In December 2013, on Wukang Road and Yuqing Road in Shanghai, residents experienced an autumn street scene with fallen leaves. Since these experimental street scenes were implemented, many photographers and tourists have come to visit these streets, and the number of visitors to the area has increased more than 40%, compared with the number last year.

Fall street scene in Shanghai

Now the street sweepers have resumed their normal routine, and the street scenes with fallen leaves have disappeared. However, the debate over whether to continue this street scene next year and promote this practice to other streets continues.

Surveys done by the Shanghai Xuhui District’s Landscape and Beautifying Department showed that nearly 80% of residents supported the practice, since they liked the romantic feeling of fall created by nature. According to resident Mr. Zhang, in December, he wandered on the two streets almost everyday. Many residents suggested having fallen leaves on more streets in the coming years. However, there is also an opposing voice to this policy. Another resident, Mr. Lu said that he uses an electric car to go to work everyday, and it was unsafe to drive on the leaves.

According to Wu Zhixing, senior engineer from the Shanghai Landscaping Institute, whether or not to leave the fallen leaves on the streets should be a flexible policy depending on the location and time. Shanghai University sociology professor Gu Jun said that tourists prefer visiting attractions that look natural.

Fall street scene in Shanghai

According to staff from the Shanghai Xuhui District’s Landscape and Beautifying Department, this was the first year that Xuhui District tried out the fallen leaves street scene. Based on the feedback from the residents, the district will continue this practice next year, but they have not decided whether to promote this policy to other streets.

How does the city you live in deal with fallen leaves on the streets?

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

The original article, published in Chinese, can be found here.