Business / Economy

6 Beijing metro stations to be integrated with retail

By Zheng Yangpeng ( Updated: 2015-10-26 14:11

Beijing is planning to build another six metro stations that are integrated with large commercial complexes above ground, according to the city's top planner.

Shi Weiliang, chief planner of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning, told an international seminar on city development that on the six subway lines that have started construction this year, six stations, or surrounding depots, will be built below commercial complexes.

These will add to the five depots that have been designed with commercial complexes in mind, and is a practice of the internationally prevalent transit-oriented development (TOD) mode, Shi said.

TOD focuses on a mix of land uses, such as residential, office and shopping centers, designed to maximize access to subway stations within a convenient walking distance from a station. Metro line builders and operators could get compensation through commercial development along the route.

Beijing introduced the TOD mode as early as 2003 but it did not get implemented in the following decade when urban rail transit sprawled across the city. The five TOD-integrated cases are in suburbs and are built over depots.

Shi said of the six new lines that started construction this year, 62 stations, or 70 percent of the total, are being considered for TOD mode.

However, of the 320 stations under operation across the city, there are too few that have introduced the model, Shi said. And many plans failed to translate into reality.

What's more, key workplaces in Beijing, such as Guomao CBD and Financial Street, are poorly supported by mass transit railways, with people there finding it difficult to get around, he said.

Li Hui, vice chief architect of the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design, said it is technologically feasible to upgrade the current stations; the question is whether the government is willing to invest in such projects.

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