Undertaking a study tour of planning in China, one of the exciting projects from a people prospective, in an increasingly car dominated city, is the Beijing Greenway.
The Greenway runs adjacent to the cities Second Ring Road, which is a large 6 lane road, that circles the inner city. The Greenway runs for 35 kilometres, and takes in an area of 100 hectares of land. A truly mega space.
The greenway has been extensively landscaped and recent additions of children’s play equipment, soft paths, lighting and seating, provides for a relief from the busy lives of the Capital’s residents. In the Greenway you can see people walking their designer dogs, older citizens undertaking group exercise, and couples strolling hand in hand. The greenway also provides for a transport route for pedestrians and cyclists to move effectively around the city, in a tranquil environment. This is most evident during the daylight hours, where cyclists take advantage of the dedicated cycle lanes and business people shuffle between office towers.
The Greenway is model that should be considered in car centric cities, to embrace a more people friendly and environmentally friendly way forward for city planning.