• Fri
  • Aug 22, 2014
  • Updated: 4:50pm

Guangzhou floats plan to double urban area

Two rural counties to become city districts and see easier development, but analysts say new zoning not enough to regain competitive edge

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 February, 2014, 4:22am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 February, 2014, 4:43am

Guangzhou will open more than 3,500 square kilometres to easier development under a rezoning plan that would nearly double the city's urban area and increase government income.

Guangdong's provincial capital would expand its urban boundaries by making two rural counties under its jurisdiction, Conghua and Zengcheng, full-fledged districts, according the Nanfang Daily, the government's official mouthpiece.

Meanwhile, Luogang district would be absorbed into Huangpu district, leaving the city with 11 districts in all.

The plan would not change the city's population, which stood at 15 million in 2011, but it would expand available urban land to 7,434 square kilometres from 3,843 square kilometres currently. Rural land is collectively owned and much harder to develop.

As urban residents, people living in Conghua and Zengcheng would enjoy increased minimum income subsidies and other benefits, but Guanzghou would assume control over development decisions.

"The rezoning will make co-ordination of transport and infrastructure planning, such as subways, more effective," said Peng Peng, of the Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences.

"Now that Conghua and Zengcheng are directly part of Guangzhou, more Guangzhou residents will also be more willing to buy property there, which is good for reducing population density in downtown Guangzhou," he said.

Zengcheng, which is anticipating 390 million rural residents moving to urban areas by 2030.

Development resulting from Guangzhou's rezoning could boost the local economy and provide the government with more revenue as it sells off land. The move may also help the city avoid losing more ground to fast-developing first-tier cities, like Beijing and Shanghai.

"In terms of developed city areas, Guangzhou is still way behind Shanghai, as much of Conghua and Zengcheng are still rural areas," Peng said.

Shanghai had a population 24 million living in about 6,400 square kilometers as of 2012.

Ding Li, a planning expert at the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, said it would take more than rezoning to make the city more economically competitive.

"Guangzhou's development relies mostly on property development and is weak in terms of industrial foundation," Ding said. "It's big in size, but it's not as strong as Shanghai. It's just a matter of time before other cities, such as Tianjin, overtake Guangzhou."

Ding said more reforms were needed because Guangzhou was embarrassingly underdeveloped and could no longer rely on the economic model of the past three decades of increasing exports and foreign investment.

"Due to officials' vested interests, there has been not much progress streamlining governmental functions and reducing the proportion of state-owned enterprises," he said.


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This will be relatively good news for the Area however there will be a price to pay for it.
The area could become one of the Ghost Cities.
The area will need proper resolution of waste systems and infrastructure.
The area will need proper thoughts about clean environment.
It is understood that Guangzhou is to be one of the first cities to adopt the Applied Biofuels programme to make its own biofuels from waste and other sources of Non-Food based sources of iorganic materials agreed in the press briefing made last July. This in conjunction with the similar uses in the other cities is welcomed. The idea of making your own fuels for transport has long been the policy of the Government but now that we have a new President and Premier this is centre-stage and key to the developments. Eminent Professors across Beijing Shanghai and elsewhere have reviewed the system proposed and agree totally that this offering is the best around. They admit that there will be an issue about the fact that China is notorious for copying IP and here-again they propose a system where the Company is protected here. Too may companies have sufferef the Chinese Way and system but China needs this and the way forward for it to get all the benefits here is paramount. This process will reduce the smog impact of cars and lorries on the roads, reduce China oil imports by up to 250 billion per year by 2025 and help the drive for cleaner environment. We welcome this move said the Professors.
Cleaning this new city up by making Biofuels as suggested by the Government in July last year is a good move. Presumably they will now enact the policy of using the Applied Biofuels programme they announced in July last year. This would remove waste tips and convert the waste to biofuels saving the country $Billions in oil imports when run out nation-wide.


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