In December 2007, The National Development & Reform Commission officially approved Wuhan city cluster, in central China's Hubei province as an experimental zone for energy saving and environmentally friendly programs.
Wuhan 1+8 city cluster refers to a group with Wuhan as the core and a diameter of 100 kilometers, including Wuhan, and eight surrounding cities: Huangshi, Ezhou, Xiaogan, Huanggang, Xianning, Xiantao, Qianjiang and Tianmen.
Establishing the experimental zone in Wuhan is of great importance for the country's efforts to balance economic development between eastern coastal regions and central regions.
Compared to coastal regions, which rely heavily on exports, the central region, which boasts rich natural energy and labor resources, could focus on developing a domestic-oriented economy.
The nine cities have long been the engines for Hubei's economy. They contributed 63 percent of the provincial GDP in 2008.
Editor: Guo Changdong