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Chengdu to expand green space by building more 'pocket parks'

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Chengdu City, in southwest China's Sichuan Province, is gearing up to construct more ''pocket parks'' as it's stepping up efforts toward the latest goal of building itself into a ''park city.''
''We've finished some 1,000 in downtown Chengdu, and our goal is to build 10,000 such parks around the whole city, including suburban areas,'' said Wu Benhong from the Chengdu Park City Construction Administration.
''Pocket parks'' usually refer to urban open spaces on a small-scale that provide an inviting environment for surrounding community members.
Wang Shaoping, who lives in Shuangnan neighborhood in downtown Chengdu, now has a new place for spending her leisure time after such a facility was established near her home.
''When I had just moved here, some locals told me that places like the People's Park were good recreational destinations. But now I don't need to go that far. Here we can even attend lectures and enjoy coffee – something that traditional parks can't offer,'' said Wang, who relocated to Chengdu from northeast China five years ago.
This project is only one example of a citywide campaign to improve the living environment by demolishing bounding walls and unlicensed structures while creating more green spaces.
''This place used to be a corridor of high-tension cables. It was later transformed into a nursery garden. After consulting with residents, we removed the fences and built fishponds, chairs, parterres and some other items,'' Wu Xiaolei, deputy director of the neighborhood management office, told CGTN.
These mini parks also meet a variety of other needs. Wu Benhong said they are gradually enriching the connotation of these parks.
''The priority is, of course, greening and landscaping. At the same time, it can be developed into a multi-functional space by integrating various activities, such as educational events or cultural performances,'' he explained.
Some experts say authorities should conduct a thorough research to bring real benefits to residents and avoid making the plan a ''face project.''
''These mini parks are the basis of our urban ecology. In the city beautification process, we have to do scientific planning, from land securing to implementation procedures and setting a proper distance between the parks and residential buildings, among other details,'' said Wu.
Chengdu is one of the country's most dynamic cities in terms of economic growth. Now ''green development'' is also a focus of its blueprint. According to a government plan, a number of parks with different sizes and functions will be constructed in the next few years, ranging from vast world-class ones to multi-functional medium-sized parks to numerous ''pocket parks.''
''Chengdu is called 'a city that you just don't want to leave once you come.' I can't agree more with it, and I believe it will just become better in all aspects,'' said Wang.

Source: CGTN News

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