By Dong Na
In 2022, Ningbo plans to construct and transform 25 pocket parks across Haishu, Yinzhou, Yuyao, Cixi, and other locations to advance the efficient planning of urban green spaces.
Pocket parks are a small, open urban spaces, scattered across the urban landscape and embedded within the fabric of the city, existing for the enjoyment of residents. They are often built by creatively transforming small pieces of land in neighborhoods.
As of now, Ningbo has built and transformed hundreds of pocket parks such as Youyun Park and Qingyun Park. In the central urban area, over 90% of residents are within an easy distance of pocket parks, which contributes to their sense of well-being.
This year, Ningbo is pioneering the innovative concept of "small urban gardens" to further improve the urban environment, upgrade the city image, and explore new uses for "idle land" and other small, fragmented plots.
A "small urban garden" covers less area than a pocket park. After selecting suitable plots of land, the city government will issue a call to the public for small garden designs and upgraded pocket park designs. Submissions will be chosen by a citizens' vote and a panel of experts. This year, 35 "Ningbo small urban gardens" will be built as part of a drive towards upgrading small- and micro-green spaces and roadside landscaping.
According to experts, communities of the future will consist of nine "scenarios". Pocket parks can play an important role in the "neighborhood" scenario as a place for citizens to relax and make use of the technology imbedded in the park's infrastructure to interact with the surrounding environment in enriching ways.