City's green footprint expanding year by year

Hu Min
By the end of 2025, there will be more than 1,000 city parks, including about 50 community-based parks in the five "new cities" and along Suzhou Creek and the Huangpu River.
Hu Min

Shanghai is becoming an "ecological city," a senior greenery official said today. 

By the end of 2025, there will be more than 1,000 city parks, including about 50 community-based parks in the five "new cities" in Jiading, Qingpu, Songjiang, Fengxian and Nanhui and along Suzhou Creek and the Huangpu River.

In addition, about 300 pocket parks will be built or renovated in the city between 2021 and 2025.

The city's "pocket parks," or parkettes, are not parks in the traditional sense, but small gardens and greenery areas dotted here and there on street corners, in industrial zones or among the towering apartment complexes.

"We aim to create a green city with a number of big projects including parks, greenways and forestland," said Deng Jianping, director of the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau. 

An ecological park belt circling the city is also taking shape, said Deng. 

More than 35 new parks will circle around Outer Ring Road by the end of 2025, and the length of greenway around the ring road will reach at least 100 kilometers. 

Floral landscapes around the ring road will cover more than 500 hectares. 

Construction of a forest and ecological park belt in the five "new cities" will be accelerated, and forest coverage in them will reach 19.5 percent by 2025, with per-capita greenery space of at least 10 square meters.

The northern section of Expo Culture Park will open by the end of this year, and construction of the Chuanchang greenland in the Pudong New Area and Lanxiang Lake greenland in Minhang District will begin this year, Deng said. 

Construction of ecological corridors along Huangpu River and Suzhou Creek will proceed, and landscape lighting upgrades along the banks of the creek and river will be completed this year. 

There will be another 1,000 kilometers of greenway in the city by the end of 2035, with 10 riverside greenways along Chuanyang and Dianpu rivers among the key projects. 

Colorful foliage plants will be planted in the city's forestland, and 2 million square meters of vertical greenery will be created in the city between 2021 and 2025 to improve the environment and diversify city landscapes. 

The city currently has 4.75 million square meters of vertical greenery. 

At the end of 2020, Shanghai had 406 city-level and seven countryside parks, 96 percent of which have no admission fee. 

"We are planning to open more admission-free parks, and Binjiang Forest Park, Gongqing Forest Park and Century Park will be free of charge beginning in July," said Deng.

The Shanghai Botanical Garden will join the free admission scheme by year end. 

Last year, parks in the city recorded 120 million visits. 

"They have become the backyard gardens of city residents, and measures are being taken to improve their services," said Deng. 

The city now has 369 parks open 24 hours a day all year long or that extend their opening hours into the night at certain times of the year, up 16 percent from last year, according to the greenery and sanitation bureau. 

Of them, 217 city parks are open around the clock.

"Nighttime visitors are urged to engage in relatively quiet activities, such as going for a stroll or jogging, in consideration of nearby residents," said Deng. 

This year, about 230 activities such as flower exhibitions and music festivals will take place at 140 city parks to enrich visitors' experiences, he said. 

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