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All About the Olympic Park

One of the ten key points contained in Beijing’s bid to stage the 2008 summer Olympics is the construction of a supporting infrastructure, the Olympic Park. Many wonder when it can be completed, what it will look like and how it can facilitate Beijing’s bid.

In the next eight years, northern Beijing will see the completion of a series of epoch-making modern architectural complexes. Covering an area of 1,215 hectares, the park will include an 80,000-seat stadium, 14 gymnasiums, an athletes’ village and an international exhibition center. Surrounded by a 760-hectare forest and greenbelt , this area will be an ideal place for athletes to achieve their best performances.

Devoted to the theme of environmental protection, cultural richness and science, the plan of Olympic Park has many distinctive features.

Green Beijing

With the “green” issue becoming increasingly popular worldwide, Beijing’s Olympic Park planners have given top priority to environmental protection. Greenery will account for 62.55 percent of the total area, covering the whole athletes’ village with trees and flowers. Apart from it an 100-meter-wide greenbelt, like a green corridor, will be built to go around the whole of Beijing proper at that time. State-of-the-art environmental protection technologies will be adopted. Geothermal heat, solar energy and other clean energy forms will replace traditional dirty fuels like coal. Litter will either be turned into organic fertilizer or undergo safe disposal treatment, and waster water will be recycled to irrigate the green areas.

Along with the green Olympic Park, a greener Beijing is also in the mind of the planners. During the tenth Five-Year Plan period (2001-5), Beijing will build three green ecological belts, aiming to raise its green coverage to 48 percent. By 2005, the city will realize the complete and safe disposal of treated waste and 96 percent waster water will also be treated, enabling the Chinese capital to catch up with advanced cities like New York and Tokyo.

Cultural Beijing

A brand-new comprehensive sports and culture center, the Olympic Park will be in the limelight in the future Beijing’s symbolic cultural infrastructure. Around the park a new community will be established to relieve the increasing pressure on Beijing’s inner city and shoulder part of the city’s key functions. Inhabitants here will enjoy a more comfortable life. Civil engineering expert Hong Renzhi considers this move a breakthrough in Beijing’s city development and construction.

Transportation Network

The opening of the fourth ring to traffic is only an initial step in the process of Beijing’s traffic network building. Architect Li Mingtao has revealed that, in the next five years, the No.5 north-south subway and the Badaling-Tongzhou subway will be built to facilitate access to the Olympic events, as well as a special subway route between the No.5 subway and the Olympic Park. Moreover, Beijing will built another 130 km highway network and improve road conditions in inner city. By 2008, Beijing will boast a more comprehensive transportation network.

Booming Economy

A decade ago, the emergence of the Asian Games Village proved to be a great impetus to the economic development and civil engineering of the municipality. Now, the Olympic Park to be built is far bigger in scale. Once Beijing’s bid is successful, it will not only benefit relative urban construction, but also offer abundant chances to tourism, electronics, environmental protection and cultural industries in both Beijing and throughout China.

According to Li Mingtao, an Olympic games in Beijing will push the city forward for one to two decades in an all-round way. “For one thing, China will make a great contribution to the global Olympic movement. At the same time, the ultimate beneficiary will be the citizens of Beijing,” added Li.

(CIIC by Xiao Gao 04/15/2001)

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