The Best Way to See China Will Soon Be by Bike (Video)
As China looks to introduce more green spaces into its infrastructure, the country has started construction on what officials say will be the largest urban cycling network in the world.
Construction on the Tianfu Greenway, which will also be the world's longest urban greenway once completed, began on Saturday, September 2 in Chengdu.
The greenway will extend a whopping 17,000 kilometers (more than 55 million feet), according to the South China Morning Post, and include lanes that are blocked off by trees, lawns, and flowerbeds to ensure cyclists and pedestrians have plenty of space to enjoy the greenery without interference from cars or motorbikes.
The pathway will also include a variety of pavilions, parks, and outlets with food and drinks to enjoy while exploring the city.
Officials plan to introduce the first and second tier of what will be a three-tier greenway system linking urban neighborhoods to scenic landscapes throughout the city by 2020, while an additional 1,920 kilometers (more than 6 million feet) will be added by 2025, with a full completion date planned for 2040.
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“This is a gigantic project designed to benefit the people, and natural scenes such as woods, parks, and lakes will reappear in city centers; it will leave behind great green space for our children and their children,” Zhang Jing, chief architect of the Institute of Landscaping of the China Southwest Architectural Design and Research Institute, told the Chengdu Evening News.
The aim of the new attraction is also to help reduce pollution levels in Chengdu and provide additional space for a growing influx of people, according to government officials, providing a recluse for nature lovers in the same way Singapore's Garden City and New York City's Central Park do.
The greenway will span mountains and forests, lakes, rivers, wetlands, fields, and grasslands, with plans for museums and tourist service centers along the way.
Those who enjoy cycling will also find the world's longest elevated cycle path in the city of Xiamen, with a path that weaves as long as 7.6 kilometers (roughly 25,000 feet).