Chengdu Special: Advanced district takes lead in Sichuan capital
Updated: 2013-09-25 07:44
By Zhuan Ti (China Daily)
The government of Wenjiang is implementing a massive program to improve local ecology and develop new infrastructure facilities with the goal of making this western district in Chengdu a better place for living, visiting and doing business.
According to the government, it has begun work on a full range of infrastructure projects, including roads linking Wenjiang with the center of Chengdu, as well as commercial and public facilities.
Wenjiang's plans play a significant role in the current stage of China's Western Development Strategy, which mainly focuses on boosting economic growth and improving the environment in western regions, according to the local government.
Wenjiang is known as the "garden town" of Chengdu, Sichuan province, because of its beautiful natural environment.
Official statistics show that foliage covers more than 90 percent of the district's land.
The urban area holds 1,145 hectares of green space, constituting a coverage rate of 40 percent.
This beautiful environment has helped Wenjiang earn several accolades.
The district was granted the International Garden City award by Westminster Hall of London in 2007, and the International Award for Best Practices in Improving the Living Environment by the United Nations Center of Human Settlement in 2009.
In 2011 China's General Administration of Sport designated Wenjiang's 140-km-long green footpath as a National Demonstrative Project for Exercise.
Wenjiang has also won a lot of other honors, including the Prize for Best Practices in Human Settlement in China, the Green Asia Human Settlement Prize, and the International Outstanding Achievement Award for Ecological Restoration and Environment Protection.
In August 2013, the Wenjiang district government signed a strategic cooperation agreement with China Ecological Civilization Research and Promotion Association to further strengthen ecological protection in the district.
Wenjiang's economy has continued to grow steadily in the past few years, making it possible for the local government to increase investment in infrastructure.
In 2012, Wenjiang's GDP hit 31 billion yuan ($5.17 billion), up more than 13 percent from the previous year, according to the district government.
The per capita disposable income of urban residents has reached 28,524 yuan, an increase of 14 percent year-on-year, and the per capita net income of rural residents has reached 13,772 yuan, an increase of 14.5 percent.
At present, the district is constructing a full range of infrastructure projects, including a subway system, shopping malls, art centers and hospitals.
In addition, the district government has invited several well-known international institutions to guide its urban planning.
According to the newly released urban development plan, the district will consist of one commercial area, four major avenues and a number of other functional areas.
The commercial area near Guanghua Avenue will have 15 large shopping malls and supermarkets, such as Carrefour, Ito Yokado and the Fenglong International Shopping Mall.
In addition, the district government also focuses on the development of specific areas for culture and creativity, medical care, entertainment and sports, and ecological tourism.
According to the government, it wants to highlight the cultural and creative industries by drawing on Wenjiang's rich historical heritage as the center of the ancient Yufu Kingdom some 3,000 years ago.
It plans to build several cultural tour sites by capitalizing on such legacies as the Yufu relics, the Confucian Temple and the ancient city wall.
The district is also constructing modern cultural facilities, including an e-library, an art museum and a number of art centers.
Medical care is another important project in the district. In the Yongning township of Wenjiang, an international medical town has been established.
The specialized medical sub-district houses the Medical School of Sichuan University, cardiovascular and tumor centers, and a science park that focuses on stem cell research.
For sports and entertainment, Wenjiang takes the lead among other districts in Chengdu, according to the local government.
Horse riding is becoming a new attraction for visitors and locals alike. An annual equestrian festival will be held at the Chengdu International Stadium in November.
With the rapid development of transportation facilities, Wenjiang is becoming more integrated with downtown Chengdu.
Major projects include Subway Line 4 and a high-speed railway as well as a number of new roads.
The Chengdu Cross-Straits Science Park is an important investment destination in western China for high-tech businesses from Taiwan. Provided to China Daily
Located at the foot of the Xiling Snow Mountains, Wenjiang is regarded an ideal place for human settlement by many international and domestic institutions. Guo Jian / for China Daily
Wenjiang's urban area has 1,145 hectares of green space, constituting a coverage rate of 40 percent. Guo Jian / for China Daily
A garden-like residential community like this is common in Wenjiang. Lu Linglong / for China Daily
(China Daily USA 09/25/2013 page8)