ISSUES2011 No.4
Editor’s Note: Since 2004 when the State Council approved the Medium- and Long-term Railway Network Plan, China has stepped into an era of high-speed railway. By the end of 2009, it had a millage of high-speed railway of 6,552 km in operation, including 3,676 km of new lines to the speed of 250 to 350 km/h and 2,876 km of existing lines updated to the speed of 200 to 250 km/h. This made China rank No. 1 in the world in terms of high-speed railway development. Along with the large-scale construction of high-speed railways all over the country, there emerged the big concern on the impacts of high-speed railway construction on the urban development of the regions where the railways pass by. When a high-speed railway station, as a new kind of transportation hub, is built in a city, it could become not only a new gateway, but also a new impetus for urban development of the city. This can explain from one aspect the serious competition among cities for hosting a high-speed railway station, when a high-speed railway construction plan is issued. Yet, it should be recognized that the construction of high-speed railways, in particular that of high-speed railway stations, may have two completely different effects on urban development under certain circumstances. On the one hand, it may play the role of driving force through its concentrating effect on tertiary industries when it is well integrated into the spatial structure and transportation system of the city; while on the other hand, it may also become a big threshold for urban development due to its physical barrier when it is not well organized into the spatial structure and transportation system of the city. So it does deserve our due attention to think about how to make the high-speed railway station a comprehensive hub of the city, rather than a pure transportation facility.

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