Chengdu FISU World University Games a new engine for urban development

(Xinhua) 16:39, July 25, 2023

CHENGDU, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Daci Temple, which has stood for more than 1,600 years in the city of Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province, has a fascinating and prosperous history, with its nearby streets once bustling with seasonal markets offering flowers, lamps and various other goods in ancient China.

Notably, it was during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) that Jiaozi, the world's earliest paper currency, originated in the area. Now, Jinjiang District, home to Daci Temple, remains the most vibrant and prosperous area in Chengdu, thanks to the country's modernization process.

Chengdu International Finance Square and the Taikoo Li business circle are located close to the temple and stand at the forefront of Chengdu's opening up to the world. In a few days, the district will host shooting sport events for the Chengdu FISU World University Games, showcasing the dynamism of the city's landscape.

Preparations for the upcoming games, which are scheduled to commence on July 28, have ignited a new wave of urban development in line with China's ongoing modernization drive.

"The venue is so beautiful now! I remember playing here when I was young," said Li Yusheng, 71, when he walked into Chengbei Gymnasium in Jinniu District, his eyes bright with nostalgia and delight. He said the transformation of the stadium has reminded him of cherished memories and filled him with a sense of pride.

Chengbei Gymnasium, which will serve as the competition venue for martial arts events, will see the first gold medal of this year's games awarded. It was originally constructed in 1973 as an open-air court, and was converted into a stadium in 1980. "Back then, playing basketball here was a trend," Li said. But with rapid economic development, the stadium took on a new role as an electrical market in the 1990s and the basketball hoops were dismantled, the stand seats relocated, and the court transformed into two floors of small shops.

Chengdu has renovated 36 sports venues to prepare for the games, and Chengbei Gymnasium is one of the most historic. The upgraded stadium now boasts an area of approximately 20,000 square meters and resembles a majestic, high-flying phoenix.

"We should give full play to the comprehensive value of sports in Chinese modernization and high-quality development," said Ding Dong, an official of the General Administration of Sports of China.

The southwestern city is also working to create a sports atmosphere by providing parks for sports, sports centers in communities, and other new athletic venues. Chengdu has thus far developed over 2.4 square meters per capita of sports grounds or venues, representing the fastest such growth in China.

A wave of enthusiasm for sports has engulfed the city, and sports are now even more fashionable preoccupations in the green urban landscape. With over 1,500 parks and a forest coverage rate of 40.5 percent, Chengdu has fostered an environment that is highly conducive to outdoor exercise.

In Chengdu's Tianfu New Area, water birds can be seen in flight above Xinglong Lake, gliding over its shallow waters. A lakeside greenway has become an excellent space for the public to engage in leisurely activities and relaxation, in contrast to the surging growth of the region's major scientific and technological infrastructure and high-end industrial projects.

"Thanks to the remarkable enhancement of the urban ecological environment, wildlife -- once rarely seen in the city -- has appeared in Chengdu, attracting more residents to join the bird-watching community," said Shen You, president of the municipal bird-watching association.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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