November 3, 2023
QINGDAO – Residents of Laixi, in Qingdao, Shandong province, were surprised recently to find landscaping and facilities had been added to a small park near their homes.
The project was part of efforts to provide recreation areas for local communities by adding gardens, squares, sculptures and facilities such as fitness equipment and benches to unused land or existing green space.
Wang Anhui, director of Laixi’s housing and urban-rural development authority, said 11 new “pocket parks” were opened to the public, and 11,690 square meters of new green areas were established in the first 10 months of this year.
The 41 pocket parks built in Laixi in recent years have become places where residents can rest, exercise or take in some entertainment, enjoying a green life at their doorstep.
More than 120 pocket parks have been built in downtown Qingdao’s Shibei district. Some have replaced formerly closed green areas, others have been built alongside new real estate projects and some have been built on land where unauthorized buildings have been demolished.
The pocket parks have been designed to meet the diverse needs of different age groups. The park at the junction of Harbin Road and Nanjing Road covers just 3,400 square meters but has areas for senior activities, children’s play and adult fitness and leisure activities.
Many of the parks also highlight historical elements, including one near the residential community of a locomotive factory that features a “memory wall” telling the industrial history of the factory.
“We will build more pocket parks by making full use of public green spaces, scattered plots and bare land, to provide more new places for recreation and entertainment for local residents and improve the quality of the city,” said Yu Chun, an official from Shibei district’s urban management administration.