The southern Chinese city of Zhongshan is located in the growth region of the Pearl River Delta. Against the backdrop of the strong urbanization processes taking place in the region, a new urban area is planned in the district of Minzhong on an area of 42.5 km2. At the beginning of the project, there was an existing master plan for the development of the area with residential, commercial and industrial quarters as well as various neighbourhood centres. However, the planned quarters partly were located on near-natural areas with different degrees of protection status. Therefore, the aim of the project was to adapt the existing master plan to the natural conditions and to enable the integration of ecological functions into the urban space. For this purpose, an analysis of the natural spaces and the network between them as well as an examination of the degree of need for protection was carried out. The results were transferred to a spatial representation of the vulnerability of the natural spaces. Based on this, adaptations of the master plan according to the ecological aspects could be elaborated. This included a reduction of the planned area and an integration of ecological aspects into the areas to be urbanized. In addition, rules for the compensation of interventions in the ecology were established in the planning process. The adjustments included for example restoration areas for mangrove forest, flooding and retention areas and the spatial connection of green spaces. In addition, aspects of sustainability such as the “compact city” and fresh air corridors were included in the urban planning concept.