PARKS AND HIKING IN SHENZHEN

Shenzhen is China’s Garden City par excellence. Deng Xiaoping, encouraged by his experience in Singapore, was the first to urge that special attention be paid to greening the city. Further impetus came early in the development of the city when gas and electricity were made available to the whole population, thus eliminating the need to go into the juvenile forests to collect firewood. What a distance Shenzhen has travelled in a few short years.

Shenzhen now claims more green and public park area than any city in China and one of the highest ratios in the world of green space. The per capita figures are a bit rubbery; until recently it’s been a matter of speculation how many people live in Shenzhen. An article in Newsweek magazine suggested that Dongguan, which borders Shenzhen to the north, had pipped it for the title of the greenest city in the developing world. But whichever way you look at it, Shenzhen is a magnificently green city with some of the finest parks and gardens in the world.

People with an interest in horticulture will be fascinated by the diverse and often unusual plant species that populate the parks and gardens. Some public gardens have annual shows for the gardeners to exhibit their carefully tendered flowers and bushes.

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