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A green lung and a green kidney for Beijing

July 11, 2013

konjaku: There is a rationale for the park which replaced Tangjialing village (Zongguancun Forest Park, see previous post), it is supposed to serve as a “green lung” for Beijing city. The idea is that large-scale planted areas on the edge of the city will filter out, or “absorb” urban-industrial pollution. The image for the Beijing periphery in the future is one of gleaming high rise complexes, whether residential or commercial, forming “new city districts,” set within a green zone, a new “ecology-based civilization.”. The concept is explained in the following articles (excerpts). As was the case with Tangjialing, this plan has a profound effect on the people who happen to be living in areas slated to become “green lungs.”



The Four Large “Green Lungs” will make an ecological protective screen for the capital


Bao Songya




According to assistant director of Beijing City Parks and Greenery Department Shi Guisheng,as a result of the project initiated by municipal party committee and city government to expand the green areas in the city’s outskirts, in the south they have built Nanhaizi Park [11.65 square kilometers], the southern “green lung.” The Yongding river ecological development zone of five gardens linked together comprises the western green lung. The ongoing expansion of the Olympic park northward makes up the northern lung. The Dongjiao (eastern suburbs) Forest Park, integrated through the Tongzhou, Shunyi, and Chaoyang districts, is becoming the eastern green lung. The development of these four “large green lungs” is beginning to take shape. These areas detailed make up only a small part of what is called for in the final plan. Already at the end of 2012, wooded area in Beijing city amounted to 1,062,000 hectares. The percentage of green zone amounted to 55.5%, the ratio of forested land was 38.6%.


The “four great green lungs” not only has a positive ecological effect, it also works to constrain the hidden dangers of the so-called “spreading the flatbread” expansion of the city in ever wider rings. Instead of undifferentiated sprawl, development consists of discrete “new cities” separated from each other by green zones.


Li Chaogang: building Beijing’s green lung, forge a “grand banquet of gardens”




At the national People’s Congress, Fengtai District Party Secretary Li Chaogang announced that Fengtai would build the 9th annual China (Beijing) International  Garden Expo, which will open in the 5th month of this year. In area it will be twice the size of the Summer Palace in Beijing [the Summer Palace is 742.8 acres], forming a “green lung” for the city of Beijing, a sumptuous banquet of gardens.


As the contradiction between economic development and environmental resources becomes more acute with each passing day, Li Chaogang stressed the need to construct an ecology-based civilization along with protection of the environment, to enhance the people’s welfare and leave a bright future for their descendants.


According to Li Chaogang, the counties and outlying districts of Mentougou, Fangshan, Miyun, Huairou, Yanching, etc, comprise an ecological self-restraint zone. They are being made into the city’s “green lung” and “green kidney.” Since the Olympics, Beijing has been energetically pursuing the goal of a “Green Beijing,” devoting 1 million mu (approx 167,000 acres) to forested land, to reach a ratio of coverage of 45.6%. The Yongding River is also being developed as an ecological green zone.


Li Chaogang said that in order to build the International  Garden Expo, Fengtai District had transformed a large garbage dump and landfill on the side of the Yongding River into  a garden of 513 hectares, with flowers blooming over three seasons and evergreens for the fourth season. Altogether they will plant 4,000,000 trees and shrubs of all types.


“According to the calculations of the environmental protection department, after the garden is built, every year it will absorb 10,000 tons of urban-industrial smoke and dust.”


To build an an ecology-based civilization is not a one-time project, nor can it be accomplished by the government alone. It must involve the effort and cooperation of all of society.


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