Colorful flowers adorn a public park on Ersha Island in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. [Photo provided to China Daily]
Drivers and pedestrians crossing overpasses and footbridges in Guangzhou in November could expect to see Bougainvillea glabra in full bloom against the backdrop of an azure autumn sky.
The flowers, which can range in color from purple, red and pink to white and yellow, cover the sides of 353 overpasses and footbridges measuring 330 kilometers in length in Guangzhou, bringing a riot of color to the cityscape.
Thirteen species have been selected out of a total of 150 to decorate the bridges together with some other plants. Careful management, means there are flowers in bloom all year round, up from two seasons in 2003 when the work began to beautify the bridges, said Ruan Lin, dean of the Guangzhou Institute of Forestry and Landscape Architecture.
As well as looking attractive, the flowers also bring marked ecological benefits in terms of improvements to air quality and mitigation of urban heat island effect－where a metropolitan area is warmer than surrounding rural areas due to human activity.
Guangzhou has applied for a national habitat award for the project after winning the Guangdong provincial award last year, Ruan said, adding that the city's experts have helped a number of other cities on the southeast coast garnish their bridges.
The floral bridges are only part of authorities' efforts to enable the city live up to its nickname of the "city of flowers".