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Turning the Yangtze River Bank into Beautiful Landscape

By XINYI LIICHONGQING|May 12,2022

ChongqingThe 33-kilometer-long greenway around the lake is an urban green space corridor created by Yunyang County along the Yangtze River and Pengxi River. After seven years of engineering remediation and ecological restoration, the riverside line, from the beach land to the natural and humanistic landscape, has undergone an overwhelming change.

The Sifangjing Park along the Yangtze River. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Two different views of the same place

Located in the center of the Three Gorges reservoir area, Yunyang possesses a river shoreline of 33 kilometers, with the Yangtze River and Pengxi River flowing through the city. However, the river shoreline has been encroached upon by illegal docks, sand and gravel dumps, and haphazard construction for a long time.

In 2014, Yunyang launched the greenway construction around the lake, for example, shutting down more than ten sand and gravel docks.

The water garden with the water trail extends to the heart of the river (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Yunyang adopted a model which combines engineering remediation and ecological restoration. While rectifying illegal constructions along the river, ecological forests and landscape forests were planted according to local conditions, comprehensively re-greening of the river shoreline.

Yunyang presented a dramatic change in 2018 by creating the newly Sifangjing Park, which is lush with grasses and trees, and the turquoise river meanders flowing through. With the clean water and the green shore, the ecology of the riverbank is getting better and better.

The child playing on the lawn (Photo provided to iChongqing)

The greenway around the lake

Different from unilateral environmental remediation, Yunyang also integrated the construction of the greenway around the lake with urban quality improvement based on restoring the ecosystem of the river shoreline. Yunyang set up eight themed parks and more than 30 leisure areas along the riverside with children’s amusement and sports elements. Relying on the 33-kilometer lake-around greenway, the county created a waterfront space with these parks and attractions.

People were exercising (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Last autumn, when the greenway around the lake had just been completed, the various parks all over the river bank had become good places for people to relax and play. The afterglow of the sunset sprinkled the riverbank, and some residents sat on the green land to enjoy the beautiful scenery at the riverside. 

A girl is taking a selfie (Photo provided to iChongqing)

A miniature duplicate of the old landscape

Based on the Huishui River, Yunyang Narrative is a miniature duplicate of the old landscape of Yunyang. Last September, shortly after completing the Yunyang Narrative, an old couple arrived at the duplicate to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. The submerged city is all about their young time, so they were eager to picture the old town.

People walking on the trail (Photo provided to iChongqing)

The 33-kilometer greenway around the lake improves the landscape’s environment and creates a new cultural business card by Yunyang. All parks and scenic spots with the local characteristic culture here speed cultural transmission and preserve the city’s memories.

Cultures involving migration,  the Three Kingdoms, and farming feature Yunyang’s regional culture. In promoting the construction of the lake-around greenway, Yunyang intends to integrate these cultural elements into the construction of the landscape and attractions to continuously improve the humanistic quality of the riverfront shoreline.

The water garden (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Yunyang will start another lake-around greenway improvement project, which will focus on platform construction and project introduction to the further present the charms of local history and culture. Therefore, residents in Yunyang will experience and enjoy more ecological benefits.

(Zhou Muye, as an intern, also contributed to this report.)

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