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Beijing's core area plan for next 15 years unveiled

By DU JUAN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2019-12-31 07:21
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Night shopping in front of the gate of Dashilan [Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily]

On Monday, Beijing's municipal government published its plan for the city's core area through 2035 for the first time. The area will function as the nation's political and cultural hub and as an international communications center. It will also focus on preservation of historical sites.

The city released details of the plan online and is presenting it at an exhibition center for public comment until Jan 28. The municipal government started to draft the plan in 2017.

Yang Baojun, head of the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design, said the new plan for the core area is well-positioned to reach clear goals.

"Unlike other cities, Beijing, as the capital, should be China's calling card," he said. "I was excited after reading the plan, which combines the area's three functions to better serve the country and people and to better preserve history."

Under the plan, Beijing's Dongcheng and Xicheng districts, with a total area of 92.5 square kilometers, will be divided into 183 blocks for optimal functionality to protect the environment and to better serve residents.

The land area for urban public facilities will increase from the current 11.1 percent to 12.2 percent of the total. Public spaces, both indoor and outdoor, will be raised from 34.4 percent currently to 38.9 percent.

The core area will follow a sustainable development model that balances environmental capacity with city resources to create better living conditions.

Shi Xiaodong, deputy head of the Beijing Municipal Institution of City Planning and Design, said it's crucial for Beijing to function as the political center of the central government and to plan for the needs of the many citizens living in Dongcheng and Xicheng districts. The total population in the core area was around 2 million last year.

One goal is for 85 percent of residents to use public transportation with an upgrade in facilities. Commute times will be reduced to an average 45 minutes during rush hour.

Medical care and cultural facilities will be within 10 to 15 minutes' travel for all residents in the area.

Qiu Yue, president of the Urban Planning Society of Beijing, said people will be able to study the plan and imagine what the capital's future will look like.

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