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Metropolitan Area Construction Lights up the New Blueprint for Chongqing Development

    Following the publication of Metropolitan Area Planning Map of Chongqing six months ago, the municipal Party committee and the municipal government have recently issued the Opinions on the Implementation of Deepening and Expanding the Five Functional Zones Development Strategy (hereinafter referred to as The Opinions), in which it is confirmed to “integrally build the modern Metropolitan Area”.
    The Metropolitan Area includes the main urban area, the 12 administrative districts of the new urban development areas, Wansheng Economic Development Zone and Shuangqiao Economic Development Zone. It is a huge multi-group constituted urban cluster. Each component has its specific function focus.
    After the issuing of The Opinions, the reporter immediately visited the relevant areas and learnt how the Metropolitan Area would be built.
    Metropolitan Area with transportation integration
    Every Friday afternoon, Zhang Hao, who lives in Shuangqiao Economic Development Zone, looks a little antsy – his son goes to school in the main urban area, so he has to get there before the school closes. However, he really worries about not arriving on time because of the Zhongliangshan Tunnel congestion. So he has to leave early to “play well in advance”.
    There is a similar case. Cai Dongping, who lives in the main urban area but goes to work in Nanchuan, is also frustrated about the traffic jam. Cai Dongping used to plan to have dinner at home on Fridays, but later he realized that he would be stuck around Zhenwushan Tunnel for one or two hours if he sets off immediately after work. Then he just has dinner before going back to the main urban area to avoid the rush hours.
    According to statistics, Chongqing Metropolitan Area covers an area of 28,673 km2, which is about 1.8 times as big as that of Beijing, and about 4 times as big as that of Guangzhou and Shanghai. Convenient transportation is the only way to shorten the distance and achieve integration in such a huge layout of urban space.
    An official of Nan’an District Development and Reform Commission said that there used to be only Yu’nan Road connecting Nan’an District and Ba’nan District, but the two-way four-lane configuration is far behind the development of the two districts. With the opening of Rail Transit Line 3 and the connection of a series of important lines including Yu’nan sub-channel and Babin Road, such situation has been significantly improved. Chayuan, Changsheng, Lujiao and Nanpeng have almost been interconnected and conducted frequent interactions.
    Due to the congestion of Zhongliangshan Tunnel, western Chongqing area could not effectively receive the radiation of the main urban area. In response to this situation, a series of countermeasures were conducted in this area.
    An official of Yongchuan District said that Yongchuan District is accelerating the construction of projects like Yongchuan-Jiulongpo Expressway, Da’an General Aviation Airport and Yongchuan Zhutuo Port. Meanwhile, the district is speeding up the preparatory work of infrastructure projects like Chongqing-Kunming High-speed Railway, Capacity Expansion of Chengdu-Chongqing Railway and Freight Rail along the River. By then, as the regional integrated transport hub of Chongqing, the resource elements exchange capacity between Yongchuan, the main urban area and the surrounding areas will reach a higher level. Vitality inside the Metropolitan Area will be further stimulated.
    Hechuan District is making great effort to promote the construction of a batch of key transport projects like Chongqing-Hechuan Suburban Railway, Weituo Railway Station, Chongqing-Guang’an Expressway, Hechuan-Changshou Third Belt Expressway and Hechuan-Bishan-Jiangjin Expressway and build the integrated transport hub in northern Chongqing. After the completion of these key transport projects, the traffic organization and freight logistics pressure of the main urban area will be effectively alleviated. It will be more convenient to go to Jiangbei Airport, Xiyong Comprehensive Bonded Zone or Lianglu Cuntan Bonded Port Area from Hechuan. The transportation and logistics costs will be reduced and the integrated development with the main urban area of Chongqing will be basically realized.
    Metropolitan Area with industry linkage
    Industries in the Metropolitan Area will not be linked unless the transportation elements come to be complete.
    An official of Yuzhong District Development and Reform Commission said that in his mind, industries in the Metropolitan Area should develop in different circles and levels. Development of the core urban functional area should be centered on modern service industry with high-end elements gathered. Extended urban functional area should have high-end manufacturing industries intensively distributed. New urban development area should focus on new supporting manufacturing industries around industries of the main urban area. The three areas have different development priorities, but support and cooperate with each other.
    In Yuzhong District, for example, the focus of development is finance, business services, cultural and creative industries. It provides financial transactions, legal consultancy, audit accounting, financing and settlement services for other areas.
    Liangjiang New Area, likewise, builds the financial business center in Jiangbeizui CBD, focuses on the development of industries like alternative finance, modern commerce, trade and high-end business, gathers financial headquarters and high-end services; In areas like Longxing, Shichuan, Yuzui and Fusheng, its development is focused on advanced manufacturing industries like automotive, high-end equipment, general aviation, new materials, energy saving and environmental protection, and producer services like modern logistics, commodity trading and financial services. It is building an advanced manufacturing industrial belt.
    New urban development areas like Yongchuan and Hechuan are fostering strategic emerging industries facing the main urban area.
    In recent two years, robotics industry in Yongchuan has been developing by leaps and bounds. It introduced 106 enterprises and put 35 enterprises into operation within two years, thus become the National Demonstration Base for New-type Industrialized Industry (Robotics). An official of Yongchuan District said that Chongqing manufacturing industries like automobile and motorcycle, electronics and information have promoted a huge demand for robots. Therefore, Yongchuan seized the opportunity and created its robotics industry from nothing. Next, they will speed up the upgrading of traditional manufacturing industries and the development of strategic emerging manufacturing industries like robotics, intelligent equipment and electronic information to keep its industries up with the needs of the main urban area and the time.
    The industry linkage between Hechuan District and the main urban area is reflected in three aspects: First, Hechuan District made use of its location advantage of being close to the main urban area, mainly focused on the development of equipment manufacturing centered on automobile and motorcycle, consumer products centered on health and medicine, and IT industry centered on electronic information. Especially in the equipment manufacturing industry, Hechuan District has formed its whole automobile industry chain represented by BAIC Yinxiang, and initially formed an annual capacity of 600,000 vehicles. In 2015, its automobile industry achieved an output value of RMB 30.92 billion, thus became the second-largest automobile production base after Liangjiang New Area. Second, Hechuan District developed related industries supporting the main urban area. For example, it seized the opportunity of Liangjiang New Area creating laptop industrial cluster, vigorously developed laptop supporting industries and formed positive industrial interactions with the main urban area. Third, by virtue of the “spillover effect” of the main urban area industries, Hechuan District filled up the local industrial development gaps and enhanced the level of the local industrial development.
    Metropolitan Area with green ecology
    In accordance with the planning, the total population of Chongqing Metropolitan Area will have exceeded 20 million by 2020. In such a large city, green space is not only the need of every citizen, but also an indispensable element for improving urban functions and quality.
In The Opinions, the main urban area, especially the core urban functional area is the “best-looking” of the international metropolis style – Other districts are also striving to present more beautiful landscape of Chongqing to the world.
    An official of Yuzhong District said that in the coming years, Yuzhong District will gradually improve the channel function of Changbin Road and make it a natural space for feeling water and rest. “We will build nearly 10 trails leading to the river on the section of riverside road between Caiyuanba and Chaotianmen, so that the citizens can feel the water by walking down the trails.”
    Nan’an District plans to further develop Chongqing International Marathon and continue to make it a city card in Chongqing publicity. The reporter learnt that in the future, Nanbin Road will turn from a food street to a cultural tourism port. On the one hand, Nan’an District will conduct high standard renovation of cultural relics including the French navy barracks, Zaoziwan historic sites of the Resistance War against Japan, the foreign firm Archibald Little, Brunner Mond and the old street of rice market. On the other hand, it will construct projects including Madame Tussauds, Sea Life Aquarium, Korea 3D Art Museum and the International Circus to present the riverside landscape and the culture of the Resistance War against Japan.
    Nanchuan is rich in ecological resources, located only one hour drive away from the main urban area. It aims to be the “backyard garden” of the main urban area based on its own advantages. In tourism, Nanchuan District will adhere to concepts of all-region tourism and view-city integration, focus on the construction of National All-region Tourism Demonstration Base, National Tourism Resort and International Characteristic Tourism Destination, and create the two bases of off-road racing, leisure and health, and rural tourism highland to enhance tourism experience and interactivity. Nanchuan District plans to take advantage of the transport and ecological advantages of Daguan Town, plans and constructs a new city of urban and rural integration, green and low carbon, healthy ecology and high-end livability. This city will be built by the mountain and river to present the beautiful rural sceneries. In the future, the city capacity is expected to gradually expand to an area of 25 km2 and a population of 100,000 people, and become the first choice of the second and even the first residence of the main urban area of Chongqing. 

   

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