The State Council approved the overall urban planning (2009-2020) of the city plan for Lhasa in Southwest China’s Tibet autonomous region.
Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, is a historical and international tourism city with snow plateaus and characteristics of the Tibetan ethnic group.
According to the plan, an area of 4,326 square kilometers was designated for unified rural and urban development. It urged expanding public facilities to serve neighboring villages, developing counties and key villages with potential, and optimizing the overall layout of villages and towns.
More efforts will be concentrated on counties and central towns with good basic conditions to promote the modernization of rural areas.
By 2020, the goal is to cap the downtown population at 500,000, and urban construction land should be limited to 77.88 square kilometers.
No new development zone or city district should be set up beyond the approved area. Increase in construction land will be controlled, and protection of arable land will be strengthened.
The circular stressed green development for urban infrastructure facilities, including transportation systems, parking lots, underground tunnels and disaster prevention systems.
To build a resource-saving and people-friendly city, the local government was asked to control pollutants, speed up overcapacity retirement, and support green buildings.
Measures should be rolled out to protect the scenic spots and natural reserves, such as ecological function zones, including wetlands and water sources.
The local government is also asked to make coordinated arrangements for service infrastructure closely related to public interests, such as education, healthcare and municipal administration, with a special focus on affordable housing projects. Shantytowns, villages within the city and dilapidated houses should be renovated and equipped with improved facilities.
Efforts should also be made to protect the traditional city landscape and historical and cultural heritage sites, such as Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple, according to the plan.