China Is Building The World’s First Migratory ‘Bird Airport’

The avian airport will offer sanctuary to the more than 50 million birds who journey along the East Asian-Australian Flyway each year.

Credit: McGregor Coxall

While most modern architecture encroaches on wildlife habitats, the world’s first migratory ‘bird airport’ – to be built in Lingang, China – will do the exact opposite. Designed by McGregor Coxall, the wetland bird airport is to be constructed where a landfill is presently situated and will offer sanctuary to more than 50 million birds each year as they journey from the Antarctic along the East Asian-Australian Flyway (EAAF).

Reportedly, 1 in 5 globally endangered waterbirds presently uses the EAAF, and coastal urbanization continues to make the route increasingly dangerous. It’s for this reason that the Port of Tianjin sent out a call for international designers to design a wetland sanctuary for the migration birds. McGregor Coxall was one of many architecture firms who responded.

The design includes 60 hectares of wetland park which allows birds to stop, refuel and breed on their way through the flyway. To keep the park as eco-friendly as possible, renewable energy will be utilized to irrigate the wetlands with recycled water and harvested rain, reports Inhabitat.

CEO and lead designer of the firm, Adrian McGregor, commented:

“The earth’s bird flyways are a wonder of the natural world. The proposed Bird Airport will be a globally significant sanctuary for endangered migratory bird species whilst providing new green lungs for the city of Tianjin.”

Credit: McGregor Coxall

Not only will birds benefit from the wetland airport, residents from the nearby city of Tianjin will also reap positive repercussions from the installation. For example, because the green infrastructure calls for plenty of park space, citizens will have access to a walking and cycling path along a 7 km web of recreational urban forest trails.

The first-of-its-kind airport will be completed by 2018, with construction beginning at the end of this year. Following are some photos of project:

Credit: McGregor Coxall

Credit: McGregor Coxall

Credit: McGregor Coxall

Credit: McGregor Coxall

Credit: McGregor Coxall

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