SHANGHAI, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Shanghai will build a big country park as part of its vigorous efforts to improve the environment.
The Heqing Country Park in the Pudong New Area is expected to cover an area of 35.7 square kilometers. The first phase, about 13.5 sq km, was approved by the government in early December and is expected to open in 2020, the China Daily reported.
The park, located in Heqing Township, the easternmost area in Pudong, has three key areas, including the Sanjiagang tourism and leisure center, a sports resort designed to host international sports tournaments and a water development center for kayaking.
High-end hotels, seafood restaurants and cultural entertainment facilities will be in the park as well.
"Rural parks are an extension of urban parks and represent a trend," said Dong Erwei, director of the China International Center for Leisure and Tourism Research and co-founder of the China International Leisure Research Association.
The construction of Heqing Country Park is regarded as an important step toward solving the shortage of urban parks in the metropolis, where population expansion inevitably leads to a reduction of urban green space.