A City’s Improvement
When asked about their impression of Beijing, most Beijingers describe it as a fashion capital, an international metropolis and a tech capital. Recent news, however, offers another choice. In June of this year, after municipal government agencies held a meeting on the demarcation of permanent farmland, it was announced that 101,066 hectares of permanent farmland have been demarcated in Beijing municipality. Apart from Dongcheng, Xicheng and Shijingshan districts, 13 districts have been approved by the municipality to be used for permanent farmland.
Of the total farmland area, over 9,866 hectares are in the outskirts of the city. Additionally, about 2,652 statements to protect the permanent farmland have been signed, and 4,950 preservation signs and billboards have been placed on land. Some 5,460 tables with information on the protection of permanent farmland have been completed, along with 2,652 preservation maps, filling 171 volumes.
This work of drawing a boundary to protect farmland, together with existing forests, rivers, lakes and mountains, forms a physical border for Beijing Municipality’s urban development.
At the same time, the permanent farmland, with multiple ecological functions in green land and landscaping, will be able to organically integrate with greenbelts, urban green spaces and natural landscapes. The combination should be effective in alleviating pollution such as smog by building up an ecological barrier for the capital.
It has always been the objective and vision of Beijing to develop a world-class, harmonious and liveable capital. Data show that, with the ecological improvements in Beijing well underway, Beijingers will find themselves living in a pure ecological city with an idyllic lifestyle.
Beijingers have always cared about the changes taking place in the municipality. With so many modern wonders made available to residents, this ancient capital continues to impress both locals and visitors in diverse ways. Recently, journalists were given the chance to be the first to experience a new mode of transportation: Beijing’s first sightseeing tram: the Xijiao ( Western Suburban) Line of the Beijing Subway.
The Xijiao Line will run through the city’s renowned “three hills and five gardens” west of the city: Fragrant, Yuquan and Longevity hills, the Summer Palace, and Jingyi, Jingming and Changchun gardens and Yuanmingyuan Park (the Old Summer Palace).
Expected to be fully operational at the end of this year, the Xijiao Line will also pass by the Kunyu River, the South- to- North Water Transfer Memorial Park, Beiwu Park, Wan’an Orchard, Beijing Botanical Garden and other scenic spots. With large glass windows, the tram offers a beautiful view of scenery for passengers. The tramway not only represents innovation in transportation, but also embodies the municipality’s well- orchestrated planning.
With numerous historical and cultural scenic spots along its route, the Xijiao Line has high standards in regard to environmental protection. During the feasibility study, the municipality hired professional landscape designers to study the surroundings, urban planning, and cultural relic preservation case by case so that the line could harmoniously coexist with its surroundings. For peak seasons in tourism, the tram will be able to add on extra compartments to ensure daily operation, an unprecedented move in the history of Beijing’s transportation.
The news of a city’s development and prosperity always excites its residents. The municipality’s grand undertaking has inspired Beijingers to look forward to the promising future while enjoying their lives here and now. As the season of lotus blossoms grace the municipality, their fragrance and beauty has lured many visitors to lakesides to enjoy the summer months.