Hangzhou — China’s Garden City

Hangzhou is one of the oldest cities in China, renowned today for its expansive green space program. The city went through a period of rapid urbanization in the 1990s complemented by various industry growth within the region, becoming the manufacturing hub for coastal China. During this period, the city suffered from great loss of agricultural and green space as well as rise in air pollution. Coupled with the region’s warm climate (second hottest in China) the living quality and health of the city was in danger. While this is a common trajectory for urbanizing regions, Hangzhou was different in their expansive effort to preserve and restore green spaces within their urban landscape. The city’s administration started to replace old factory and manufacturing sites with green space, lined canals and railways with parks, and pave tree-lined streets. Through this effort, the 40% of the entire city is now green space and there is high environmental consciousness among the city’s citizens. Today, Hangzhou’s Xixi Wetlands (3 times Central Park) and West Lake National Parks are popular attractions for tourists and locals. Hangzhou is referred to as China’s Garden City, and is a leading example for urban green space integration and retrofitting for the sake of public health and environmental justice.



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