China issues guidelines to make cities more ‘liveable’

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Beijing, Feb 22 (IANS) Chinese central authorities have issued guidelines on urban development, two months after leaders promised to make the country’s sprawling cities more liveable and environmentally friendly, the media reported on Monday.

Issued on Sunday by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, the document sets the basic principles, key tasks and targets for future urban development and management, to ensure that cities are “orderly constructed, properly developed and efficiently operated”, the Global Times reported.

The last time China held a Central Urban Work Conference was in 1978, when only 18 percent of the population lived in cities. That had risen to 56.1 percent by the end of 2015.

The urbanisation that has characterized the past few decades has brought about significant social and economic changes in China, leading to problems such as traffic congestion and pollution, which have compromised public safety.

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China will limit cities from growing beyond their natural resources, according to the guidelines.

Besides, enclosed residential compounds will not be built in principle while buildings separated by blocks will be promoted. Streets within existing communities will also opened to the public.

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