Since ancient times,West Lake has flourished depending on Hangzhou, and Hangzhou is known for West Lake. However, after Nixon visited China in 1972 and had a tour in Hangzhou, the New York Times adopted such a report title:Beautiful West Lake, Dilapidated City.
It seemed that only West Lake was worthy of the reputation of a"paradise on earth". There were dilapidated old residential houses, crowded alleys, and dirty rivers everywhere. The surrounding areas of West Lake were also occupied by various units and residents. These buildings were messy and dilapidated, with different styles. Even parks, landscapes, and ancient ruins became houses for certain units and households.
The report deeply hurt the hearts of Hangzhou people, but it also sounded an alarm for them. Finally, from the municipal party committee, the municipal government, to the common people on the streets, a consensus was formed to "dismantle the old and restore the green, and return the lake to the people".
However, it was extremely difficult to "return the lake" to the people. At that time, the houses and units around West Lake all had some backstage support. They had been living here for so many years and had grown "roots". But from its very beginning, this project conformed to the common aspiration of the people and would bring benefits to the offspring. After the efforts of all parties, this intertwined "blocking tree" was finally pulled out.
Then through remediation, the surrounding areas of the West Lake are no longer occupied by cold buildings of concrete and steel bars, but green grass and flowers. Surrounded by shades of green throughout the year, more and more tourists linger here.
When West Lake renovation had been taken as a symbol of Hangzhou's reform, the people of Hangzhou made an unexpected decision to demolish all the walls and railings of West Lake! West Lake would be open to all tourists for free, and it would be free forever. West Lake has truly become "West Lake of the people".
West Lake has long become a part of Hangzhou's soul, giving it a colorful and profound flavor. And the people of Hangzhou have always been protecting West Lake as they cherish their own lives. In the future, they will continue to compose tales of charm symbiosis.
《纽约时报》：New York Times
“人间天堂”："paradise on earth"
“拆旧还绿，还湖于民”："dismantle the old and restore the green, and return the lake to the people"