Happiness put first by city developers



When talking about quality living environments, Chengdu must be mentioned because it has topped the list of China’s happiest cities for 13 consecutive years. It is also one of the most attractive cities for college graduates and young job seekers, according to Fortune magazine.

People love Chengdu not only because of its elegant, fashionable, optimistic and inclusive atmosphere. More importantly, people can enjoy a warm, high-quality and poetic life there, local officials said.

In recent years, the Chengdu government has implemented 10 major “happy life” projects.

It aims to transform the development achievements of the city into an experience that residents can enhance their sense of gain and happiness.

For example, the city started the Xunxiang Road project in 2019 to recreate an outdoor plum blossom corridor depicted in an ancient poem. The “fragrance lasts for 10 kilometers from Qingyang Palace to Huanhuaxi”, wrote Chinese poet Lu You in the Song Dynasty (960-1279).

Lu described the scene as he rode through Chengdu and became fascinated by the plum blossoms he could smell along the way.

Running from the Shi’erqiao Bridge on Shudu Avenue to Qingshuihe Bridge on the Second Ring Road, the Xunxiang Road project measures about 10 km.

Many varieties of plum have been planted on both sides of the road. When the blossoms are in full bloom in winter, people can enjoy the fragrance just like Lu did 800 years ago.

Other ancient poets like Li Bai, Du Fu and Su Dongpo also visited Chengdu and left famous works through the ages.

Wang Ying, who has worked in Chengdu after graduating from university, receives many friends from across the country every year. “Everyone likes to come to the city. In addition to going to famous scenic spots and landmarks, what they like most is to experience the lifestyle here, just like Chengdu people,” she said.


Citizens enjoy a leisurely time at a park in Chengdu.

Statistics show that in 2021, Chengdu introduced more than 160,000 young talents. The city has won the title of “one of China’s best talent-attracting cities” and “one of the most attractive Chinese cities in the eyes of foreign talents” for three consecutive years.

Urban renewal is another focus of Chengdu to improve people’s sense of happiness. Many old residential communities have been rejuvenated in terms of appearance and functions these past few years.

Chengdu Huanhua community, which was built in 1998, started renovation in 2021. “In addition to the aging infrastructure, the old community mostly lacked a variety of convenient service functions, which we have considered during the transformation,” officials said. “We have added facilities suitable for the old and the young, and built part of the road into an ecological fitness trail,” they added.

Since the community is close to Du Fu Thatched Cottage, where the great Tang Dynasty (618-907) poet once lived, the name, logo and some walls of the community now display this history.

In 2021, Chengdu completed renovating 313 communities, benefiting 34,000 residents. The city has continued to deepen urban renewal with renovation projects of 336 old communities started in the first half of this year.

To provide welfare for its residents, Chengdu has striven to make full use of idle land — such as under bridges and rooftops — to create new spaces integrating leisure, entertainment and sports.

Wutong Fitness Square, which is close to the Phoenix Mountain Outdoor Music Park, is one such place. The sports center has set up a number of basketball courts and table tennis spots, as well as some simple fitness equipment.

This year, Chengdu plans to develop 200 demonstration projects that utilize idle land and the construction scope will be expanded.