The Comprehensive System of Healthy Streets in China from the Perspective of Greenways with Beijing Boulevard Plan as an Example



Publication Date

August 2022


It is crucial to provide high-quality green public spaces with the aim of preventing increasingly prevalent urban chronic diseases and enabling residents to live a life which is more active and healthier (BMPN et al. 2018). As a crucial element of public spaces, street space not only serves as an important and common green space that afford a diverse and healthy street life that urban residents are in high demand of, but also makes contribute to the construction of urban greenways in a systematic manner. In this context, widespread attention of the authorities and professionals in China has been drawn to the concept of ‘healthy streets’ (TfL 2017) in the context of the strategic background—Healthy China (State Council 2016).

On such basis, comprehensive system of healthy streets in Beijing is studied following the analytic layers of urban landscape, including ‘the global systems at level G’ represented by the policy of healthy city and the goals of planning, constructing a harmonious and livable city as well as a city which is pedestrian and bicycle-friendly, ‘the mediating level M’ of green fabric, and ‘the private level P’ of daily life (Lefebvre 2003). Accordingly, healthy streets can provide the advantages of sustainability, safety and equity for specific functions in terms of air quality and climate mitigation (level G), the advantages of connectivity, accessibility and green priority for storm water management and alternative transportation (level M), and the advantage of historic and cultural landscape elements for improved aesthetics in diverse public spaces (level P).

Furthermore, according to the research project of Beijing Boulevard Plan (2020-2022), the planning of a healthy street framework in District XC is carried out. In conclusion, from the perspective of greenways, a new network of healthy streets in District XC is established and this comprehensive system proposed has four characteristics—sustainability, safety and equity, connectivity, aesthetics. All of these characteristics have the potential to promote the development of public spaces and greenways for China as a whole.