Zone plan offers national model: experts
The master plan for the development of the Xiongan New Area in North China's Hebei Province published on Saturday offers a national model for future city development, as well as a way of showing China's solutions to global problems in city development, Chinese experts told the Global Times on Sunday.
The plan maps out the area's future up to 2035 and lists overall development goals for the new area that will be of "lasting importance for the millennium to come," according to a report by the Xinhua News Agency on Saturday.
"One of Xiongan's missions is to provide a model of high-quality urban development for other cities in China, and we are exploring a reproducible experience. High-end and hi-tech will be the most significant features in the new area," said the Xinhua report, citing Wang Dongfeng, secretary of the Hebei Provincial Party Committee.
According to the plan, technology and innovation platforms will be promoted, and Xiongan will also establish research universities to foster talent, as well as preferential policies and mechanisms to support the growth of tech companies.
During the past year, 19 hi-tech companies, including Alibaba Group and Baidu Inc, have signed cooperation agreements with Xiongan, according to media reports. Baidu will apply AI technology in the planning and building of the area.
The plan also stressed that ecological protection will be prioritized. About 10 percent of the new area's land will be treated as basic farmland permanently, while the population density will be no more than 10,000 people per square kilometer.
Meanwhile, a negative list will be implemented to curb outdated capacity, particularly high-polluting and energy-intensive companies, in a bid to achieve green and sustainable development.
Xiongan has shut down 9,853 and rehabilitated 2,245 such companies in the past year, said the Xinhua report.
"The meaning of Xiongan goes beyond transferring non-capital functions out of Beijing. The just-released plan shows China's solution to a worldwide problem, which is how to optimize city development in densely populated areas," Zhang Gui, executive director of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei research center under the Hebei University of Technology, told the Global Times on Sunday.
"In addition, it is also sending a message to the world that China's economic development is driven by innovation and high quality," according to Zhang.