Beijing Municipal Bureau of Landscape and Forestry stresses the importance of enhancing overall protection to historic gardens in a report. It plans to introduce targeted protection regulations to noted historic sites like the Summer Palace. [Photo/Xinhua]
A report by Beijing Municipal Bureau of Landscape and Forestry shows that 1,094 of the city's historic gardens and parks lack of overall protection and are particularly at risk, even facing permanent disappearance.
Although "Regulations on Parks in Beijing" was launched in 2003, and 10 regulations exist to strengthen the protection of historic gardens, these protections concentrate on ancient architecture instead of plant configuration, inscriptions and other landscape elements.
According to the report, there are still obvious blind areas spots in historic garden protection. Until now, overall protection of historic gardens in Beijing was not approved. The actual area of protected historic gardens is 20 percent less than the real need. Several historic gardens and parks are partly occupied by local enterprises for business uses. Some of the world’s cultural heritage sites are surrounded by skyscrapers and their view corridors are totally disrupted.
At many historic gardens, the capacity for tourists has exceeded the upper limit, especially on weekends and holidays. Since 2000, there are double the number of parks open to the public in Beijing, but fourfold tourists visiting these sites, which also brings both security and management risk.
Meanwhile, despite repeated prohibitions, undocumented guides and unscrupulous peddlers stray into the parks, bringing disorder. The 2003 "Regulations on Parks in Beijing" states the urban management bureau is in charge of punishing illegal behavior butstaff members at the historic sites can only discourage them.
In addition, there are financial deficits at many parks, especially public welfare parks. Some park managers rent out sections of the sites or host activities with business organizations for a fee, leading to less protection of the historic sites.