Chengdu leading way for other park cities in China to follow
From being a relatively unknown place to one of the most popular dining and entertainment destinations for locals, Dayu village in Chongzhou, a city under Chengdu's administration, has been transformed in just two years.
This can be attributed to the building of a linpan, named Xingfuli－a community for both residents and tourists.
Linpan is a special settlement in western Sichuan province, which consists of farmhouses surrounded by woods and irrigated farmland.
The new linpan, opened to the public on May 20, features courtyards designed with different themes and local cultural and modern elements.
At Xingfuli, tourists can enjoy meals in bamboo forests or eat hotpot in white tents alongside a lake. They can also take part in many outdoor activities such as planting vegetables and playing on spacious lawns.
"Linpan is a pastoral complex, and what we have done is to transform its green ecological resources into economic benefits," said Feng Jin, Party secretary of Dayu village.
Xingfuli is managed by an operation team with expertise in catering, music, culture and media. It plans to improve the integrated development of catering and music, and promote the freshwater crayfish industry, homestays, family activities and other businesses, Feng added.
Behind the great changes in Dayu village are Chengdu's consistent efforts to build itself into a beautiful and livable "park city".
The park city development concept was first put forward in February 2018. It is not simply to build parks in the city, but explore a new development model and generate a new driving force for high-quality urban development, according to local officials.
Earlier this year, after the plan for developing the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle－the largest metropolitan area in western China－was upgraded to a national strategy, Chengdu had a more accurate recognition of the park city concept, which is to become a demonstration area of a park city for cities to follow in the future, according to officials.
Under the new park city framework, changes have taken place in the city's old districts, resulting in an increasing number of multifunctional streets and roads which feature better layouts, abundant vegetation and diverse landscapes.
In Qingbaijiang district, for example, the community has a new look after the local government removed some of the walls and illegal buildings to add open space, planted more trees and grass, and set up cultural facilities and public squares.
"After shopping for groceries or sending the children to school, I like to take a walk in the wide, clean and beautiful squares, which will give me a better mood," said Liu Fang, a local resident.
For building new areas, Chengdu adheres to the park city concept at the beginning of the construction. In the Tianfu New Area, the industrial ecosystem, living areas and ecological protection are planned as a whole, providing facilities for industrial, cultural, educational, sports, commercial, entertainment and public services at the same time.
The new area has attracted 53 major scientific and technological innovation projects including the Chengdu Science Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Chengdu super-computing center and the Huawei Kunpeng innovative center, hoping to become a comprehensive national science center.
The CAS research center is expected to be put into use this year. By then, the new area will be home to CAS' Chengdu branch, as well as its affiliates－the Chengdu Institute of Biology, the Chengdu Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, the Chengdu Literature and Information Center, and two affiliated companies: Chengdu Organic Chemicals and Chengdu Information Technology of CAS.
In addition to building a park city, Chengdu has vigorously promoted green travel and low-carbon lifestyles by expanding rail, bus and walking transit systems.
As of May, the city had planned and constructed 14 transit-oriented development projects.
TOD projects focus on the creation of compact, walkable, pedestrian-oriented and mixed-use communities centered around high-quality rail networks. They are designed to maximize access to subway stations within a convenient walking distance, according to local authorities.
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