Edition: English Asia Pacific Africa Europe | Español Français العربية Pусский | 中文简体 中文繁体
News Update > Video News

Hangzhou cleans up Grand Canal for Cultural Heritage bid


06-21-2014 19:43 BJT

Hangzhou has been cleaning up its Grand Canal since 2007 in a bid to get it listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

This is the Grand Canal in Hangzhou-- the world’s longest man-made river and links the city to China’s capital Beijing. The main river and its tributaries cut across some high populated areas and not too long ago, its waters were unsighty. The canal banks stank of discharge from factories and waste dumped into it by passing residents.

"We didn’t have flushing toilets. The residents used outdoors like a toilet. In the past, the river was awful. It was dirty. Nobody cared. A lot of rubbish. A lot of factories. The waste water from factories was discharged into the river. It was a stinky cesspit," said a resident along Grand Canal.

As the city developed, projects were undertaken over the past 7 years to improve the canal’s water quality. Dirty water in this tributary has been pumped out and riverbed sludge is being removed. It’s a constant work in progress.

"We have widened the river bed to 20 meters. The wider river accommodates more water flow, and the water quality in the tributaries and in the main grand canal has improved," said Hangzhou Gongshu Urban MGMT. Bureau deputy chief Qian Zhiwei.

The river, once a garbbage dumping group of unwanted material, has transformed into supporting life on its own.

"The ecological environment has been restored. There are also signs of green life, which means the river can function on its own," said Qian.

33 million tons of waste water discharge have been reduced annually as over 500 manufacturing facilities were relocated away from the river banks. Then, art and culture took over the empty spaces.

The industrial times of this area is gone. But its factory walls have been transformed with an influx of galleries, shops and offices.

"This building used to be a textile printing factory. Now those enterprises have left. The building now is used for creative and service businesses. We’d like keep this as the memory of the industrial times," said Hangzhou Gongshu Environment Bureau chief Chen Jiansong.

Follow us on

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Instagram

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Wechat

We Recommend

  • World Heritage China Part 29
  • Glamorous Indonesia Part 2
  • Along the Coast Part 41
  • Glamorous Indonesia Part 1
  • Dreams and the business reality
  • Philippines' beauty pageant obsession
  • China's love for basketball
  • Box office online
  • Jixi: Land of luminaries II