The bringing back to the surface of a river which in past centuries crossed the city centre of Zhogshan, China is the singular experiment to which the pages of this publication are dedicated. It is the result of international cooperation between several Italian universities (Pescara, Venice and Ascoli) and the Local Planning Institute. The Jiu Qu River Renewal Project has become a large urban project, in which the rastoration of the architectural heritage from the past and the demolition of less significant buildings have been used together to generate new settlement arrangements and sustainable infrastructure. The objective is to create a vital, attractive area of the city, endowed with notable figurative and symbolic values. The way our memories of antiquity entwine with expressions of contemporaneity and the layers of settlement with the morphologies of a modernity which is attentive to relationships with the context, represents the main theme of an experience in which Italian knowhow in the field or urban regeneration is put to the test ub ab exceptional context, on a scale that is unusual chen compared to Europan cities.