Tunnels, skyscrapers, meandering 6-tier roads that’s typical of China.
But there’s a different kind of this heavily industrialised nation that most people do not know. China is generally green, streets are strategically and deliberately littered and paved with trees.
Woodlots of trees planted attractively are the natural order in most of the country’s cities. However, Guangzhou arguably stands out.
So far, a group of African journalists for the 2017 China Africa Press Centre have toured six cities but while all of them have green developments, Guangzhou has put much great effort into making the city
greener, they say.
“There is something about Guangzhou that you can’t see in the other cities we have been to. The city has gone an extra mile in as far as afforestation as well as greening is concerned. China, as a heavily industrialized nation is doing well in taming effects of pollution as well as making the environment evergreen but Guangzhou is on another level,” said Edmund Smith Asante from Ghana.
The main difference between Guangzhou and other cities in China is that even the highest overpasses are green and luxuriant. On the ring roads, Guangzhou avenues, expressways are covered with red
bougainvillea glabra which is evergreen.
The greening overpasses have attracted lots of cities both local and international, all to learn.
The people-oriented flower gardens and trees either scattered around the city as woodlots and forests, adds luster to their life. The pockets of blue waters can well show the improved quality of urban
Apart from the usual camaraderie of trees which is uniform across China, the city’s vegetation both natural and exotic is noticeable.
There are just countless woodlots as well as forests not just across the streets but even surrounding skyscrapers, right in the central business district.
The hilly areas are all covered with vegetation a rarity in most parts of Africa, like Malawi where such natural sites have become a haven for slums and homes for some urban dwellers.
Most trees are lost out in the process leaving the land bare, and susceptible to heavy soil erosion. More problems are actually created in the process as the erosion also leads to silting of rivers which at
times results in flush floods.
But Guangzhou’s greens snake their way along streams, waterways to open space including balconies and windowsills!
Guangzhou has flowers all year around. From Bauhinia Variegata, Kapok to Rhododendron all bloom in the city, making Guangzhou to dazzle as a sea of flowers. The city blossoms into a feast for the eyes.
Worth noting is how visibly the city’s urban planning is equipped with green tools which are reflected through parks, green corridors, and other spatial greeneries.
According to information from the Administration of Forestry and Gardening of Guangzhou Municipality, “the total length of afforestation on pedestrian bridges and overpasses has reached 300kilometers.”
Unusual as it may sound, in 2015 Guangzhou began to launch greening initiatives like “Theme Flower” to introduce more flowers in the city.
This far, 30 spots for enjoying flowers have been built and by 2018, the city will be a woodlot of Bauhinia Variegata trees as another 200,000 will be planted, bringing the total to 300,000.
The city holds activities like Guangzhou Garden Expo, Peach Blossom Festival on one of the mountains, Geranium exhibition at a garden and Chinese New Year Flower Fair in a cultural park among others.
By the end of this year, Guangzhou is to make great efforts to green the city. As of March, the city was on its plans to “adding six forest parks, three wetland parks, eight forest towns, and afforesting a total of 181 villages, increasing its forest coverage to 42.28 percent in 2017,” according to the department’s website, www.gzlyyl.gov.cn. All these are efforts made from 2010 when the city’s greenway was
developed from zero to today being the longest in the whole province.It is believed that Guangzhou owns 3000 kilometers greenway which connects more than 300 scenic spots and over 160 post stations.
Little wonder, in 2016, after winning previous awards as National Forest City, National Garden City and Land Greening Outstanding Contribution Unit, Guangzhou acquired one more honorary title;National Model Green City.
While efforts in making the city eco-friendlier have borne fruits, Guangzhou is still striving to get even greener.