PWP worked with architect Gen Kato, politicians, and federal engineers and planners to create a master plan for the redevelopment of an abandoned rail yard fronting on the Chu-Betsu River. The design includes an urban park based on the flood patterns of the river: to the west an enclosed lagoon and to the east an “ecological stairway,” which consists of a series of broad terraced steps with low stone walls. Native riparian vegetation occupies each terrace with species specifically selected to survive the predicted level of flooding—at the top, cultivated wet-meadow grasses; in the middle, hardier sedges and reeds; at the bottom, shrubs such as willow. The design of the stairway assures that plants survive the floods and topsoil is retained.
The master plan also proposes a new shoreline freeway that lies above flood levels and a series of bridges for pedestrian and bicycle connections. The urban grid is connected to the park by extending city-street plantings into the park as allées.