The Ministry of Construction yesterday urged local governments
to take "sustainable development" as their guiding philosophy for
Minister of Construction Wang Guangtao said the development of
cities should be based on harmony with resources and the
environment, and never threaten the lives of future
Earlier, Vice Premier Zeng
Peiyan told a State Council conference on Wednesday: "Because
of some city planners' short-sightedness, problems such as blind
expansion, improper development and environmental pollution are
emerging in some areas."
Speaking at the National City Planning Amendment Conference
organized by the ministry yesterday, Wang noted that overall city
plans provide the legal foundations for a city's development, and
provide a guardian for the city's public security and residents'
According to a report issued by the ministry, by the end of
2003, the Chinese mainland had 660 cities.
A total of 37 mayors arrived in Beijing and exchanged their
lessons and experiences in city planning at the meeting.
"A new city plan is absolutely necessary and urgent," said Yin
Weizhen, vice-mayor of Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei
Yin said the city's old plan, which was drafted in 1995, did not
embody the concept of sustainable development and is hindering the
For example, the old planning artificially concentrated most of
the city's business plazas in a small area in the city's Hankou
District, causing unnecessary pressure on traffic as shoppers
flooded into the area from other parts of the city across a few
bridges on the Yangtze and Hanjiang rivers.
Xiang Bingjun, chief planner of the Planning Bureau of Suzhou,
an ancient city in Jiangsu Province famous for its classic Chinese
gardens, said his city had taken steps to realize sustainable
Minister Wang said the country is to set up a system of urban
and rural planning supervision.
Under this system, a supervisor designated by the provincial
government has the right to veto city government's construction
projects which violate the city plan.
(China Daily July 22, 2005)