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Beijing’s Olympic Park, Post Olympics

Beijing’s new Olympic Forest Park, constructed for the 2008 summer Olympics was just profiled in the Bangkok Post (in English). The city’s largest park, at 680 hectres (about 1,680 acres) is proving to be a popular place with residents after the games left town. From the news story:

As the park was to be used as a civilian space and public park after the games, the Beijing government earmarked 2.2 billion Chinese yuan, or 11.6 billion baht for the project. Such an amount of money for a public park seems staggering. But Beijing – the ancient city with breathtaking gardens like the Summer Palace or Beihai Park near the Forbidden City – has a soft spot for parks and gardens.

Chinese people, said Hu Jie, also a native of Beijing, have a special love affair with public spaces. “Beijing residents love to hang out, socialise or exercise in public parks.”

For instance, at Ho Hai – a famous tourist spot around the lake and a green area, Chinese women practice aerobic dance until late at night. During the day, many people bring reclining chairs and tea pots are ubiquitous.

The above-linked article goes into the design and layout of the park.