Beijing's Tongzhou district to recreate the glamour of the north Grand Canal by 2025

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Two key documents were issued on June 21 aimed at revitalizing the northern stretch of the Grand Canal in Tongzhou District, the sub-center of Beijing, by 2025. They were: the Plan for the Protection and Construction of Grand Canal Cultural Belt of Tongzhou District (the Plan) and the Three-Year Action Plan (2020-2022) on the Protection and Construction of Grand Canal Cultural Belt of Tongzhou District.  

The Grand Canal in Tongzhou district, which has thousands of years of history, will be turned into a "golden waterway" and a "calling card" of the Beijing sub-center by 2022.

Based on the current situation of the Grand Canal in the sub-center and the experiences protecting and developing the Erie Canal in the United States and the Canal du Midi in France, the Plan sets forward medium- and long-term goals in four stages.

The four stages of development goals are: to basically complete construction of a "golden waterway" and "calling card" of the sub-center of Beijing by 2022; to recreate the glamour of the northern stretch of the Grand Canal by 2025; to play a demonstration role in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region by 2035; and to become an important place for cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world by 2050.

In terms of spatial layout, the Plan proposes a development model of "one river, three areas and multiple scenic spots."

The "one river" refers to the Grand Canal channel, which will be the main construction section of the Grand Canal Cultural Belt. The "three areas" refer to the canal water city display area, the canal cultural tourism experience area, and the canal ecological tourist area. Finally, the "multiple scenic spots" include various locations such as the Songzhuang Art Community, Universal Beijing Resort, Zhangjiawan ancient town, and Xiji ecological town. 

The Three-Year Action Plan (2020-2022) specifies the goals proposed in the Plan, and serves to promote the stage-by-stage development of the Canal.

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