Feature: Sports parks spring up in NW China's old industrial city
LANZHOU, China, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- After jogging in the sports park, 35-year-old Wang Xiling and her mother sit on a bench along the running track to take a break.
Wang's hometown is Baiyin City, previously known for chemical industry and serious pollution in northwest China's Gansu Province.
The emergence of sports parks, combined with a comfortable environment and fitness equipment, not only provide a space for residents to work out in, but also enhance the city's ecological benefits.
Previously, Baiyin was rich in resources like copper, but decades of mining led to ecological deterioration.
"My mother and father couldn't exercise at that time because of the air pollution," said Wang.
Since 2012, dozens of urban parks have been built to help local people enjoy themselves. Local people now have nearly 600,000 square meters of green area with workout equipment at Jinling Park.
"The environment is getting better, and my family love to work out in different parks," Wang said.
The Jinling Park that Wang and her mother exercise in features four basketball courts, two five-a-side football pitches, six badminton courts and three tennis courts.
The increase in green space is helping more and more people to go outside and get involved in sports.
Luo Jigang, director of local Housing and Urban-Rural Development Administration, said that 12 different parks have been established in the last ten years.
"Based on the parks and green space, our city has essentially finished the construction of a 15-minute fitness circle," said Luo, adding that the city planned to build three more new parks by the end of 2025.
Furthermore, over 20 pocket parks have been built throughout the city.
"The greenery area of per capita park of the city's finished area is now nearly 10 square meters," Luo said.
Wang said that she and her mother now exercise at dawn and in the evening in the pocket parks near their home.
The construction of green spaces and sports parks help local people benefit from the city's development. Gansu Province also plans to complete the construction of 15-minute fitness circles covering all communities by the end of 2025.
"To enjoy fresh air and green space, friends of mine like to get out of their apartments and work out frequently," said Wang.