Key node in integrated network
Qingdao, a coastal city in Shandong province, has mapped out a plan for its new transportation business zone to be a key engine for the province’s future development.
The Qingdao Transportation Business Zone will have transportation facilities, including a high-speed railway, subways, cross-sea bridge and highways, making the zone a gateway to cities both inside and outside the province.
Located in the western part of Licang district, the zone has a planning area of 36 square kilometers, and will be constructed around the new Qingdao North Railway Station.
With a total investment of 4.7 billion yuan ($774 million), the station, operating both highspeed and ordinary train services, will open next month. It will be an interchange on the city’s soon to be completed subway system, and also connect with other land and sea transport links in the future.
The zone is expected to contribute 50 billion yuan of gross domestic product by 2020, said Liu Yungang, head of the zone’s construction office.
In 2012, the central government laid out a blueprint to develop the Shandong Peninsula, highlighting the marine industry.
It is the first regional development plan in China with a focus on marine economy.
With the zone connecting cities and regions around the province, as well as attracting more business opportunities, Qingdao will play a leading role in the blueprint.
“As the name implies, a transportation business zone incorporates a transportation hub and trading areas,” Liu told China Daily in a recent interview.
He noted that the transportation hub will play a key role in driving the development of the area nearby.
“With Qingdao North Station as a key node, a new railway network in the Shandong Peninsula is coming into shape.”
Other large cities in Shandong such as Jinan, Yantai and Weihai are other nodes in the network.
“All the major city agglomerations in Shandong are connected by the high-speed railway,” he said.
It now takes only one and a half hours on average to reach any city in the network, and in the future the travel time between Qingdao and Shanghai will be reduced from seven hours to four hours.
“This is the foundation for regional integration,” he said.
The high-speed trains will bring more business opportunities and more cultural exchanges between cities, he explained. The whole Shandong Peninsula will be more like a giant city, he said. “With its transportation advantages, Qingdao has the ability and will lead the charge in regional integration.”
The zone is being developed in line with international standards, five world-class design companies from Germany, Japan, Singapore and China were invited to draw up the plan for the zone, including SWA Group from Singapore and Rheinschiene Architects from Germany.
“With the efforts of these top design teams, the zone will have a good starting point for being in line with international practice,” said Liu.
The zone is divided into seven major areas: a central business area, a business area along the sea, an area for the development of new technologies, a logistics center, a cultural and tourism center and a residential area.
e division into these areas will help speed up industrial upgrading in the zone, with transportation and modern logistics the priorities, said Liu.
There are many successful examples of large commercial centers around transportation hubs in the world, Liu said, such as the square in front of Munich Railway Station in Germany and Hongqiao Business Zone in Shanghai.
Many large property giants in the country have been invited to construct high-end commercial buildings in the zone.
When completed, the transportation business zone will lend a modern international vibe to the city.