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Creating the modern face of urbanization

By Wang Hao and Wei Tian in Chongqing | China Daily | Updated: 2013-05-24 07:27

Creating the modern face of urbanization

Creating the modern face of urbanization
Residents enjoy their leisure time in Minxinjiayuan community, a public rental project in Liangjiang New Area, Chongqing. By 2020, the city aims to have nearly four million more permanent residents in the 1,200-sq-km area. [Photo/China Daily]

Chongqing's all-new communities attract people from far and wide

Sitting on the south bank of the Jialingjiang River, the ancient buildings of Hongyadong - famous for its resemblance to the bathhouse in the Oscar-winning animation Spirited Away - are a must-see landmark in Chongqing.

And just like in the film, in which the bathhouse aims to "attract eight million gods by providing them with the best possible service", the southwestern city also has ambitions to improve its residents' quality of life.

Realizing that goal lies on the north bank of the Jialingjiang River, where skyscrapers and high-grade apartment buildings are rising fast.

In Liangjiang New Area, the city's dream of building itself into a first-tier city of the future is already taking shape.

As the third national development area approved by the State Council, after Shanghai's Pudong and Tianjin's Binhai, Liangjiang is the only one of its kind in an inland region.

By 2020, Chongqing aims to have moved nearly four million more permanent residents into the 1,200-sq-km Liangjiang New Area, half of which will be urban development.

Its GDP is expected to reach 640 billion yuan ($104 billion) by that time.

In addition, according to the State Council's plan, Liangjiang will also be a pilot program for the country's inland urbanization strategy, said Tang Zongwei, deputy head of its administration.

Premier Li Keqiang has been urging a new type of urbanization, which instead of simply expanding urban areas and moving farmers into cities, should focus on providing them with a livable community, and more rights as urban residents.

This spirit has already been put into practice in Liangjiang, where the government's relocation program is transforming local farmers into urban residents, first by addressing their two top concerns - housing and employment.

One of the districts within the area to have been created for relocated farmers is Hehejiayuan.

The construction cost of the apartments in the area was more than 3,000 yuan per square meter. A future home for 50,000 residents, the whole project is expected to cost 24 billion yuan, according to Kuang Xunhua, who is in charge of its development.

A total of 12 projects similar to Hehejiayuan are being built in Liangjiang.

"The quality of the building means more people are willing to move in," Tang said.

Creating the modern face of urbanization

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