Quality of life issues propelling Sichuan capital to raise standards
Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province, is aiming to develop itself into a National Central City by 2020, and eventually plans to become a sustainable world city by 2050, according to a draft planning document.
National Central Cities, a concept first proposed in 2005, are metropolises meant to lead, develop and perform tasks on a large and effective scale in political, economic and cultural areas.
The plan for Chengdu was drafted in August as a pilot project of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
According to the plan, Chengdu also wants to develop into a world-class garden city.
The metropolitan area, including the city's downtown, satellite cities and suburbs, will reach a size comparable to leading global counterparts such as New York, Tokyo and Paris.
"The core of modern city planning is to create a better life for people," said Xu Ze an official at the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design. "So the plan should consider various aspects to make people's lives easier and more convenient."
Chengdu will work to lower its population density by reducing the overall population by 1.85 million, which if successful will cut the population density from 15,800 to 13,600 per square kilometer, according to the plan.
The plan states that buildings located within 50 meters of mountains, rivers and parks should not be higher than 24 meters to ease excessive real estate development created by coveted views.
To make the city greener, Chengdu plans to build the world's largest urban forest park and China's longest walking greenway system.
"Parks and greenways will be developed with people's needs closely in mind," Xu said. "We should always remember that people are the center of a city. People of different ages have various needs, so during the planning of cities we will consider children's needs to make it child-friendly.
"Meanwhile, the elderly need more medical services and prefer quieter communities, which should also be taken into consideration."
In terms of industrial development, Chengdu will focus on financial and commercial businesses, cultural communications, innovation and tourism.
To achieve these goals, Chengdu will transfer low-end manufacturing operations, wholesale markets and logistics storage facilities out of the city limits.
"In the past, a city's development started with businesses, as they bring in industries, which bring in people. The increasing population helps the city to grow bigger and bigger. Afterward, it starts to develop a culture of its own and creates a better natural environment," Xu said.
"Nowadays, a city needs to provide a great natural environment and cultural atmosphere to attract talent, which will help the city to develop."
The draft plan is open to public opinions on the city planning department's website until April 4.