SHANGHAI will build more sports facilities to reach the goal of letting every citizen have an average 2.4 square meters of sports facilities each by 2020.
The Shanghai Sports Bureau says 50 more jogging/walking paths, 50 new football pitches and 200 neighborhood sports centers will be built this year.
Shanghai citizens have an average 1.8 square meters of sports venues each. The national average is a bit over 1 square meter — about one tenth that of the United States.
“More sports venues will be built and more exercise facilities will be established in green spaces like parks and gardens,” said Zhao Wen, vice mayor in charge of sports.
“The city government will buy services from capable companies which will be in charge of the venues’ operations.”
Zhao said the city government would invest more because Shanghai wanted to make sports and recreation a highlight.
“One yuan of investment into sports equals to nine yuan in medical treatment,” Zhao said in a meeting with city and district sports department officials on yesterday.
“We should add more exercising facilities to public greeneries, riverside areas and suburban parks.”
Shanghai will spend more than 300 billion yuan (US$43.9 billion) by 2025 on sports and exercise-related services.
The goal is eventually to have 45 percent of people exercising regularly.
The bureau also wants to upgrade the management of amateur leagues, especially the football league, this year.