Globle Connection

Home /UPSC /Globle Connection /other

Chongqing transforming spaces under its bridges

2023-05-23 | China Daily

Residents are playing basketball under an overhead bridge in Chongqing's Yuzhong district.[Photo by Zou Le/For China Dailly]

CHONGQING — Many bridges in Southwest China's Chongqing municipality are a popular subject for photography on TikTok. They are shown illuminated at night or bearing trains amid clouds of dreamy mist, winning numerous thumbs-up from netizens.

Now lovers of the famous structures have more to celebrate, thanks to a citywide campaign to improve the spaces beneath them, as well as the miles of riverbank that run through the city.

Also known as the "Bridge Capital of China," Chongqing boasts over 10,000 bridges of all kinds. However, the areas beneath them are often neglected, either planted with bushes or used as parking lots. In many cases, the space is simply unused.

In Jiulongpo district, the Egongyan Bridge strides across the Yangtze River. Under the bridge now sits the newly built Jiulongtan Square, where locals can make use of intelligent workout facilities powered by solar energy or take a leisurely stroll along the riverside walkways.

According to the municipal commission of housing and urban-rural development, the Jiulongtan project stretches 2.2 kilometers along the river, covering 504,000 square meters. It is part of the city's broader effort to renovate and upgrade the urban planning of areas along the rivers.

"It may be difficult to imagine, but several years ago, there was only a dilapidated wharf under the bridge," said Wu Feng, a resident living nearby. "It was full of weeds, and the road was too rugged for us to walk on."

Now, the desolate space has been turned into a popular, leafy spot allowing locals to get close to nature. Plant varieties from the Three Gorges Reservoir area have been planted near the water's edge, transforming the barren land while aiding soil consolidation and ecological restoration.

"Taking into account Chongqing's riverside terrain with its various changes in level, we have built waterside walkways along the embankment, as well as paths for fitness lovers, giving them easy access to the Yangtze River," said Kang Yi, executive manager of the project.

Meanwhile, the revamping of the spaces is making good use of the city's rich industrial culture.

For years, the space beneath Egongyan Bridge featured over 50 abandoned air-raid shelters carved into the rock walls. Now, 21 of the air-raid shelters have been transformed into eight exhibition halls with various themes, teaching visitors folk culture and showcasing a former defense industrial base in Jiulongpo district.

On the Jiubin Road overpass in Jiulongpo, artists have created 3D paintings featuring naval and air equipment against a backdrop of blue sky and clouds. The impact is enhanced at night by projected images simulating the rise and fall of waves.

Meanwhile, a decommissioned warship is docked next to the overpass. As an extension of the nearby museum cluster, the ship is intended to boost patriotism among visitors, the commission said.

In the future, Chongqing plans to see 23 renovation projects along its 109 km of riverbank, with some of them already completed. They will not only transform the spaces beneath the city's famous bridges, but contribute to greening efforts and upgrading infrastructure, the commission added.