Rules to coordinate Shanghai's planning with neighbors
The financial district of Pudong New Area. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]
As the latest development in Yangtze River Delta integration, a guideline on planning and construction in the 660-square-kilometer border area of Shanghai and its two neighboring provinces was published on Saturday.
It was the first guideline in the country to establish a unified construction reference for the environment, architecture and transportation in areas under different provincial-level administrations, according to officials.
Zhang Zhongwei, deputy director of the Yangtze River Delta integration demonstration zone's executive committee, said, "The publishing of the guideline will make sure the projects in the zone reach the same high quality."
Established in November 2019, the demonstration zone for the national integration strategy in the heart of the delta comprises Shanghai's Qingpu district, Wujiang district in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, and Jiashan county in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province.
The area features an abundance of lakes, waterways and wetlands and is famous for many ancient water towns, such as Zhujiajiao and Xitang.
The guideline has established 100 indexes, which will be applied to construction projects in the demonstration zone's pilot area, according to Zhang.
"Those indexes feature green development and ecological conservation, as well as city resilience and safety," he added.
In the conservation of ecology, the guideline stipulated the need for ecological buffer strips along river banks and around lakes, which will be green spaces where construction will be banned.
It also set up rules on the protection of agricultural land, called for strengthened environmental monitoring of water, soil and air, and promoted the implementation of a solid waste recycling and management system.
In terms of urban construction, the guideline set a height limit of 18 meters for new buildings in historical towns and villages of the core heritage area, and required renovations to retain their original style and layout.
The compilation of the guideline was led by Duan Jin, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who has been studying the features and organic spatial planning of water towns in the Yangtze River Delta for two decades.
"In the guideline, we tried to preserve the spatial features of the water towns by designing mandatory rules for urban construction, so that the heritage will be passed on to the next generation," Duan said.
As the demonstration zone spans the borders of different administrative bodies, there were many dead-end roads and roads with different construction standards in the area. The guideline addressed the problem with coordinated policies and unified standards.
In scenic areas, the guideline encouraged connecting modern transportation to create routes that have historical and cultural elements, and the use of underpasses or bridges to link dead ends and create green paths, so as to create leisure spaces for the public.
Sun Ting, deputy head of Qingpu district, said it worked with Wujiang district to launch an ecological restoration project for Yuandang Lake under the guidance of the demonstration zone's committee last year, and will start restoration projects and the construction planning of a green path around Dianshan Lake.
"The guideline will serve as a foundation for us to collaborate on more similar projects and create more green spaces for people in the delta," she said.