Binjiang launches 3-year plan for 'embedded' sports facilities
Every square meter of Hangzhou's Binjiang District plays its part in public service. Rooftops, underground space, waterfront parks and other possible nooks will be turned into gyms and alfresco fitness facilities, as the local government embarks on a three-year project to build "embedded sports grounds" for residents.
In addition, existing facilities in parks and residential communities are about to be upgraded, with more basketball, football, volleyball and tennis courts added.
The word "embedded" vividly shows that the local government will make use of every bit of space to build a sports circle accessible to every resident.
According to the three-year plan, more than 250,000 square meters of grounds and 38,500 square meters of facilities will be completed by 2024 in Binjiang with the goal of improving the quality services for sports. So far, 30 embedded sports grounds have been built.
The government encourages every street and community to take advantage of "useless" space, including rooftops, parking lots and old mills. The per capita sports area is expected to reach 2.8 square meters by 2025. The growth of new facilities is expected to reach 30 percent year on year, creating 10-minute life circle for fitness.
Wentao Road, a 17-kilometer way along the Qiantang River, is dubbed "the most beautiful jogging path in Hangzhou." About 13 skateboard, football, basketball and tennis grounds have been opened along the road.
Every spring, the cherry blossoms along Wentao Road waterfront esplanade are a favorite with visitors and considered a highlight of the annual Hangzhou International Marathon Competition by virtue of the majestic river view.
The esplanade is popular with residents who stroll and jog along it every day. It has become a calling card of the district. Now, Wentao Road is going to offer an example of the integration of a favorable environment and public sports grounds.
"The waterfront park includes jogging runway, basketball court, skateboarding areas and even sand pit for kids. I just need to walk for several minutes from home and get access to the fitness facilities for free," said Huang, a young man both working and living here.
For years, Binjiang has been working to become a district of flowers through green thoroughfares, rivers and residential communities. Now, these cityscapes are going to add gyms, luring people to work out in a pleasant environment.
In the next three years, more esplanade will be built with sports parks, which contain about 65 percent green area and 20 percent facilities.
Pilot schools will open their grounds to the public in mornings and evenings.
For old residential communities, the government is going to build miniparks and small gyms between residential blocks and on street intersections while giving communities a facelift.
The Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium, commonly known as the "Big Lotus" in Binjiang District, is the primary stadium and athletics venue of the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022. It has 229,000 square meters and 80,000 seats.
Along with the stadium, Binjiang will use two other venues for the Asian Games – the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Tennis Center, commonly known as the "Little Lotus," and the Binjiang Gymnasium.
In May, the Games' organizing committee announced that the Games, originally scheduled for September, would be postponed due to the pandemic. However, the venues are open to the locals from July 1.
Venues operated by third parties, such as the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium, can charge appropriate fees for services like hosting sports events, exhibitions and cultural performances.
The Binjiang district government hopes the opening of free embedded sports grounds and facilities will enhance public awareness of the importance of doing physical exercise regularly in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, and foster a sporting culture in the community, in pursuit of improving people's sense of gain and happiness.