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Call to save historic garden from developer
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2007-01-30 10:49

A member of the Shanghai's top advisory body has made an impassioned plea to the city government to save an 82-year-old nursery garden from disappearing under new buildings.

Huang Qi, who sits on the plenary meeting of the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, told yesterday's session that the garden, near Hongqiao Metro Station, should not have been sold to developers who plan to build 30 high-rises on the site.

"The garden can not only reinvigorate us but it also has a lot of stories to tell," Huang said.

The garden was built in 1924 and originally named Columbia Plant. It sits on 15,000 square meters and is one of the oldest gardens in the city.

The district government changed the usage of the land so it could be sold to developers. Hongqiao District Government said it closed the garden because electromagnetic waves from a nearby TV tower were killing plants.

"However as far as I know, the tower doesn't work any more," Huang said. "The main reason the district gives doesn't wash."

Huang said she passes the garden every day and when it was still open would always see new trees and plants being transported there.

"The garden, together with nearby Jiao Tong University and Xinhua Road, is a cultural zone," Huang said.

Over the years, the garden has won dozens of prizes, Huang said. "But now, the construction of high-rises to destroy it has already begun. Some of the plants have been cut down. But the ones remaining are still beautiful even in such a cold winter."

Huang said green spaces in busy areas were important, and the garden would brighten the environment and ease stress.

The city's CPPCC has accepted Huang's proposal and will ask the Xuhui District government to respond.

An official with the Xuhui District government said the district would treat Huang's proposal seriously, but refused to comment on it.


Source:Shanghai Daily 
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