens of Wuhan, and promotes economic and social development in the surrounding areas.