Smart city takes roads to the future

By Zhang Yu in Shijiazhuang, Wang Songsong,Wang Songsong and Ma Qing in Xiong'an, Hebei | China Daily | Updated: 2023-09-06 07:42
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Cranes work at dusk in Xiong'an in September, 2020. CHINA DAILY

Green development

Xiong'an also aspires to become a green city with harmonious interaction between residents and the environment.

Since 2017, more than 31,300 hectares of trees have been added, raising the area's green space to 48,667 hectares and its forest coverage from 11 percent to 34 percent, the Xiong'an administrative committee said.

Numerous green spaces with parks dotted among them can be seen by driving through the area.

Liu Yaqing, a business supervisor at China Xiong'an Group's Ecological Construction Co, said Jinhu Park, located in Rongdong, is a picturesque urban oasis covering 87.4 hectares, adding, "It blends nature and culture to provide a tranquil and ecological haven for visitors."

Comprising greenbelts, a central lake area and five themed parks, Jinhu Park is affectionately known as the "urban green living room" of Xiong'an, Liu Yaqing added.

Yuerong Park, which covers about 160 hectares, is the first large comprehensive urban park in the area. It aims to promote traditional garden culture and play an important role in a number of ways, including ecological conservation, sightseeing, recreation, fitness and urban drainage.

An urban planning outline shows that residents in Xiong'an will need to travel no further than 300 meters from their homes to reach a park, with a greenbelt within 1 km, and a forest within 3 km.

"Residents will be able to access forests, greenbelts and parks more easily, making the vision of a green Xiong'an a gradual reality," Liu Yaqing said.

All-around efforts have also been made in the area to restore Baiyangdian Lake, one of the largest freshwater wetlands in northern China.

Data from the Xiong'an administrative committee show that following the establishment of Xiong'an, water quality in the wetland has risen from below Level V — the lowest on the national five-tier water assessment system — to Level III.

The water level in the lake is currently stable at 6.5 to 7 meters.

Zhang Dongsheng, who grew up near the wetland, said, "The sky here is bluer, the clouds are whiter, the water is clearer, and there are more fish and birds."

As a senior engineer at the Xiong'an New Area Ecological Environment Monitoring Center who has worked on environmental monitoring for more than 20 years, he is looking forward to seeing more beneficial changes in his hometown.

"If one day there is no longer any need to monitor the environment at Baiyangdian Lake and I become unemployed, it would be a dream come true for everyone in that area," Zhang said.

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