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Shanghai Honored Garden City Status

A bird's eye view of the Taipingqiao Greenland area near Xintiandi complex is pictured. Shanghai has been granted the title of "National Garden City" by the central government. 


Shanghai was granted the honor of "National Garden City" by the central government on Tuesday along with 16 other cities.


The city's green coverage and per capita green space have exceeded 35 percent and 6.5 square meters respectively - the bare minimum requirements for the designation.


"Shanghai's successful experience should be taken by many other big cities, even those overseas," Meng Zhaozhen, one of the experts of the state Garden City jury, told a local newspaper yesterday.


Other newly named Garden Cities include Ningbo of Zhejiang Province, Wuxi of Jiangsu Province, Fuzhou of Fujian Province and Guilin of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.


The central government had already designated 29 Garden Cities in the country - including Beijing and Nanjing of Jiangsu Province - before announcing the new batch.


According to the Shanghai Greenery Administrative Bureau, the city's green coverage and per capita green area have reached 35.78 percent and 9.2 square meters respectively.


In the long term, the city government expects to hold a "green World Expo" in 2010 by planting more trees and eliminating admission prices to most of the city's 138 parks, according to officials.


But to fully realize the "green plan," the city has to be more aware of its setbacks in urban landscaping and its business operation through the next seven years.


According to a preliminary plan, the local greenery administrative bureau expects to lift the city's per capita green area from 9 square meters this year to 15 square meters by 2010.


The city not only wants more trees and grasslands in the downtown areas, but also a closer and much more enjoyable "green environment" for residents.


The bureau also said more fruit trees, flowers and special trees will be planted in the city.


(Xinhua News Agency January 15, 2004)

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