Blueprints for skyscrapers more than 100 meters tall now need to include helipads and other emergency rescue facilities to get construction approval in Guangzhou, according to the city government.
The city's five-year development plan for boosting its emergency rescue network states helicopter aprons will also be constructed at hospitals, government buildings, railway stations, major shopping plazas, scenic spots, bus terminals, stadiums and highways by 2020.
The move aims to further improve the city's capacity to cope with fires, floods and other disasters. An advanced network of emergency shelters in all neighborhoods and townships will also be built by 2020, according to the plan issued recently.
Guangzhou, which has a population of more than 16 million, is expected to take the lead among cities on the mainland in constructing emergency rescue facilities.
"The outdoor emergency shelters will be able to hold more than 40 percent of the city's total permanent residents, while indoor shelters will be able to deal with 10 percent of permanent residents in 2020," the plan notes.
Liu Xilin, a professor with Sun Yat-sen University's School of Geography and Planning, said building helipads on the roofs of buildings with at least 30 floors is feasible.
"It will be effective in helping Guangzhou improve its emergency rescue capacity as the city has few earthquakes or other major geologic hazards," Liu said.
Liu also urged government departments to expand investment in construction of indoor emergency shelters in the months ahead as Guangzhou, which is frequently struck by typhoons in summer, mainly witnesses storm and flood disasters.
Yin Xuexia, a doctor from the emergency department of Guangzhou Baiyun People's Hospital, said the helipads would certainly help save time in rescuing the wounded and moving patients and improve the city's emergency rescue capacity.
"But relevant departments should spare no effort to promote emergency rescue knowledge among local residents and improve other hardware facilities," she said.