A glow-in-the-dark footpath is lighting up a new recreational space in the Pudong New Area’s Zhoupu Town.
The path along Zhouzhu Road is part of Pudong’s “colorful community” campaign to encourage good-neighborliness and build community spirit in new residential areas.
The area between Zhouxing and Zhoukang roads was previously a scrubby mess of unattractive shrubbery, cutting its way among expensive new residential complexes.
Those who live in the new buildings had complained that the greenbelt was pretty useless, and declared that they wanted a place to sit and chat or somewhere they could stroll after dinner.
Now the unkempt undergrowth has become a popular meeting place, a roadside oasis of trees and flowers with benches and a footpath that glows shimmering blue when darkness falls.
The path is made from a combination of light-transmitting and reflecting material that absorbs sunlight during the day and emit a soft glow at night, said Yan Guojie, an engineer with Pudong Road and Bridge Construction Co.
In cloudy conditions or when the solar power is exhausted, people can use flashlights to illuminate the path and just a few minutes later, it will glow again. Some people use flashlights to create luminous shapes on the path such as hearts and flowers.
“It’s like magic! It’s fantastic!” said one resident. “My friends will love to come and walk along the path to take pictures.”
This kind of path is very unusual on the Chinese mainland, Yan said, and it is the first in Pudong.
But the footpath does not only conjure up a romantic atmosphere, it is an imaginative alternative to street lighting and helps ensure the safety of pedestrians at night.
The path is also in accordance with the “sponge city” concept.
Rainwater seeps through into the ground and flows into an underground system for purification and storage, preventing puddles from forming on the surface.