'Park City' initiative builds child-friendly green spaces

Hu Min
The city boasts 832 parks, including 477 urban parks, 265 pocket parks, 89 rural parks, and one theme park, providing citizens with opportunities to enjoy nature and recreation.
Hu Min

Today marks the International Day of Families. In recent years, Shanghai has pushed ahead with its "Park City" initiative, aiming to carpet the cityscape with green spaces and create a child-friendly city.

Green is a soothing color amidst the concrete jungle of urban areas. By introducing social intercourse, science popularization, amusement, and education functions into the development of parks, the city is creating a number of activity venues for its young residents.

The city currently boasts 832 parks of varying size, providing citizens with abundant opportunities to enjoy nature and recreational activities. These parks not only serve as vital green spaces within the urban landscape, but also offer ideal leisure spots for families with children.

Shanghai's parks are designed with a strong emphasis on greenery, featuring a variety of flowers and plants to create stunning landscapes. Green spaces are now part of community life, bringing nature close to children's everyday environment and providing an opportunity for parents and children to spend time together closely.

Let's visit some kid-friendly parks in Shanghai on the day.

'Park City' initiative builds child-friendly green spaces
Ti Gong

Lehui Small Playground

As the first kid-friendly pocket park in Shanghai, Lehui Small Playground comprises four activity areas catering to the demands of all age groups of children.

A winding rainbow bridge strings together amusement facilities, which have become a paradise for preschool children. There is a parent-child station renovated from a container for community activities.

A basketball court is designed for teens, and colored drawings of small animals are featured in the area, triggering children's interest and raising their awareness of nature and ecology.

Interactive installations about carbon neutrality, water circulation, and urban ecology are part of the park, which is child-friendly in the design of washbasins, a baby-care room, benches, and a sandpit, eliminating safety hazards and being easily accessible for strollers.

The absence of prickly plants reflects special consideration for children, who can freely run and play on the vast lawn that covers nearly 8,300 square meters.

Address: In the triangular plot enclosed by Caoxi Road, Sanhui Road and Zhongshan West Road, Xuhui District 上海市徐汇区漕溪路、三汇路和中山西路围合的三角地块内

'Park City' initiative builds child-friendly green spaces
Ti Gong

Heping Park

Bearing the beautiful memories of three generations in Shanghai, the park reopened in October 2022, after undergoing a 22-month facelift. The renovated park features eight new landscapes and 12 new functions.

The nature education center serves as a nature classroom and museum near people's homes, with the theme of "low carbon."

Via various activities, it encourages nearby community residents and children to actively get involved in the "low carbon" development of the city.

Covering about 8,700 square meters, the interactive children's playground features a series of motorless amusement facilities and highlights ecological protection concept. There are swings, slides and terrain climbing facilities.

The park has two badminton courts, a basketball court, outdoor fitness equipment, and a 400-square-meter physical fitness exercise area for teens.

The park has set up two pet-friendly areas with facilities for dogs, enabling children to play with their pets freely.

Address: 1131 Dalian Road, Hongkou District 上海市虹口区大连路1131号

'Park City' initiative builds child-friendly green spaces
Ti Gong

West Bund Art Nature Park

Having started trial operation in March, the park quickly gained popularity with children for its unique design and rich ecological experience.

It is filled with landscape installations evolved from local insect elements, including the "Silkworm Baby" playground, "Millipede" lounge chairs, "Bamboo Worm" swings, and "Thorn Moth Cocoon" adventure caves, allowing children to learn about nature while having fun.

The park simulates an open nature classroom with tree houses scattered through the forest and a Jiangnan (the southern part of the Yangtze River's lower reaches) gardening-style layout and architecture, presenting a poetic scenery.

The park incorporates basketball, table tennis, and other fitness facilities covering about 1,400 square meters.

Highlighting biodiversity, it has a number of plants such as persimmon trees and pomegranates and natural scenery, creating an ideal place for children to observe nature and learn about biodiversity.

Address: 50 meters south of the intersection of Xumei Road and Longwu Road Overpass, Xuhui District 上海市徐汇区徐梅路与龙吴路立交桥交叉口往南50米

'Park City' initiative builds child-friendly green spaces
Ti Gong

Zhongshan Park

A garden covering 516 square meters at Zhongshan Park has recently reopened to the public after renovations. It features nearly 30 varieties of flowers and perennial plants.

The garden ingeniously utilizes volcanic rock covers to create winding pathways, allowing visitors to enjoy a spectacular landscape close up.

Address: 780 Changning Road, Changning District 上海市长宁区长宁路780号

'Park City' initiative builds child-friendly green spaces
Ti Gong

Zhongxing Park

As a community-based park, Zhongxing Park has achieved barrier-free access throughout the site. The children's activity facilities have been renovated to prevent collisions, and the public restrooms have also been divided into separate spaces for children.

The park has introduced foliage plants such as cherry blossoms and red maples to create enchanting scenery.

It has fitness facilities designed for different age groups and there are large lawns for preschool children to play upon.

Address: 148 Zhiyuan Road, Jing'an District 上海市静安区止园路148号

'Park City' initiative builds child-friendly green spaces
Ti Gong

Tangfeng Park

As part of the ecological park belt circling Shanghai, Tangfeng Park is a country park with forest, a dense water network, and haipai (Shanghai-style) culture.

It comprises four areas strung together by circular corridors.

At the culture forest area, children are able to stroll along rivers, follow the footprints of small animals and explore the secrets of nature.

Art exhibitions will be held on an "art island," together with camping activities for families.

In the lifestyle garden, children are able to play on swings, learn plant knowledge, and pick fruit, while the haipai garden area is a paradise for them to build sand castles and play in the sandpit playground.

Address: 520 Chuangxin Rd W., Pudong New Area 上海市浦东新区创新西路520号

The "Park City" initiative

By 2025, the city will boast more than 1,000 parks with the per capita park and green space area amounting to 9.5 square meters.

This year, the city will have 30 parks opening 24 hours.

With the development of the city's parks projected on the fast track, more eco-friendly and child-friendly parks will open to the public, providing a pleasant green option for families with children to spend their leisure time.

Each step a child takes in these parks is a step towards growth. As integral parts of the urban landscape, parks are not only playgrounds but also symbols of the city's development. The "Park City" initiative highlights the city's commitment to both environmental sustainability and child-friendly development.

Shanghai is creating a seamless integration of park and urban life. Here, child-friendly and green development go hand in hand, ensuring that every child can enjoy a joyful 20-minute park time and flourish in the city.

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