All-in-one proves appealing
Tianfu New Area in Sichuan province, China’s newest national-level development area, is leading the way as the city pursues a development path that puts people at the heart of a modern metropolis.
Located at the intersection of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Yangtze River Economic Zone, two of China’s key national strategies, Tianfu New Area was approved by the State Council in early October as the country’s 11th national-level development area.
But while following in the successful footsteps of other new areas such as Shanghai Pudong New Area and the Chongqing Liangjiang New Area, Tianfu has also sought to blaze a new trail as it promotes opening-up in the western regions, enhancing economic growth in the inland regions and pushing forward the country’s economic restructuring.
“Different from the other 10 new areas, we were well aware that we wanted to strike a balance between industrial development and improving people’s living environment and lives,” said Liu Limin, a planning officer for the area.
The area was established in 2010 and consists of 37 townlevel districts in Ziyang city, Meishan city and Chengdu, the capital city of southwest China’s Sichuan province.
It covers 1,578 square kilometers, 82 percent of which are in Chengdu.
China’s fast growth over the past three decades has led to a boom in new towns across the country.
These new areas are often characterized by impressive construction projects, but they are usually plagued by traffic jams, environmental pollution and a shortage of housing.
Tianfu New Area, however, has adopted a new model of urbanization to try and avoid these urban diseases, Liu said.
It consists of 35 “all-in-one city units”, each of which covers 20 to 30 square kilometers with a population of around 250,000. Each unit is like a small city, featuring not only company headquarters, research and development facilities, production plants and outsourced services providers, but also retail and leisure facilities such as shopping malls, cinemas, and restaurants.
The Tianfu New Area in Chengdu also features several famous schools, hospitals and large-scale commercial complexes, along with international standard exhibition and convention venues, a financial center and luxury hotels.
The Singapore- Sichuan High-tech Innovation Park in the Chengdu part of the New Area brings industry, culture and nature in perfect harmony with one another.
Jointly developed by Singapore and the Sichuan provincial government, the park is planned to cover 10.34 square kilometers and house 120,000 residents, and is expected to attract a total investment of 100 billion yuan ($16.3 billion) from 2012 to 2020.
The park focuses on eight pillar industries – IT, biomedicine, service outsourcing, new digital media, precision machinery, environmental technology, finance and training – but it also embodies and embraces modern life for living.
“Residents’ convenience was the first priority when planning the park,” said Cui Wei, CEO of Sino-Singapore (Chengdu) Innovation Park Development Co Ltd, which is responsible for overall planning, construction and marketing of the park.
“People don’t need to drive far for a walk, for example. They can just park their cars in the underground lots and walk into the green areas just outside their homes after dinner,” he said.
Cui said the park is also planned to be an environmentally friendly community. The planners of Tianfu New Area hope it will accelerate Chengdu’s development toward a modern, international and environmentally sound metropolis that is conducive to finance, trade and living.
A variety of high-end industries have already been introduced to the new area, and the park’s office in San Francisco is recruiting new IT companies and leading biomedical businesses headquartered in the United States to move to Tianfu New Area.
Tianfu Software Park, which mainly focuses on the IT industry, has already attracted more than 400 companies, including 33 Fortune 500 companies, such as IBM Corp, Philips NV, Siemens AG and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.
While Longquanyi district has become an important production base for the automobile industry with FAW-Volkswagen, FAW Toyota, Volvo and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd all having investments in the area.
“European companies have rich experience in developing high-tech and eco-friendly industry.
“There is great opportunity for the cooperation between Europe and Tianfu New Area,” said Antti Peltomäki, deputy director-general of the European Commission’s Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General.
Peltomäki said he will pay close attention to the development of Tianfu New Area and introduce appropriate European companies to invest in the area.
Raymond Greene, the new US consul general in Chengdu, said he has recently met more than 100 American companies from the American Chamber of Commerce, most of which already have offices in the Tianfu New Area.
“Tianfu New Area is quite attractive to US companies. I believe Chengdu will become a city as prosperous as the highlydeveloped eastern cities.” Contract the writers at peng firstname.lastname@example.org and songmengxing@chinadaily. com.cn
A model of the Xinglong Lake area, which is under development in the Tianfu New Area in Chengdu.
The overall plan for Tianfu New Area.