Shanghai: Urban Nature, what I saw on my trip

Just like I did in the entry Urban Nature in London. What I saw on my trip, I will try to show you some interesting green spaces that we have seen in the city of Shanghai.

We already saw in the post Urban Agriculture in China, why is it necessary? that the problem of pollution in these highly populated cities can be greatly mitigated with parks and urban gardens.

Shanghai is a good example of this, it seemed to me a » green city» with many parks, vertical gardens… and even orchards, a type of urban agriculture not so well known and practiced in most cities in China, but in Shanghai we It was much easier to find.

Vertical gardens in Shanghai

Vertical gardens or plant walls are a beautiful way to beautify the city without taking up too much space. We saw several green walls in Shanghai, some of them were searched for and others we found when we were walking (like the one you can see in the photo below). But I am sure that there will be many more green spaces of this type that we have not seen.

Here are some photos I took of these curious gardens:

Vertical garden on the Bund in Shanghai

Pretty, huh? This is a large vertical garden on the famous Bund in Shanghai. The Bund is one of the symbols of the city, a pedestrian zone of more than 2 km on the banks of the Huangpu River. With a lot of history behind it, it is currently one of the main recreational and walking areas of Shanghai, and from it you can enjoy a wonderful view of Puddong (the most «modern» area of ​​the city and where the highest and famous skyscrapers).

This other garden in the heights is in the K11 shopping center. We had a hard time finding the place, so when we arrived it was almost dark, but I hope you appreciate the beauty of this huge vertical garden.

I took the photos from one of the roofs of the building. From there you can enjoy a beautiful view of the huge vertical garden and the large vertical fountain while having a snack or a drink at the outdoor bar. In any case, the garden is also visible from the street and from inside the shopping center, with glass walls that open onto the kind of central patio upholstered with this striking plant wall.

The shopping center has a floor exclusively dedicated to organic farming and food, which Álvaro will tell you about in a few days. And, as you can see, it had vegetation even on the escalators. At K11 they take care of the smallest detail!

Plant dedicated to Organic Agriculture in the K11 building in Shanghai

Parks and gardens in Shanghai

There are plenty of parks in Shanghai. I will now tell you about some of the ones we visited:

Yuyuan Gardens

In the heart of Shanghai, northwest of the neighborhood called «old Shanghai» (in Anren Jie), are these huge urban gardens that were founded by the Pan family, made up of wealthy government officials from the Ming dynasty. They were completed in 1577, after 18 years of construction. Although in 1842 they were practically destroyed by a bombardment during the Opium War, their restoration began in 1956 and they currently show a very similar appearance to the initial one, a clear example of the garden design of the Ming dynasty.The objective of the construction of this garden was recreation and enjoyment of the tranquility and peace that natural spaces provide. It is currently open to the public, and the truth is that although there are many people walking its passageways and paths, you can enjoy this tranquility in the middle of a big city like Shanghai, since the gardens are very spacious and you can always find some space empty and quiet to relax. I, at least, had that feeling, and I really liked being in a green place full of fountains and vegetation, while, not far away, the silhouettes of the huge buildings of Shanghai could be sensed.

As they told us during the visit (and as you can see in the photos) the constructions coexist next to the water, the stones and the vegetation, symbols of nature in its purest form.

the village park

In the northern part of the famous «People’s Square» is Renmin Park, an oasis amidst the tall buildings that surround the square.

Here’s a photo I took last Sunday:

And an anecdote that has nothing to do with urban nature but that I found very curious: the people you see with umbrellas in this kind of “exhibition market” go to the Plaza del Pueblo park on Sunday mornings. The purpose is to show the photos and characteristics (physical and personal) of their single children to find them a partner. I found it quite surprising

There are other parks that serve as green lungs for Shanghai and are worth visiting, such as Century Park (which is the largest park in Shanghai), Fuxing Park, the Botanical Garden

Urban gardens in Shanghai

The Roots & Shoots and Good to China associations have school gardens and community gardens throughout the city. We had the opportunity to visit the Jiashan Skyfarm and the Aken Green Rooftop. As I have seen gossiping on the internet there are many other urban gardens and more associations, but in four days we didn’t have much time either!

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