Low-carbon and better transportation designed in Beijing New CBD

By Ni Yuanjin
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China.org.cn, October 21, 2009
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Low-carbon economy concepts and a multimodal transportation system are being integrated into the Beijing CBD eastward expansion plan.

This was announced at the 10th Beijing CBD (Central Business District) International Business Festival held in the Chaoyang Art Museum on October 12-17. Beijing CBD, currently undergoing large-scale development, will finish an eastward expansion in six to eight years.

The Evaluation Group of Beijing CBD Eastward Expansion Plan [Ni Yuanjin/China.org.cn]

The Evaluation Group of Beijing CBD Eastward Expansion Plan [Ni Yuanjin/China.org.cn]

Since July of this year, participants in the Beijing CBD expansion plan have included seven prominent planning and designing institutes from home and abroad, including Britain's Space Syntax Limited and Foster + Partners, America's SOM architectural firm and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, and France's ADPI Designers and Planners.

America's SOM architectural firm won the first prize for its integration of the present and new CBD, as well as its low-carbon and excellent transportation design. The final Beijing CBD eastward expansion plan will progress mainly based on SOM's design while integrating advantages from the other firms after the Beijing municipal government's seal of approval at the end of this year.

What is a CBD?

A CBD (Central Business District) is the commercial and often geographic heart of a city, usually typified by a concentration of retail and commercial buildings, typically called "downtown" in North America. A CBD usually has the following characteristics, according to Wikipedia: -- A region with high concentration of public buildings and offices to maximize land use of expensive real estate;

-- High use of public transport: trains, underground metro, park and ride services;

-- Shops and offices located in the center, with entertainment on the outskirts;

-- Major retail outlets located where pedestrian count is highest; -- High employment rate;

-- Little amount of industrial buildings;

-- Low residential population.

How was Beijing CBD established?

Twenty years ago, skyscrapers and a constant flow of traffic formed the definition of prosperity in the eyes of the Chinese people. In the 1990s, foreign companies mushroomed around the legation quarter in the Chaoyang District, forming a regional advantage.

In 1993, a central business district (CBD) concept was approved by the State Council, China's cabinet, as a vital part of the "Beijing Urban Master Plan (1991–2010)." Under the Beijing CBD Regulatory Plan of 1998, a 3.99 sq. km area was designated as the Beijing CBD, the first ever central business district in China. Beijing CBD is geographically situated to the east of the city's center, sandwiched between the 3rd Ring Road and the 4th Ring Road, bounded by Dongdaqiao Road on the west, Xi Dawang Road on the east, the Tonghui River on the south and Chaoyang Road on the north.

What has Beijing CBD achieved in the past ten years?

The Beijing CBD is now Beijing's economic and financial heart. Some 70 percent of the foreign-related resources available in the city are pooled in the CBD or its surrounding areas. It is home to all the foreign embassies in China except two – the embassies of Russia and Luxembourg.

Beijing CBD now boasts clusters of high-end industries and takes pride in being home to global or regional headquarters of international financial, cultural, media and service companies.

A few examples include Standard Chartered, Citibank, AnBang Insurance and Generali China Life Insurance. NASDAQ, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and VISA International also have their China offices in the Beijing CBD.

By 2008, the 77 skyscrapers in Beijing CBD had contributed 7.41 billion yuan in tax revenues to the Chaoyang District, comprising 22 percent of the total amount, which made CBD the largest economically-contributed region in Beijing. Why expand Beijing CBD eastward?

"Beijing CBD has finished 80 percent of the construction plan in the past ten years. And with economic development, the CBD needs more room in the future due to the increasing number of financial institutions," said Chen Gang, secretary of the Chaoyang District.

"With the internationalization of Beijing, the CBD needs expansion to meet more transnational institutions' needs," explained Bao Minghua, director of the Institute of Economics, Renmin University of China.

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