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Smoggy Beijing to lay more greenways


08:57, July 31, 2013

China's capital city will build over 1,000 kilometers of greenways in the coming five years to ease air pollution, the Beijing municipal government announced on Tuesday.

Costing 3 billion yuan (485.7 million U.S. dollars), the project will create a network of greenways that will connect over 200 parks, scenic spots and historical sites in the city, according to the Beijing Municipal Development and Reform Commission.

The park-like paths will offer more space for pedestrians and cyclists, who often complain about their lanes being occupied by motor vehicles during rush hours or traffic jams, thus encouraging more citizens to travel in a greener way, said Xiao Huili, an official with the commission.

Official statistics show that 5.2 million vehicles were registered in Beijing by the end of last year, while a report issued by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in February revealed that vehicle exhaust is among the top sources of air pollution in Beijing.

Xiao said the greenways will also serve to improve the environment and help alleviate the choking smog that has plagued the megacity that is home to over 20 million people.

Construction is expected to start this year in the city proper and will later expand to the suburbs.

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