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March 19, 2011

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Home » Metro » Environment

Renovations to have no effect on green areas

THE management of Zhongshan Park, a popular free public garden in Changning District, yesterday said they have no intention of reducing the green areas in the park during renovations after complaints from some park visitors.

The project is only aimed at improving pathways to a restaurant and gardens so that visitors can enjoy better views and have more convenient access, park managers told Shanghai Daily.

Some visitors complained to a local news radio station, saying they had seen some construction operations inside the park and they feared green spaces would be removed to make room for commercial developments.

In an interview with Shanghai Daily yesterday, park officials said the project was temporary and included no plans to reduce green areas.

"Some visitors thought we were removing plants, but it is untrue. There is even a rumor that we are converting public green spaces into tennis courts or the like," officials from Shanghai Changning Park Co said yesterday.

Watchdog officials said local park managers have been trying to boost income by introducing commercial attractions into public gardens in recent years, after most parks in the city were ordered to open free to visitors.

"On the one hand, entrance fees were canceled for most parks, while during the same government-initiated reform, the park operators were turned from government institutions into companies which are responsible for their own profits and losses," said an official from Changning District.

"Compared with before, operating subsidies from the government have been reduced and the companies are under financial pressure to maintain good standards at the parks," the official said.


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