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Shenzhen becomes national forest city

Writer: Zhang Qian  | Editor: Jane Chen  | From:  | Updated: 2018-10-16

Shenzhen has officially won the status of a National Forest City after meeting the 40 requirements for the title, according to a national seminar on the construction of China’s forest cities held in the city yesterday.

A National Forest City refers to a city whose urban ecological system is mainly forests that meet the forest standards set by the State Forestry and Grassland Administration.

Another 26 cities, counties and districts around China were also granted the title by the national forestry authority, raising the number of National Forest Cities to 165 nationwide.

Apart from Shenzhen, another Guangdong city, Zhongshan, also received the title this year. Guangdong boasts nine National Forest Cities — Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhongshan, Huizhou, Zhuhai, Dongguan, Zhaoqing, Foshan and Jiangmen.

The national forestry authority has been issuing documents in recent years to guide governments of all levels in China to improve their habitat environments by building forest cities.

At yesterday’s seminar, Zhang Jianlong, director of the State Forestry and Grassland Administration, expressed expectations that there will be six major urban clusters of National Forest Cities and 200 National Forest Cities in China by 2020.

In 2015, Shenzhen embarked on its mission of building itself into a National Forest City, for which 52 major projects have been carried out over the past three years.

Currently, the city’s forest coverage is 40.68 percent and the green land area reaches 15.95 square meters per capita. The city now has a total of 2,443 kilometers of greenways and as many as 942 parks. Shenzhen is one of the cities with the most parks in China, Shenzhen’s news portal reported yesterday.

A total of 11 natural parks, 36 urban parks and nine wetland parks have been opened to the public in recent years.

To make better use of its space, the city has been actively exploring the construction of a vertical planting system by adding 660,000 sqm of greening in the past two years and building a total of 151 street parks.

In terms of planting more flowers, the city has decorated 23 boulevards, 79 streets and 120 key urban areas with flowers.

It has also taken the approach of afforesting the city in three dimensions while combining urban renewal, river pollution control and landscape renovation in carrying out water environment improvement projects and ecological restoration projects.

Over the past three years, Shenzhen has been treating polluted water to enhance ecology. The authority has restored 22.64 hectares of coastal mangrove forest.

At the same time, the annual average concentration of PM2.5 in Shenzhen was cut to 28 micrograms per cubic meter, making it one of the 10 cities with the best air quality.

The next plan for the city is to construct more greenways, pedestrian pathways and ecological corridors to connect forests with urban areas. Shenzhen is also probing better ways to use urban spaces where more trees and flowers can be planted.