China plans to differentiate cities and limit sprawl

Updated: 2016-02-21 20:09


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BEIJING -- Chinese central authorities on Sunday issued guidelines on urban development, two months after leaders met for the Central Urban Work Conference and promised to make China's sprawling cities more livable and green.

The document, from the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, said China will limit cities from growing beyond the means of their natural resources.

It also called for city planners to differentiate cities with urban landscape based on local characteristics.

The last time China held a meeting like the Central Urban Work Conference was in 1978, when only 18 percent of the population lived in cities. That had increased to 50 percent by the end of 2015.

The urbanization that has characterized the past few decades has brought about significant social and economic change in China, spawning problems including traffic jams, pollution and compromised public safety.

Such urban ills have provoked public ire, putting pressure on city planners to find solutions.