The State Council issued on Nov 25 a circular that approved and provided further guidance to the overall urban planning blueprint of Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
The State Council accepted the Urumqi Urban Master Plan (2014-2020) in principle, and urged the local government to make the city one of the country’s open gateways to the west.
According to the circular:
* All construction-related activity within the 13,783 square-kilometer area subject to the city’s urban planning should be in line with the Plan.
* Urumqi should strengthen the unified planning and management of all industrial parks and zones, and promote the integration of the city with Changji.
* The local government should enhance communication and cooperation with the 12th Division of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.
* Particular attention should be paid to townships and regimental farms with good infrastructure and potential for development.
* The size of the city should be reasonable. By the end of 2020, the population of central districts should not exceed 4 million, while land for urban construction should be no more than 519 sq km.
* Any attempt to set up new development zones or districts outside the area under the Plan is prohibited. Arable land, especially capital farmland, should be protected.
* The city’s infrastructure should be further improved with roads and railways built at a faster pace to better connect the city with the surrounding regions. Underground projects for water supplies, drainage, sewage and garbage disposal will be given high priority. Disaster prevention, monitoring and warning systems should be further improved.
* Green energy like solar and wind power will be promoted in the city, along with energy saving technologies in industry, transportation and construction. All environmental protection targets set in the Plan should be reached before deadline.
* The city’s affordable housing projects will be included in the immediate plan to ensure supply and funding. The old city will be upgraded steadily based on the residents’ needs and conditions.
* Historical and cultural heritage in the city should be protected to preserve local traditions and national characteristics during the urban upgrade.
* The Urumqi government should faithfully implement the Plan. No institution or individual is allowed to make any change without permission.