Key node in in­te­grated net­work

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By XIE CHUANJIAO xiechuan­jiao@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

When com­pleted, the trans­porta­tion busi­ness zone will lend a mod­ern in­ter­na­tional vibe to the city.

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