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Qingdao to build five 'town-level' cities

By Xie Chuanjiao ( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2013-03-29

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Qingdao officially started an urbanization pilot program for small-sized cities on Tuesday, with five suburban towns in the affiliated county-level cities of Qingdao undertaking the mission to grow into mini-cities with an average population of 100,000 by 2016, according to sources at a government work conference.

Li Gezhuang town in Jiaozhou city, Nancun town in Pingdu city, Jiangshan town in Laixi city, Lancun town in Jimo city and Poli town in Huangdao city are expected to grow fast through the experimental program. Each of the five cities will reach an area of 10 square kilometers, with annual GDP reaching 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion). Roughly 30 percent of GDP will be constituted by the tertiary industry, and social security systems and administrative mechanisms will all be developed within 3 years, said an authority at the meeting.

Wang Jianxiang, deputy mayor of Qingdao, said the government has to create sophisticated plans for the expansion of small-sized cities, taking into consideration infrastructure, industrial development, public service and landscape aesthetics.

"The plans must be made with a global vision, international standard and Qingdao characteristics," said Wang.

By September 2013, the overall plan for small-sized cities of Qingdao will be completed. More detailed plans for specific areas as well as regulatory plans will be finished by the end of the year.

Comprehensive infrastructure construction will cover roads, water systems, electricity, telecommunication, gas, and garbage and sewage treatment. There will also be more investment in public facilities for education, science, culture and sports. A string of new administrative institutions will be developed to improve public management quality and provide urban-level public services.

The small cities will upgrade their current industrial parks and facilitate development of industrial clusters. The city of Qingdao will encourage manufacturing to relocate to pilot areas.

Meanwhile, residential management reforms will be implemented to allow farmers to earn urban citizenship and enjoy the same benefits as urban citizens. In return, those incentive policies will help attract more rural residents to relocate to the city. The original township government will be granted with county-level city administrative rights.