Beijing plans to build 11 new suburban towns to divert the capital's increasing population from its crowded core.
The 11 suburbs, featuring cheaper housing prices, convenient public services and pleasant environment, are expected to absorb 5 to 6 million people by 2020, when the city's total population is predicted to hit 18 million, according to a new city plan.
The new suburbs will greatly relieve the pressure on the management of Beijing's central urban areas, said Wang Wenhong, deputy director of the municipal city planning committee.
As the core of this 600-year ancient capital, the central urban area within the second ringroad, which is mainly made up of the districts of Dongcheng, Xicheng, Xuanwu and Chongwen, has a population density of more than 28,100 people per sq km, six times of that in Beijing's suburb, according to the municipal commission of population and family planning.
White collar workers and retired gray-hair generation are the major target residents of the new suburbs in Yanqing, Changping, Mentougou, Huairou, Miyun, Pinggu, Shunyi, Fangshan, Daxing, Yizhuang, and Tongzhou, according to Wang's committee.
Currently, Beijing has a permanent population of 16 million with 4.5 million people from other places of the country.
By 2020, the population living in the central urban area will be around 900, 000 down from the current 1.6 million.
(Xinhua News Agency December 24, 2005)