Sub­urbs to have seven new towns

Shanghai Daily - - METRO - Yang Jian

MORE than 4.4 mil­lion res­i­dents will be en­cour­aged to move to the sub­urbs in 2020 af­ter the city govern­ment pledged to build seven new towns with full pub­lic ser­vice fa­cil­i­ties and more job op­por­tu­ni­ties, the city’s ur­ban plan­ner re­vealed yes­ter­day.

“Shang­hai’s de­vel­op­ment fo­cus has been shifted to the sub­urbs from down­town ar­eas,” said Hu Jun, deputy di­rec­tor of the Shang­hai Mu­nic­i­pal Bureau of Plan­ning and Land Re­sources.

The res­i­dents, ac­count­ing for 18 per­cent of the city’s pop­u­la­tion, will move from both down­town ar­eas and other Yangtze River Delta cities to new towns in Jiad­ing, Songjiang, Lin­gang (in the Pudong New Area), Qingpu, Nan­qiao (in Fengx­ian District), Jin­shan and Chong­ming, Hu said.

The plan could help to re­ar­range lo­cal in­dus­try and pop­u­la­tion struc­tures, so as to im­prove the city’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment as well as peo­ple’s liv­ing stan­dards. The towns would also pro­mote the de­vel­op­ment of cities in neigh­bor­ing prov­inces, he said.

In­fra­struc­ture and hous­ing, es­pe­cially af­ford­able houses, are be­ing built for the towns and com­plete pub­lic fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing hos­pi­tals, schools and sports and cul­tural venues, are in the works.

Opin­ions on the plan were di­vided. “I am re­luc­tant to move to the sub­urbs even if I had a job there, be­cause it will be too in­con­ve­nient,” said Han Zhifei, 26, a net­work en­gi­neer at Daikin air con­di­tioner com­pany in Min­hang District. He shut­tles two hours every day be­tween his home and work.

But the plan was good news to Zhang Da from Liaon­ing Province who rents an apart­ment in Jing’an District. “The rent in the down­town area ac­counts for most of my salary, so I would like to move to the new towns and even find a new job there.”

The Songjiang and Jiad­ing new towns will house about 2 mil­lion res­i­dents. The towns in Lin­gang, Qingpu and Nan­qiao will at­tract 1.8 mil­lion peo­ple, while the Jin­shan and Chong­ming towns will have 600,000 peo­ple.

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