Activists in the city of Bhopal have found a new use for dormant city parks.
According to the Times of India, the parks are going to be redeveloped into reading parks:
A few pages to flip, a beverage to sip and a serene corner is all that a bookworm loves, and how great would it be if all this available under the blue sky beneath the leafy canopy of a Mango tree? To the delight of all the 'kitabi keedas' from Bhopal, district administration along with Bhopal Runners Associationis on a spree to convert old redundant parks around the city into green reading spaces. In an attempt to encourage reading culture and getting the youth out in the open air, collector Nishant Warwade pioneered the move as the Chairman of Bhopal Runners.
"The idea is to bring about a change in lifestyle of the young denizens of the city. We are working on redeveloping some abandoned parks around various areas of the city which will also be the centre of quite a few literary activities, so that people move out of the close confines of office or home. We are also trying to get high speed internet around these identified areas so that readers who like to read online can also get access to e-books. All readers whether they read online or paperbacks, say they would love to read in a green open space, hence the 'Reader's Park' came into being" says Warwade.
Bhopal is the capital of Madhya Pradesh, a state in central India.
I am not aware of any similar projects in other cities. New York and a handful of other US cities have added free Wifi to public parks, but none of those projects specifically focused on reading.
The closest I can find is Reading Bonanza in the Park, but that is more of an event than a place.
Is this project the first of its kind?