One of the complaints I’ve had about living in our neck of Wangjing is the absence of public green spaces for residents to enjoy; or rather, the absence of access. For years, one tantalizing green space remained closed off by construction barriers. Through the cracks, passersby could glimpse lush landscaping, tall trees, and inviting pathways. However, the mystery park remained closed and no one could tell me why. All of that changed over the summer.
Wangjing Zhongyang Gongyuan (Wangjing Central Park) opened a couple of months ago, but judging from the few dozen people we spotted in the park this past weekend, most Wangjing residents (and Beijingers for that matter) remain unaware of the change in status. This is likely due, in part, to only one entrance being open and the construction barriers still flanking the park on three sides. But who am I to scoff at progress?
The park features undulating pathways that wend through verdant mini hillsides and valleys. Although security was sparse, many gardeners were on site tending plants, watering areas where the sprinklers did not, and reminding people to keep off the grass. The result is a lush oasis in the neighboring sea of concrete, glass, and steel. There is a pond on the north side of the park, open spaces for practicing tai chi or other sports, and lots of suitable pathways for strolling or jogging. There is even a children’s play area, however for now it only features a rubberized surface. We also spotted a building for the toilets, but it is not open yet. There are benches suitable for a relaxing lunch or a good read while the kids run around and explore.
The park opens daily at 6am- 9pm and is located just southeast of Wangjing SOHO on the other side of Wangjing Street. The lone entrance to the park is on the opposite side of the park on Furong Street. Street parking only. For now, the nearest subway stop is Wangjing Station on line 15. The park is east of the station and is a leisurely 15-20 minute walk away.
Photos: Christopher Lay