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August 14, 2020

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Patrols keep a cleaned-up riverside from lapsing into its unkempt past

NO one wants to live in an environment that is shabby, smelly and littered.

That’s why Zhou Yindi, neighborhood committee Party secretary of Dayang Community in Putuo, walks regularly along the Pengyuepu River, one of the biggest branches of Suzhou Creek in downtown.

The 200-meter-long riverbank in Yichuan Subdistrict, once a place to avoid and filled with jerry-built illegal structures and unlicensed vendors, has been turned into a beautiful riverside garden area featuring exercise equipment, a dancing plaza and a walking path.

Some residents, particularly those who had erected illegal structures, complained strenuously at first about the makeover plans. Zhou visited residents personally and repeatedly showed them the designs for the new riverside area and finally persuaded the recalcitrant to cooperate.

Since the overhaul was completed last year, the waterfront garden has become a popular site for both children and seniors.

Some retirees have organized a volunteer team to join the “work by foot” campaign and patrol the riverbank to ensure it stays clean and inviting.

“The riverfront is its most beautiful in six decades,” said Wu Ruikang, a retired transport company boss and a volunteer.

Wu, 66, who was born near the river, said he recalls his childhood there, when the area was a muddy strip with ships transporting coffins along the river.


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