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    In Shanghai’s Lounge Lawn, Stressed-Out Office Workers Kick Back

    A 30-meter lawn sloped like a lawn chair has become a popular spot for relaxation among the city’s office workers.

    In the heart of Shanghai, a 30-meter stretch of tiered lawn, sloped and designed to resemble a lounge chair, has emerged as an unexpected oasis for tired, stressed-out office workers.

    Dubbed the “Workers’ Sanctuary,” this quirky patch of green overlooking a public basketball court near the Yunjin Road metro station is part of the Runway Park, a redevelopment project launched in 2012.

    On Chinese social media, the hashtag “20-Minute Park Effect” recently gained popularity after many said the park offers a perfect spot to tang ping, or “lie flat,” a buzzword that reflects a growing desire to escape the pressures of work and embrace a more relaxed lifestyle.

    Designed by the U.S.-based architecture firm Sasaki, the lawn’s gentle, approximately 135-degree slopes mimic the angle of a lounge chair. Each tier is about 1.05 meters wide and 0.55 meters high, dimensions carefully chosen for maximum comfort after numerous tests and simulations.

    A local IT worker, Jenny Liang, says she frequently visits the lawn with her colleagues for team-building activities. “We’ve been coming here for lunch breaks since before it became a popular spot. The grass is incredibly comfortable,” she told Sixth Tone.

    However, she expressed concerns about overuse. “If the grass gets trampled and dies, those of us who come from other parts of China will feel even more alienated. The high-rises don’t belong to us, and eventually, even this temporary patch of grass won’t either.”

    (Header image: A man naps on the sloped lawn in Runway Park, Xuhui District, Shanghai, May 2024. Wu Huiyuan/Sixth Tone)