Hangzhou is located in west shore of the Pacific Ocean, south of Yangtze River Delta. Hangzhou is well-known for its beautiful natural scenery, with the West Lake as itís most noteworthy attraction, which is located south of the Hangzhou metropolitan area. More than 20 million tourists visit the West Lake annually, and it was one of the first such scenic areas to be designated a national level scenic resort††
In order to solve various environmental problems in the West Lake area, the Hangzhou government began implementing the West Lake Comprehensive Protection Project in 2002. This project is aimed at the issues that exist in West Lake scenic areas, such as: severe urbanization; poor living environments for local residents; poor past ecological protection; and an unwise distribution of tourist facilities.†
The project began by controlling and protecting the environment all around the West Lake area. The project has notably improved the areaís environment in terms of ecology, tourism, living, and industry. It has also significantly increased the living standard for local residents. It has successfully achieved a harmonious balance of humanity and nature, social benefits and economic returns. This project has not only made the scenic resort situation better, but also has influenced the tourist industry in rest of the city.†In addition, it has helped to develop the local social economy. Furthermore, this project has created a good model for other similar scenic resorts and cities in the rest of China practicing environment control and protection.