As the capital of a big country in the new era, how could Beijing answer the key questions on "what kind of capital we will construct and how the capital will be constructed"? How could we complete the arduous task of curing "urban difficulties"? How could we plan for the future in a wider space under the strategy of coordinated development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei? In the face of these major issues, Beijing has once again handed in a heavy-loaded answer sheet.
The Controlled Layout Plan of Beijing's Sub-center (Block Level) (2016-2035) was officially issued on Jan. 4. The CPC Central Committee and the State Council have approved a total of 11 articles as general principles and guidelines for the construction of the sub-center, along with seven chapters of regulatory provisions comprising a total of 72 articles, serving as detailed requirements to guide the future construction of the sub-center. Taking the plan as a blueprint, Beijing's sub-center will be developed into a quality city in the new era, demonstrating Beijing's efforts of the Chinese Dream for realizing the great rejuvenation of China.
Function as central city and distribute population
The sub-center is one of the two new wings in Beijing. In the plan, the strategic positioning of the sub-center is vividly summarized by its three demonstrations: Beijing will be constructed for demonstrating a world-class harmonious and livable capital, showing new-style urbanization and embracing coordinated development in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei.
The plan proposes to preliminarily build a world-leading, livable and modern city with strong core competitiveness, humanistic charms and urban vitality by 2035. It aims to construct a green city featuring low carbon and high efficiency, a forest city weaved by blues and greens, a sponge city of natural ecology, a smart city achieving intelligent fusion, a humanistic city shining ancient and modern glories and a livable city valuing fairness and universal welfare.
"Focusing closely on the function of a central city and distributing population pressure, the plan stresses that the model role of non-capital function in distributing population flow should be brought into play to establish comprehensive and supporting urban function dominated by administrative office, business service and cultural tourism," said the responsible person of Beijing Municipal Commission of Planning and Natural Resources.
In the future, a municipal-level administrative center will be built here to construct a new pattern of urban governance in which the downtown and the sub-center are clearly differentiated by their master-slave relationship and efficiently operated. Here will have an international modern business district, attracting enterprise headquarters consistent with the functional positioning of the sub-center. A new window of culture and tourism will be built to promote the creative transformation and innovative development of Chinese excellent traditional culture. Here will establish a platform for technological innovation and realize the integration and development with Yizhuang District to support and rely on the three major functions of the sub-center.
Build a spatial structure based on "one belt and one axis with various groups"
From north of the thousand-year-old Grand Canal to east of the hundred-mile Chang An Avenue, Tongzhou has been an important town in Being and the surrounding areas since ancient times. The future will see it becomes a streamlined and magnificent portal to Beijing along the eastward extended line of Chang An Avenue.
With the "one belt and one axis" basic urban skeleton, the sub-center will construct a water-green space pattern, with 12 groups of shared livelihood and 36 beautiful communities (blocks) as productive and living units to build urban communities, balancing and facilitating work and life.
In the blueprint, integration of water and the city, weave of blues and greens, and cultural heritage will become main features of the sub-center.
The sub-center will implement large-scale ecological greening and increase the green area per capita to 30 square meters, allowing residents to see green shades as they look up and hear the birds singing next to their ears. At the same time, it will create a waterfront environment, harmonizing both the nature and the people, re-introducing the waterfront space to residents' lives.
"Ancient rhyme inherited by greens and a tower shadow say here is Tongzhou." Cultural heritage and unique charm of the sub-center will be fully displayed. Under the overall protection framework of "one river with three cities and one path with various points", the zigzagging Grand Canal, three ancient cities including Tongzhou, Lu County and Zhangjiawan, and various historical and cultural resources will harmonize with the modern urban civilization to create a prosperous view. Beijing style, canal gracefulness, humanistic glamour and modern vibe are the words that depict how the sub-center will present in the future.
Address "urban difficulties" through the development that values quality over quantity
"Urban difficulties", resulting in the absence of the blue and starry sky and traffic congestion, not only diminish the public happiness, but also pose negative influence on the optimization and upgrading of the capital's function. The original intention of building the sub-center is to find a solution to "urban difficulties" before making the central city more livable.
The first thing to solve such difficulties is to reduce extensive expansionary development. With resource and environmental carrying capacity as hard constraint, the sub-center needs to strictly control urban population, land use, and scale of construction. By 2035, permanent resident population will be limited within 1.3 million, and land use allocation will be controlled at a level around 100 square kilometers. Following the comfortable and livable standard, population density of the sub-center will be controlled within 9,000 people per kilometer. Meanwhile, the sub-center's ecological space area will account for 40% of the total area. A strategic blank area of approximate 9 square kilometers will be reserved for major development strategies and major projects.
The sub-center will allocate street space in the order of "walking>bicycles>public transport>sedan cars", making the proportion of sidewalks, bicycle lanes and green space in the red road lines exceed 50%. By 2035, road network density in the newly-built centralized construction area will reach 10 kilometers per square kilometer, bringing small blocks and dense road networks into reality.
The plan puts residents' demands in an important position. Multi-agent supply, multi-channel guarantee, and leasing-purchase housing system will balance supply and demand of houses in the sub-center as well as nearby employment and living.
By 2035, land area per thousand people, used for basic education facilities in the sub-center, will reach 2,992 square meters, and the number of beds per thousand people, owned by medical and health institutions in the city's sub-center, will seek to reach 7.7 beds.
The plan proposes to simultaneously promote the construction of the new city amid the renovation and ecological restoration of its old counterpart, injecting new development vitality into the revival of the old city.
Radiate and drive coordinated development in the northern three counties of Langfang
The core driving function of the sub-center means not only cooperating with the development area to undertake the function as a central city and distributing population flow, but also breaking the fixed mindset of sticking to "the 3-arce little patch of land" to radiate and drive coordinated development in the northern three counties of Langfang.
In the future, Tongzhou District will form a space system around the sub-center - Yizhuang New Town (Tongzhou part)-a town-a new rural community. Implementing the "one chess game" plan under the vision of coordinated development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, the sub-center will play a model leading role.
Leveraging Beijing's merits in scientifically and technologically innovative resources, the city's sub-center will radiate industrial transformation and upgrading of Langfang's northern three counties, undertake spillover functions including pilot incubation, transformation of scientific and technological achievements, high-end manufacturing and ancillary services, and integrate with Beijing's non-capital function to distribute and guide the appropriate industries shifting to Langfang's northern three counties, promote local employment and achieve balanced development between occupation and housing.
During the Beijing Theme Day of the 5th China (Beijing) International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), the relevant leader of Beijing said that Beijing was exploring a model combining open industreis and open parks, on the basis of 4 demonstration districts, including Shunyi, Chaoyang, Haidian and Tongzhou, and 12 demonstration parks in Financial Street, Lize Business District, etc., to further construct intertwining, clearly positioned and complementary new economic belts, connecting east and west through the sub-center, Chaoyang, Dongcheng, Xicheng and Shijingshan, communicating south and north through Shunyi, Haidian, Fengtai, Daxing and Fangshan and expanding the service industry.
Today, the blueprint for the future development of Beijing's sub-center has been drawn. Striving for one direction and multi-governance with the tangible hand of the government, the invisible hand of the market and the industrious efforts of the public will shape a better sub-center for Beijing.