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Phase II Report on the Research on Urban & Rural Spatial Development Planning of Greater Beijing
Directed by Prof. WU Liangyong of Tsinghua University, Member of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering, the second phase of the Research on Urban & Rural Spatial Development Planning of Greater Beijing, a key project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China in the 9th Five-Year Plan, co-sponsored also by Tsinghua University 985 Program, was finished recently and the research report was officially publicized on Oct. 21, 2006, by Tsinghua University Press.

The project of Research on Urban & Rural Spatial Development Planning of Greater Beijing was initiated in Oct. 1999, and the first research report was released in Oct. 2002. It analyzed from global perspective the development trend of Beijing - Tianjin - Hebei Region, the so-called Greater Beijing Region, proposing to plan Greater Beijing into a World City while comprehensively taking into consideration its function adjustment, and putting forward the feasible implementation measures to strengthen regional coordination and governance and to establish the mechanism of regional cooperation.

Regarding the situation of rapid development and the new requirements on regional planning and following the guide of scientific view of development, the research team deepened and specified in the phase II research the principles, concepts, directions and strategies of the development of Greater Beijing which were put forward in the Phase I Report. The Phase II Report pays special attention to practicing the regional researches in the large spaces of the urban and rural areas. According to the new concept of “capital region” which is composed of the capital city and its surrounding districts and taking the research methodology of critic integration, it highlights building better human settlements and creating an ideal society at the same time, which requires promoting the strategic planning of spatial development to a higher level.

According to the Phase II Report, the resolving of the problems and the realization of the development objectives of Greater Beijing depends on the spatial development strategies of the region. The construction and improvement of human settlements require to deal with the issues of economy, transportation, resources and environment in a comprehensive way from the perspective of space. Moreover, the spatial development of the region should be considered for a long term, even more than 50 years, and from a wider spatial perspective, that is the “capital region”.

Based on the comprehensive considerations on the spatial development of the “capital region”, it is proposed in the Phase II Report to build the spatial structure of “One Axis and Three Belts” in the Greater Beijing Region, i.e., the development axis connecting Beijing and Tianjin, the new development belt along the coast, the traditional development belt at the piedmont of Mount Yanshan and Mount Taihangshan and the ecologic belt in the mountainous areas of Mounts Yanshan and Taihangshan, to improve the regional comprehensive transportation system which could orient the spatial development of the region, including preparing to build a regional all-weather hub airport, facilitating the formation of port clusters along the Bohai Bay, constructing the comprehensive communication corridors, accelerating the development of inter-city rail transport and enhancing the construction of comprehensive transfer centers. It also emphasizes to inherit and further develop the traditional culture, for example to structure a regional cultural system which takes the Old City of Beijing as its core, and to preserve the sound ecological environment, so as to build better human settlements.

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