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China Daily / 2022-03 / 08 / Page020

Park city concept means green gets the go-ahead

By ZHANG DANDAN | China Daily | Updated: 2022-03-08 00:00

Chengdu embraces sustainable development for greater benefits

The government of Chengdu, a metropolis in Southwest China, has made solid gains in its endeavor to become a park city, expanding green spaces and opening up new opportunities for tourism and leisure, resulting in it topping the list of China's happiest cities for the past 13 years.

The park city concept was first introduced in 2018 and is aimed at sustainably improving the city's urban layout, environmental protection and industrial development.

The Jinjiang River that flows through Chengdu has been turned into a vibrant tourism and leisure destination following an extensive project to revamp the area. During this year's Lantern Festival, the city's Jinjiang riverside area teemed with people strolling the banks as sightseeing boats ferrying people along the river from one scenic spot to another.

Chengdu's strong connection with the Jinjiang River dates back to as early as Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties.

The strengthened and improved ecological management of the river forms part of the Chengdu government's ambitious plan of building the Tianfu Greenway-a huge connected expanse of green areas capable of being used for multiple functions, including various economic models such as markets, catering, exhibitions, shows, celebrations and accommodation.

So far this year, river cruise ships and routes, as well as interactive performances have all been upgraded, according to the government.

The cruise route, at a length of 5 kilometers along the Jinjiang, connects multiple scenic spots in Chengdu, including the Chengdu 339, a new business area for the modern service industry, and Hejiang Pavilion, a popular tourist attraction.

During the Spring Festival holiday (Jan 31 to Feb 6), many tourists from different provinces and local residents visited Chengdu's Jinjiang River.

"It was such an amazing experience," said one tourist from Hubei province surnamed Mei. "It reminded me of the famous poem, A Quatrain, by Du Fu."

The Tang Dynasty poet Du Fu lived in Chengdu and often wrote of the beauty of the city neighboring snow-topped mountains.

A Chengdu resident surnamed Zhang took his children to visit another tourist attraction-the "follow the scent" tourism route.

"I can see the scene viewed by Lu You, a poet from the Song Dynasty, with my own eyes here. I want to take my children to feel and get closer to the history and culture," Zhang said.

"From Qingyang Palace to Huanhuaxi, ranging several kilometers, the fragrance of plum blossom never stops" is the scene Lu described in Chengdu more than 800 years ago, depicting his feeling of traveling in the west of the city.

The "follow the scent" tourism route seeks to recreate the scene described in Lu's poem. The sightseeing route has greenway stretching for around 10 km, the length and route of which are similar to the description in Lu's poem, according to local government.

After two years of design and construction, the "follow the scent "route opened to the public during the Spring Festival that just passed.

The Tianfu Greenway will eventually stretch 16,930 km, consisting of forests, parks and public green spaces.

By the end of 2021, a total of 5,188 km of the Tianfu greenway had been built.

The greenway is aimed to help the city realize ecological protection and offer spaces for leisure tourism and sports. While providing residents with a better life experience, it helps the whole city form a green way of development and lifestyle, the government said.

In the east of the city, Chengdu Longquan Mountain Urban Forest Park is taking shape. In the middle of Chengdu, Jinjiang Park runs 48 km from north to south with the Jinjiang River intersecting it.

The ecological park around the city spans more than 10 districts and involves 133 square kilometers of ecological land, becoming a name card of Chengdu to the world. In the city's west, the Giant Panda National Park is consolidating its ecological preservation and strengthening biodiversity protection.

Last year, Chengdu built 30 new parks. And the remaining space has been transformed into small gardens and playgrounds, providing more opportunities for people to embrace a leisurely lifestyle.





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