Beginning this year, more than 400 registered parks in Beijing will apply the newly launched classification and grading management program. Different types of parks will have different evaluation criteria. The evaluation results will directly influence the amount of fiscal investment that the park will receive.
Beijing has more than 400 registered parks that will be divided into five categories based on their functions:
- Multi-purpose parks: Have complete facilities, rich programs including scientific research, tours, sports and fitness. Multi-purpose parks respond to the needs of different age groups; are no less than 5 hectares, and can be grouped as city or regional multi-purpose parks;
- Community parks: Mainly serve the residents of a specific neighborhood. Their amenities include children’s playgrounds and elderly fitness facilities. These parks are no less than 0.5 hectares;
- Historic parks: Have prominent historical and cultural value that have influenced the city's transformation or cultural development. They can host traditional gardening activities and are part of the historic parks list;
- Theme parks: Have a cultural theme as their core content. They include theme parks, botanical gardens, zoos and amusement parks; and
- Ecological parks: Are preserved natural environments with thriving ecosystems that have been not been disturbed by human activities. These parks provide a field for ecological science education and for citizens to be close to nature. The ecological parks include forest parks, countryside parks, and wetland parks, and should have no less than 20 hectares.
Each park category will be evaluated differently. The parks will be classified as primary, secondary, and tertiary, based on their quality and management scores.
The basic evaluation indicators for the five park categories are very similar and include landscape quality and infrastructure condition. Operation management indicators are, however, different. For historic parks, the evaluation indicators include cultural relic restoration, heritage preservation, risk control, and historical space protection. Whether the ancient buildings are well preserved and have a compliant lease plan will directly affect the park's score.
The evaluation of ecological parks focuses on ecological restoration and environmental protection, inducing biodiversity and natural landscape protection. In the case of wetland parks, a low quality management can lead to species (e.g., bullfrogs) invasion if visitors are not warned against putting animals into the water bodies. Such incidents will negatively impact the park’s score during its evaluation. In multi-purpose parks, the focus is on cultural activities and public services. A park will score fewer points if its cultural activities program is not rich and diversified.
Each park can submit its category and class to the management institutions. The final decisions will be made by the experts of the Municipal Gardens Bureau and will be publicized. Visitors will be able to know the characteristics and management quality of each park based on the evaluation results.
These results are however not final. The Municipal Gardens Bureau will organize expert expeditions to examine the graded parks. If a park's quality and management level does not match its grade, the Bureau will request improvement. In case of failure to implement the requested improvement, a lower level grade will be assigned to the park.
Classification and grading does not only incentive Beijing parks to refine their management, it also affects the fiscal investment allocated to each park; that will be directly linked with a park's type and grade. Parks with high quality and management levels will receive more fiscal investments and vice versa.
How is the park management system in your city? Do you prefer multi-purpose parks or theme parks? Share your thoughts and your city's stories in the comments area below.
Credits: Images and data linked to sources.
The original article, published in Chinese, can be found here.