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Suzhou Creek Set to Go Green
Shanghai's major scenic waterway - Suzhou Creek - will gradually turn into an environment-friendly mecca as 100 hectares of green-land will be developed along its waterfront areas by 2010.

This is part of a blueprint based on schemes which were designed by three international firms for Suzhou Creek's downtown waterfront areas and approved last week.

Without releasing much details, the Shanghai Urban Planning Administrative Bureau said the creek's 13.3-km downtown section from Zhongshan Park in west to Huangpu River in east and its the waterfront areas within the Inner Ring Road will be earmarked for entertainment facilities.

The green-land and entertainment complexes, such as bars and shops, will replace dilapidated residential or industrial constructions.

Lu Minyuan, deputy director of the bureau, said that the historical structures, especially old ware-houses, won't be demolished and will remain under protection.

But Lu was vague on figures.

"A total of 95 large waterfront greenbelts totaling 100 hectares will have been planted by the time the Suzhou Creek Rehabilitation Project is completed," said Zhu Xipei, a spokesman for the creek's cleanup project head office.

As yet there are no details on how much the city government will spend on building the waterfront areas into a "green world."

But one thing is sure, the city will pump in 11.35 billion yuan (US$1.37 billion) from 2003 to 2020 to clean up the creek before it is declared as environmentally sound.

Meanwhile, the urban planning authority will need to take back some of the creek's waterfront areas from real estate developers who have leased the land for their projects.

"It is true that construction for those real estate projects began before we decided to redesign the creek's landscape; but since the new blueprint will go into effect soon, the government has the right to reclaim the areas back for green-land plan-ting," said an official identified as Yu.

(eastday.com September 19, 2002)

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