Xiamen is a coastal city located in the southeast coast of China popularly known as the 'Garden on the Sea.' An early poet once described the city in this way: 'A city leans on stones like a flower; millions of mountains embrace the sea,' which was a true portrayal of the scenery of 'Garden on the Sea.' Xiamen is one of the Special Economic Zone and a city of sub-provincial level directly attached to the central government in planning.The city governs six districts covering an area of 1516 square kilometers with a population of 1,213,000. In 1994, the city was elected as 'State Gardening and Afforestation Model City' by the State Construction Ministry. It was honored with the title of 'State Hygienic City' in 1996 and the title of ' State Garden City' and 'State Environmental Protection Model City' in 1997.

Natural scenery is lovely and exquisite. Humanistic landscape is rich.
Xiamen has a subtropical oceanic monsoon climate, which is warm and humid, and has plenty of light, heat and rain. It is temperate, neither severely cold in winter nor intensely hot in summer.

Xiamen is surrounded by sea with vast maritime space. Big and small islands, gulfs, beaches, and reefs scatter all around. The sea and the sky are melted into one. On the islands, there are undulating hills, strange stones scattering everywhere, lakes, reservoirs and waterfalls, which are all linked to form a fine picture. The temperate climate, rich botanical resources, spring-like season all the year around, and blooming flowers together make the whole island exquisite, pretty, peculiar and artful. All of these are natural conditions richly endowed by nature for Xiamen to construct a garden city.

Xiamen City was first founded over 600 years ago, but it is rich in culture. It has varied and colorful humanistic landscapes, such as inscriptions of Ming and Qing Dynasty on precipices, ancient fort barbette used in Qing Dynasty to resist foreign aggression, western-style buildings left by 'multi-nation leased territory' in modern times, cultural relics left by the national hero of Ming Dynasty Zheng Cheng Gong and the overseas Chinese Tan Kah Kee, and colorful folk customs and culture of Fujian and Taiwan, etc.

 

The high level and high speed of gardening and afforestation of the city
Xiamen's advantageous natural conditions, rich botanical resources, and particularly favorable geographical environment, especially the preferential policies obtained after Xiamen becaming a Special Economic Zone, provide Xiamen with vast space for the development of gardening and afforestation. Since Xiamen proposed to build a state garden city in 1994, Xiamen's gardening and afforestation have been rapidly developed with an ever improving level. By the end of 1997, the whole city had a total garden and green area of 2403.9 hectares and a public total green area of 517.2 hectares. The afforestation rate in finished urban areas is 36.1% and the greenbelt rate in finished urban areas is 33.7%. The public green area per capita is 9.9 square meters.



The green area is planned in a systematic way with a high starting point and high standard.
Systematic Planning on Xiamen (the island proper) Greenbelt, compiled in 1994, and the systematic planning on greenbelts in the districts outside the island, such as Jimei, Xinglin, Tong'an, and Haicang Investment Zones, compiled in 1996, have the characteristics as follows:

First, the plans try to reach a high starting point and high standard. With reference to the standard of advanced cities in China and abroad and in view of Xiamen's concrete conditions, Xiamen has set the planning targets. The immediate objective in 2000 is as follows: the afforestation rate in finished urban areas is 40%, greenbelt rate is 35%, and public greenbelt per capita is 10 square meters. The long term objective in 2010 is as follows: the afforestation rate in finished urban areas is 45%, greenbelt rate is 40% and public greenbelt per capita is 13 to 15 square meters.

Secondly, the plans aim at rational distribution and complete functions. According to Xiamen's topographical features and the general urban planning and layout, a systematic greenbelt frame characterized by 'one area, one ring, two axis, and two tracts,' is formed.

Thirdly, the plans lay stress on the scenic peculiarity depending on advantages. In Xiamen, mountains and waters are exquisite; humanistic landscape is rich; mountains and sea are linked closely; mountains and the city cross each other; the city and landscape are in perfect harmony; subtropical botanical scenery is rich. The planning stresses the scenic peculiarity. Mountains, lakes and most of the coastal lines on the island are designated as the urban greenbelts or land for scenery. The high-standard systematic greenbelt planning provides scientific basis for urban afforestation and for building state garden city.

 


A coastal city of scenery is built on the basis of favorable natural resources.
Relying on the advantages of exquisite natural and rich humanistic landscapes and botanical species resources in its work of gardening and afforestation, Xiamen keeps the general goal in sight while taking hold of the daily tasks, stressing 'excellence,' showing 'scenery' and developing a unique way to build Xiamen into a coastal scenic garden city.

The favorable natural landscapes are fully exploited, and mountains, lakes, sea, and gardens are all embraced with green. Mountains and sea are close to each other; mountains and the city are combined together; and scenery and city are melted into one. These are features of Xiamen city. Natural beauty is a solid foundation for the features of Xiamen's scenery, as well as a favorable condition for the construction of Xiamen gardening and afforestation. Mountains covers 40% of the area of Xiamen Island, with green and undulating hills and strange stones scattering around. Many massifs can become environmentally exquisite and interesting mountainous parks with only a slight reform. Both Xiamen Island and Gulangsu Island are surrounded, on all sides, by sea, and Jimei, Xinglin, and Haicang outside the island are all built facing the sea, looking like all stars turning towards the North Star. Gulangsu Island, Huoshao Island, Dayu Island, Jiyu Island, Maluan Bay and Xinglin Bay in the western sea area and the eastern sea area have a coastline of over 20 kilometers. Tong'an Bay, together with the islands across the sea, such as Big and Small Jinmen, Dadan, Erdan, etc. constitutes natural coastal scenery. In recent years, the construction of Bright Moon Garden and Gulangsu Island Garden around Gulangsu Island, the reform of Shuzhuang Garden, and the completion of Seaside Park on Xiamen Island proper, West Dike Park and Jimei South Dike Park, especially the completion of the tourist route of the Round-the-Island Road in the east of Xiamen Island proper, all facilitate sightseeing for tourists from China and abroad. A coastal scenic city begins to take shape. The greenbelt system of Yuandang Lake, another beautiful landscape of Xiamen, has been formed consisting of Bailuzhou Park, South Lake Park, Jiahe Park and 16.2-kilometer-long greenbelt around the lake.

Historical and cultural resources are exploited, and the feature of multi culture reflected. During the park construction, great attention is paid to exploitation and utilization of historical culture. In view of Xiamen's multicultural features, parks are built with various styles and distinctions. Xiamen has been infiltrated by western culture in history, such as famous Gulangsu Island known as 'World's Expo of Architecture.' Many historical and cultural celebrities came from here. Folk customs and culture of Fujian and Taiwan are rich. So construction of parks with various style has fully reflected Xiamen's diversified cultural features.

The advantages of botanical resources are fully exploited, and the south subtropical features are reflected. The favorable geographical location and climate have created very rich botanical resources, which is another advantage for Xiamen's gardening and afforestation. Big-flowered arbors, Palm plants, colored-leaf plants, climbing plants, and ground plants are extensively planted in gardening and greenbelts, such as parks, courtyards, and residential areas.

With great efforts, artificial scenery is made to appear natural. Green plants are inserted wherever possible, so there are beautiful scenes everywhere. When large-scaled natural landscapes are developed and constructed, the construction of little scenic spots and green areas are never neglected. Corners and margins are fully exploited and utilized to plant trees, grass, or flowers in the light of actual circumstances. In recent years, many exquisite little flower beds, little flower terraces, little green belts, little flower belts, little sculptures, and little gardening sketches have been built along roads and walls and around the corners, etc. in order to achieve harmony between buildings and natural landscapes. These little inconspicuous scenic spots have been one of Xiamen's unique features of gardening and afforestation. While walking in the city, you can catch beautiful scenery everywhere.


Roads are decorated with greenbelts, and urban landscapes are worked at with great care. 
Since the foundation of the Special Economic Zone, Xiamen's road afforestation has been rapidly developing with the large-scaled urban development and construction, and especially in recent years, afforestation has always followed road construction closely. At present, the whole city has 121 urban roads with a total length of 159.5 kilometers, 154.4 kilometers of which has been afforested. The road afforestation rate has been up to 97%. Now, the urban afforestation framework of Xiamen has been finished. The structure of the present road afforestation in Xiamen has greatly changed, and the rate of afforestation has obviously increased. The road afforestation are neatly arranged, and botanical landscapes are rich with exquisite combination of trees, shrubs, flowers and grass. The botanical landscapes along the street are greatly enriched. Those in important locations, such as ends of a bridge, viaducts, traffic islands and banks of lakes, are worked at with great care, bringing out the crucial point and stressing the beauty. The green areas along streets are widened and the tinges of gardening are rich. Gardens, flower terraces, and greenbelts are located in right places, creating scenery everywhere. Modern arts, such as sculpture, short sketches, and lamps, are seen in streets, and in harmonious combination with green areas.


Public green areas are with various styles, and parks are constructed with distinct features.
Public green areas are the cream of urban gardening and afforestation, a window for spiritual civilization, and an epitome of local history and culture. Since the founding of the Special Economic Zone over ten years ago, public green areas have been rapidly increasing with the rapid development of urban construction.

Xiamen has 29 various parks at present, 20 of which are parks and memorial gardens built after the establishment of the Special Economic Zone. Since the Special Economic Zone was established, 298.47 hectares of public green areas have been added, with an average of 1.3 parks newly built each year. The new parks are built with distinct features. In the construction of parks, the layout of parks tends to be rational; the diversified historical and cultural features are fully reflected; Xiamen's favorable natural landscapes, such as massifs, strange stones, water surface, and etc, are fully utilized. Great efforts have been made to take full advantage of rich botanical species, highlighting the skill to build plants into gardens and scenery. All sides of gardens have plenty of light. Green trees, flowers, and rich street scenes melt into one, contrasting finely with each other.



Afforestation in courtyards has entered a new phase, and made big strides in residential areas.
In the last ten or more years, Xiamen has paid much attention to courtyard afforestation, and conducted many activities, such as striving for 'Up-to-Standard Afforestation Unit,' 'Garden Units,' and 'Provincial Afforestation Red-Banner Unit,' yielded good effects. At present, among the 363 units which have separate courtyards in the whole city, 196 units are 'Up-to-Standard Afforestation Units,' among which 165 units have been up to the standard of 'Garden Unit' and 90 units have been up to the standard of 'Provincial Afforestation Red-Banner Unit.' The units which have been up to or above the standard account for 54% of the total, of which 'Provincial Afforestation Red-Banner Units' account for 24.8%. Construction of green areas attached to units has stepped onto a new level.

Afforestation construction in Xiamen's residential areas has been rapidly developing. Since the establishment of the Special Economic Zone, tracts of fully equipped residential areas and villas have been built, and afforestation construction in residential areas have greatly developed at the same time. At present, over 40 or more residential areas and villa areas under the city level of administration are all afforested, and the ratio of green area tends to rise each year. The average ratio of space allotted to greenery in 17 residential areas built since 1993 is 30.8%, and that in the residential areas planned and built in 1998 accounts for or above 40%. The high-leveled afforestion in residential areas creates an exquisite and comfortable living environment for the people of the whole city and afforestation in Xiamen's residential areas steps into a new realm.


Construction of landscape and forestry develops steadily, and afforestation of macro urban environment achieves remarkable success.
The national scenic spots of 'Gulangsu Island --- Wanshi Mountain,' approved by the State Council in 1988, cover a total area of 245.75 square kilometers, whose land area consists of scenic spots of Wanshi Mountain located in the south of Xiamen Island and Gulangsu Island. The scenic spots and Jinmen face each other across the sea. The ratio of space allotted to greenery is above 50%. Xiamen has 681.16 hectares of forestry and scenery at present. In the landscapes and forestry of Huwei Mountain and Xiayue Mountain, both located in the northwest of Xiamen Island, preparations have started now for the construction of mountainous parks, which will provide more recreational places with more distinguished features for residents and tourists.

The mountains on Xiamen Island suitable for forestry have all been afforested and afforestation of those outside the island have basically been finished. In 1996, the Municipal Party Committee and Government proposed a project plan to build a 'green corridor' along main roads and to afforest coast along Round-the-Island Road. The shelter forest belt mainly made up of fruit trees on the two sides of Fu-Xia Road leading to Xiamen and 324 National Road have been fully finished in 1998. The shelter forest belt, which had been damaged in certain sections along the coast, was restored in 1997. 13 kilometers of coastal afforestation project of Round-the-Island Road have been completed. At present, the effect resulted from afforestation of Xiamen's macro environment is increasingly remarkable. While economy rapidly develops, the quality of urban environment doesn't deteriorate and the quality of atmosphere has been up to the national first-grade standard, ranking at excellent level for eight years.

'Chinese parasol trees' planted today will attract 'golden phoenix' tomorrow.
The construction of a garden city by Xiamen has greatly improved Xiamen's investment environment and attracts a great number of investors from China and abroad, greatly promoting Xiamen's economic development. By the end of 1998, nearly 3000 enterprises in the three forms of Sino-foreign joint venture, cooperative business and exclusively foreign-owned enterprises had been run in the whole city, with an actually utilized foreign fund of 6,000 million yuan. The total industrial output value of the enterprises in the three forms accounts for 73.2% of that of the whole city at or above township level. The total value of foreign trade, import and export has constantly increased. In 1998, the total volume of foreign trade, import and export was 7,547 million dollars, basically forming an export-oriented economic pattern.

Beautiful Xiamen has also promoted the development of tourism. In recent years, four or five million tourists from China and abroad are attracted to Xiamen for sightseeing every year, which has played an important role in publicizing Xiamen, increasing Xiamen's notability, and promoting economic development.¡¡

 

Ascend another story to see a thousand miles.
While building a garden city, Xiamen has made remarkable progress in the gardening and afforestation. Xiamen's environment has been greatly improved. According to Xiamen's general plan, urban area will be increased to 120 square kilometers and urban nonagricultural population will be 1,200,000 or more by the year 2010. In view of this developing scale, the Xiamen's general objective of gardening and afforestation by the year 2010 will be as follows: the total area of parks and greenery will be 4800 hectares; the total public green area will be 1680 hectares; the ratio of space allotted to greenery in finished residential areas will be 45%; the rate of green area will be 40%; and the public green area per capita will be 13 to 15 square meters.

'Ascend another story to see a thousand miles.' Xiamen is marching forward to be an international modernized coastal scenery city with beautiful natural environment, excellent ecological environment, developed economy and civilized society.

1999 was the 20th anniversary of the National Treeplanting Day. Xiamen Government organized volunteer planting activities. The citizens participated in these activities actively.

Vonlunteer treeplanting to improve the afforestation in suburb area and along roads
On 12th, March, Xiamen Municipal Government leaders and citizens, about 600 persons, plants more than 36,000 trees in Haicang Xinyang Industry Zone, with an afforestation area of 300 Mu(1/15 of a hectare).

The government popularized afforestation on roof in Siming District, paid great attention to the public grassland and road afforestation in Huli District,  Tong'an District, Jimei and Xinglin District. At the same time, The Traffic Department strengthened the afforestation along highways. 

Deepen citizens' afforestation awareness
In order to deepen citizen's afforestation awarenes, the government publicized afforestation on TV, newspapers, broadcasts. A special evening party and a photograph contest were hold by Xiamen Afforestation Bureau. The government hold all kinds of activities to give afforestation wide publicity to citizens.

On 13th, March, more than 250 students in primary and high schools planted more than 1,500 trees along the Round-the-island Road. 
On 14th, March, 108 couples planted more than 100 Hainan red bean trees to commemorate their love. The significant forest, covers an area of 650 Mu, as a part of Xian Yue Garden, is divided into love district, new baby district, friendship district, commemorative district, golden wedding or Silver wedding district. Many trees would be planted here.

 

Xiamen City has participated in "China 99' World Gardening Expositions, Kunming", and won 72 awards. Volunteers has planted 2,331,500 trees, there are 1,256,600 arbors, 107,500 shrubs. The grassland covers an area of 851,800 square metres. The gardening and greenbelt area has increased 158 hectares. The total gardening and greenbelt area reached 2,754 hectares, among which public greenbelt covers an area of 654.66 hectares. The average per public greenbelt reached 9,89 square meter. 

1.Enlarge the gardening and greenbelt areas, improve the quality of gardens and greenbelt 
The public greenbelt areas had increased 57.43 hectares. The projects included the flyover afforestation in Haicang Bridge Administration Zone, the greenbelt in the International Exhibition Center Square and etc. 21.44 hectares roads has been afforested. The greenery patches in residential quarters had increased 19,42 hectares, and other green

2.Strengthen the publicity of afforestation, mobilize the masses to plant trees.
On 12th, March, 2000, the Xiamen Garden and Landscape Administrative Bureau held some activities to publicize afforestation awareness in Zhongshan Park, Ferry Square, Railway Station Square. And on the other hand, they did that through broadcast, TV, pictures, consultation, exhibitions, etc.

The Xiamen Municipal Party Committee leaded volunteers and stationed Liberation army to plant more than 5,000 trees in hills. More than 46 organizations and individuals wanted to plant and cultivate more than 3,000 trees. The funds for treeplanting was 4,000,000 RMB. More and more people took park in these activities.

 

3.Deepen the activities of voluntary treeplanting, promote the afforestation construction
On 10th, March, 2000, more than 650 persons planted 72,800 trees, covering an area of 300 Mu in Haicang Xinyang Industry Zone. The same activities were held in other zones. Many trees were planted in Tong'an District, Jimei District, Xinglin District, and other Districts.The whole Xiamen Island became green.

The road afforestation in 2000 paid great attention to maintain and protect the road greenbelt. The Xiamen Highway Bureau finished the afforestation of the 319 National Highway in Haicang, with the length of 9 kilometers. The greenbelt covers an area of 21.1 hectares, with 19,000 arbors and 52,700 shrubs. The government invested more than 3,500,000 to reconstruct part of greenbelts. The 324 National Highway in Xiamen was awarded the title "The National Road Afforestation Example".

The government continued to appraise the excellent courtyards or units. Xiamen Ruijing Garden and other 26 units were awarded as "Garden Units". Other units won some awards. 

4.To strengthen the protection and administration of afforestation achievements

The protection and administration of gardens and greenbelt became standardization. The ability to protect and conserve greenbelt was developed and the quality of afforestation project was improved.

In order to protect afforestation achievements,the government punished any activity to destroy gardens or greenbelts.

The protection and administration of sceneries was put on the right track. The government drew "The Protection and Administration of Xiamen's Sceneries Planning" and strengthened the protection of ancient trees and forests.