Situated in the center of the Yangtze River Delta on the eastern coast of China, Wuxi is one of the country’s most economically developed cities, and it remains a favorite among overseas investors. In a bid to create a better social environment to keep up with its rapid economic development, the city has made urban construction its top priority.
Last September, the local government outlined a blueprint for the city’s urban construction, aiming to build a modern metropolis. One year later, some of the key projects have been completed, including Taihu Road, Taihu Square and Wuxi railway station, just in time to usher in the National Day holidays.
Wuxi is best known for its majestic Lake Taihu in the southern part of the city. The western end of 14-kilometer Taihu Road links to the ring road surrounding the lake and its eastern extremity connects to a superhighway leading to the city of Shanghai.
Zhou Minwei, director of the Wuxi Communications Bureau, is responsible for the Taihu Road construction project.
“The Taihu Road project preludes the city’s large-scale urban construction drive. After it opened to traffic in late September, the road became a main artery of transportation with an average flow of over 20 thousand vehicles each day. Within the next few years we will build more expressways through the city center so as to create an efficient traffic network, making Wuxi a major communications hub in east China.”
Wuxi is already home to a number of scenic sites, and the brand new garden-like Taihu Square is the city’s latest tourist attraction.
Spanning an area of 670 thousand square meters, the public square is one of the largest of its kind in the country. It’s divided into several parts. The center is covered with granite engraved with multicolored designs. The northern part serves as a venue for formal gatherings and ceremonies, and the south, known as cultural square, is reserved for cultural activities. The eastern and western parts of the square are decorated with green meadows, flower terraces and musical fountains. Since Taihu Square opened to the public a month ago, it has been extremely popular with both local residents and tourists.
The renovation of Wuxi railway station in northern Wuxi is another one of the city’s key urban construction projects completed this year. The station’s average daily volume of passenger traffic is 83 thousand, and the number doubles during the holiday seasons. Welcoming travelers from all over the country, the station is considered to be a window into Wuxi. However, since the heavy traffic flow made renovation necessary, the station has been three times enlarged and equipped with the most advanced service facilities.
Wang Rong, Mayor of Wuxi, says that the three completed projects are only the first step of the city’s urban construction drive.
“The facelift projects have played an important role in enhancing the city’s image. But this is far from enough, and we still have a long way to go. In the next three years, we’ll pursue our efforts to reinvigorate urban construction and improve the overall urban environment. Our goal is to create ideal living and working conditions for everyone in Wuxi -- investors, tourists, and locals alike.”
(CRI October 31, 2002)