Country for PR: China
Contributor: Xinhua News Agency
Friday, December 29 2017 - 19:56
AsiaNet
World-class urban greenway slows pace of life in central China's Wuhan
WUHAN, China, Dec. 29, 2017 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/ --

Featuring China's most intensive relics of ancient Chu culture, most splendid 
display of classic Chinese poetry and calligraphy, as well as top-level modern 
art works and sculptures as well as graffiti and three-dimensional street 
paintings, the second phase of a green belt encircling China's largest urban 
lake in the central metropolis of Wuhan opened to public on Dec. 26. Together 
with the first phase that was completed last year, the Greenway highlights an 
eco-friendly urban life. The East Lake, a top-rate scenic spot in China, covers 
an area of 33 square kilometers, and witnesses the city's efforts in ecological 
protection and restoration.

The water quality of the lake has been through its good and bad days. The 
Institute of Hydrobiology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences has been 
monitoring its water quality since 1956. According to the records, the lake 
used to be a heaven for aquatic plants and fish in the 1960s and 70s. However, 
with sharp increase in waste water and sewage in the 80s, the lake water was 
rated poor quality by the end of last century. The city government has since 
made the efforts to clean the lake. In June, the whole lake has been deemed as 
suitable for swimming, some part even for direct drinking. Zhang Xiaolin, a 
senior engineer from the institute, said, "The water quality of the East Lake 
has reached the best level in past 40 years. The pollution treatment measures 
of the lake have reference significance for the whole city, and even other 
parts of the country." 

In the meantime, the city government proposed to develop an urban ecology based 
on the East Lake with an encircling greenway as the key. 

According to Wuhan East Lake Eco-Tourism Scenic Area Management Committee, the 
second phase of the East Lake Greenway is 73.28 km long. Together with the 
first phase, the complete greenway features seven themed landscape trails 
stretching a total of 101 km. With a variety of views including forests, 
islands, wetlands and bushes, one can find his or her body and mind at ease.

Wuhan Real Estate Group said the ecological revetment of the lake has been 
preserved to the utmost extent during the construction. About 20 km of the 
original plants of the 54-km-long lake bank were kept. Big trees such as 
oriental planes and metasequoia have been labeled and protected permanently. 
Use of large machinery was limited during the construction of the Greenway. 
Bridges and detours were adopted to make room for trees.

"We've made great efforts to keep the original ecology of the East Lake," said 
Shang Yangang with the real estate group. 

In addition to the original trees, another 29,500 trees have been selected and 
planted along the greenway.

Art works are also an integral part of the facility. An international public 
art park by the lake has become the city's largest sculpture display area. 
Graffiti, three-dimensional street paintings and wall paintings also add color 
to the Greenway.

The second phase of the Greenway, accounting for over two thirds of the total 
length, was completed on schedule thanks to the efficiency and execution of the 
local government in design, relocation residents and construction. 

The East Lake Greenway, which took just two years to be completed, highlights 
the idea of urban eco-development, which puts ecology on the same footing as 
economic development.

SOURCE: Wuhan East Lake Eco-Tourism Scenic Area Management Committee

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