Imagine taking a stroll on a street lined with lush green trees neatly on both the sides. I personally love such an experience. Most of us living in cities in the midst of a concrete jungle crave for such an experience. Any open and green space is such a respite for all of us. Well Shanghai, despite being a progressive city and over the years with urbanization has tried to retain its green pastures. One of the residents shares similar sentiments like most citizens. Hongkou district resident says, “I like rambling on streets with lush trees like Sinan Road, which makes me feel sort of peaceful away from the urban treadmill”. This is not just his feeling alone, millions of us out there will any day prefer the same.
The image above is of the Sinan road on Shanghai. The authorities plan to designate this area as a designated ‘Green Boulevard’. Not just this site, 53 such area will be designated as green boulevards the cities local green authority says.
The Designation Plan
The boulevards that are to be chosen spread across 80 streets in Shanghai. Some of the prominent roads being covered under this labeling and protection drive are:
- Yongjia Road
- Sinan Road
- Kangding Road
- Huashan Road
- Fumin Road
- Wanping Road
- Fuxing Rd W.
All the above mentioned roads are lined up with beautiful and luxuriant trees like plane, camphor and goldenrain. These are streets with a lot of tranquility, elegance and rich historic reserves. Apart from these 7 prominent streets, there are 37 more streets downtown and still others in the suburban districts which will be a part of this coveted programme. This entire list of street names to be covered under the Green Boulevard Program is on the website lhsr.sh.gov.cn which is governed by the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau. The entire website is in Chinese. Entries are still open.
The Qualifying Criteria to be on the List
- The streets must display extensive green areas.
- The Boulevard needs to be longer than 500 meters.
- The sidewalks and the non-motorized vehicle lanes should have a plant coverage of at least 90% or more.
Last year 20 streets in the city were designated as Green Boulevards. This was the first time when the city used this designation. The plan is to have 300 designated boulevards by the year 2015. the locals of the city are quite enthusiastic and excited about this idea.
What is this concept of designation?
XuDongxin, deputy director of the Green Bureaus Management division has described the designation as “measures such as trimming canopies and injecting nutrient fluid to ensure trees alongside the streets, some as old as 90 years, are well protected”. However, a boulevard that makes to the list one year may be disqualified the next year. There are certain minimum standards laid our to which these designated boulevards needs to comply. In case, of a failure to do so these will automatically disqualify from the list. This indeed is a great way to maintain and retain the green pastures in the city.
Shanghai has truly set up an example for cities worldwide. It indeed is quite an impressive and innovative drive by the local authorities of the city for both the beautification and upkeep of the city. Hope other state and district authorities learn and pick up from Shanghai’s boulevard drive. For now, we can hope to see a beautiful and a greener Shanghai. Well manicured greener pastures seem to be the face of Shanghai in the years to come.