Layout of Dalian's BEST City seen from the air. photos Provided to China Daily
Opening ceremony held for the Dalian BEST City in mid June.
The BEST City is expected to be home to an international community of 30,000 people.
The port city of Dalian in Northeast China's Liaoning province wants to add an ecologically friendly, technologically savvy, innovative new town that will help the city itself become more international and greener, the vice-mayor has said.
The new town, named Dalian Biodiverse Emerging Science and Technology (BEST) City, will cover a 65-square-kilometer area in the city center. The idea is to make it a model, "the first in ecology and innovation", for Liaoning.
And it signifies the progress Dalian has made in altering its development model, Qu Xiaofei explained.
Dalian has been a pioneer in breathing new life into China's old industrial bases in the Northeast and in opening-up Liaoning's coastal economic area. It has also helped in applying two Chinese development strategies by setting a development goal for the next five years, back in July at a government meeting.
The provincial goal is for Dalian to become an open, prosperous, more livable, international city that places emphasis on life quality and the environment.
In this respect, the Dalian government will look for development that emphasizes a balance between man and nature, development that leads to better productivity, higher living standards, and a sound ecology. This is the exact purpose of the new town, Qu said.
And, one of its advantages is its environment, which, even though the town lies in the very center of the city, is actually quite good. Dalian is a famous resort city and has two national forest parks to the south and the west.
Also, the Bohai Sea is to the new town's west, and has abundant freshwater sources inland.
The transport situation is another positive factor. The town is only 5 kilometers from Dalian's Zhoushuizi International Airport, and a 15-minute drive from a new railway station that goes into operation by the end of next year. It also has expressways connecting it with other major cities in the Northeast.
The new town is expected to concentrate on emerging industries and the modern service industry. The city has plenty of scientific and technological resources, Qu said, so it is considered the ideal place for the service business.
But, he reiterated, the ultimate development goal is to benefit the people. The government is giving priority to employment as one way to improve the lives of people so the new town will house 300,000 people and ultimately provide at least 100,000 high-level jobs.
Its residents will have a convenient, low-carbon, intelligent lifestyle and work in a garden-like setting, all within a 7-kilometer radius.
The ecologically friendly, technologically savvy, innovative town is part of a city government decision on how to manage the next 10 years. It actually wants to build an "ecologically sound Silicon Valley" there, as part of the country's new economic mode, Qu confirmed.
To make this happen, the government has cooperated with the Yida Group, one of the developers, in drawing up a master plan that controls the type of enterprises to be introduced and the ecology.
Forests will cover about 50 percent of the town's area. In the first few months of the year, the two parties had already put 310 million yuan ($48 million) into four town parks. So, the new town will be a central business district for Dalian - with forests.
The Yida Group is also constructing an office building with 300,000 square meters of space, half of which will go into service by the end of the year.
The new town is expected to take the lead in developing an "intelligent city" with many intelligent technologies. All new buildings will be WiFi connected, with an intelligent grid, which, when combined with the convenient transport, will bring unprecedented convenience to people living or working there.
(China Daily 09/15/2011 page14)