Beijing to Be Well Prepared for Olympic Games
According to the planning, there will be 37 stadiums and venues needed for Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, among which 31 are in Beijing and 6 in the co-host cities in provinces. Regarding the stadiums and venues in Beijing, 12 will be newly constructed including the National Stadium (also known as Nest), the National Swimming Center (also known as Water Cube), the Peking University Stadium, etc., 11 be renovated or extended including the Beijing Workers’ Stadium, the Yingdong Natatorium, the Olympic Center Stadium, etc., and 8 be temporary ones including the Beach Volleyball Ground in Chaoyang Park, the Wukesong Baseball Ground, etc. Up to now, the construction of stadiums and venues has been progressing smoothly. The six in the co-host cities, i.e., the sailing venue in Qingdao, the equestrian venue in Hong Kong, and the football venues in Tianjin, Shanghai, Shenyang, and Qinhuangdao have already been completed, while the 31 in Beijing are mostly under construction, among which the Beach Volleyball Ground in Chaoyang Park has been completed and gone through the test play of the Good Luck Beijing 2007 FIVB Beach Volleyball Women’s Challenger. All the stadiums and venues in Beijing, except the Nest, will be completed by the end of 2007. Along with the construction of stadiums and venues, that of the other facilities, such as the National Convention Center, the Digital Beijing Building, the Olympic Village, the Medium Village, and the Olympic Forest Park is also proceeding well as expected.
Stimulated by the preparation work for the Olympic Games, the urban construction of Beijing is also going smoothly along a sustained, rapid, balanced, and healthy track. A large number of transportation infrastructure projects have been launched in succession. For example, in the area surrounding the Olympic site, 6 new roads have been completed and 25 more are under construction; while the construction of 5 new subway lines, i.e., the Lines 4, 5 and 10 (first phase), the Olympic Branch Line, and the Airport Line, is also proceeding in acceleration with the schedule of launch in 2008 before the Olympic Games, and that of 4 more lines, i.e., the Lines 8, 9 and 10 (second phase) and the Yizhuang Line, will be initiated before the end of this year. Till 2008, the total mileage of subway in Beijing will be raised from 114 km to 200 km.
In order to improve the environment quality of the city, Beijing has already moved or is planning to move out of the city proper about 100 heavy-polluting factories of chemical, steel, and medical industries, among which the remove of Shougang is the most significant. Meanwhile, about 300 thousand heavy-polluting taxies and buses will be changed into low-waste-emission vehicles. For the test plays of the Olympic Games taking place in August 2007, Beijing tried out the administrative measure of restricting the traffic according to the vehicle license number with satisfying effects in improving the air quality.
Meanwhile, more and more attention is paid to the protection of the Old City of Beijing, in particular that of the unique urban identity and spatial layout of this historic and cultural city. In order to fully demonstrate the cultural charm of the Chinese capital city to the world during the Olympic Games, a series of important protection projects have been successively carried out. Specifically speaking, a number of key protected cultural heritages including the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven are remedied; the cityscape along the central axis and Chaofu Road is renovated; the five distinctive areas”, i.e., the traditional neighborhood of Shichahai, the traditional area surrounding the Imperial School (Guozijian), the traditional cultural and commercial area of Liulichang, the Imperial City of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and the scenery area along the ancient city wall, are rehabilitated; and the six scenery areas in the suburbs of Beijing which were gradually built during the period from Kin to Yuan and then to Ming and Qing Dynasties are also well preserved. Before the year of 2008, there will be renovated more than 150 protected cultural heritage units superior municipal level, among which 40 are of national-level. Up till 2008 when the Olympic Games is held, there will be 30 specialized tourist routes and 130 specialized museums providing abundant tourism resources for the athletes, staff, and tourists from all over the world.
Nowadays, Beijing is enjoying the unprecedented activities of international cultural exchange in terms of both scope and depth. With the development of spiritual civilization and the promotion of citizens’ civilization level, a social atmosphere and a humanistic environment that are more harmonious and healthy are being formed in the whole city.