Lanzhou New Area
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|Lanzhou New Area
|State-level new area|
|• Total||806 km2 (311 sq mi)|
|Time zone||China Standard (UTC+8)|
Lanzhou New Area (simplified Chinese: 兰州新区; traditional Chinese: 蘭州新區; pinyin: Lánzhōuxīnqū) is a newly established state-level new area (special economic and political administration zone) under the direct control of Lanzhou Municipal Government. It is located in the valley around Lanzhou Zhongchuan Airport. It is the first state-level new development area in the northwest of China.
The establishment of Lanzhou New Area (simplified as LNA) is the culmination of multiple strategies both from Chinese Central Government and Gansu Provincial Government. Since China launched the Development of the West in 2000, several Western Provinces, such as Shanxi, Guangxi, etc. have accomplished profound achievements during the last decade due to the favorable policies those provinces received from China’s Central Government. With huge amount of capital investment issued from State’s Financial Department, those western provinces developed rapidly with a progressive GDP growth rate, a gradually mature industry structure and an efficient communication system. Though those provinces mentioned above developed quickly, none of those fast developing provinces are actually located in the West of China, although the Chinese Central Government classified them into the 12 Western provinces. For instance, Guangxi Province is a coastal region in southwestern China, bordering the South China Sea and Vietnam, an ASEAN country.
Lanzhou is intended to achieve the ideal of 'common wealth' as outlined by the Communist Party of China through the rapid development of Western provinces. The geographical location of LNA holds significant advantage to its future economic growth. Lanzhou is the biggest city among two megacities (Ürümqi and Xi'an) in this vast region, and is adjacent to two other capital cities, (Xining of Qinghai Province and Yinchuan of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region). These three capital cities are close enough to form a regional economic conglomeration, and LNA is the center of this amalgamation. The development of LNA will boost the development of its adjacent areas. Lanzhou's main area is constrained by its geographical topography, since it is a typical valley which can be described as sandwiched by two mountains, with the Yellow River crossing by. The topography of Lanzhou hampers this city to become a megacity like Beijing or Xi’an. The General Office of the State Council issued the Several Advice about Supporting the Development of Economy and Society of Gansu Province in May 2010, especially stating that Lanzhou has to be the impetus of the development of Gansu Province, even the whole northwestern region; not long after, on August 3, 2010, Lanzhou Municipal Government, by the 7th Session of the 11th convention of Lanzhou Municipal Council, announced the strategy of building a new city in Qinwang Flat Plain which now called Lanzhou New Area, then, Gansu Provincial Government issued the Consulting Advice about Promoting Constructions in Lanzhou New Area in order to support the development of LNA.
On August 20, 2012 Lanzhou New Area was approved by the State Council of China's Central Government as the fifth state-level new area (followed by Pudong of Shanghai, Binhai of Tianjin, Liangjiang of Chongqing and Zhoushan of Zhejiang), which is also the first state-level new development area in the northwest of China.
General Objectives On June 22, 2011, the first press conference was held by the Administration Council of Lanzhou New Area (ACLNA). The ACLNA issued the General Planning of Lanzhou New Area (2011-2030), confirming the objectives of LNA: Strong Industrial City, Ecological Green City, Multiple Lakes City, Modern New City. The ACLNA aims to achieve a GDP of 50 billion RMB, 100 billion RMB and 270 billion RMB by years 2015, 2020 and 2030 respectively in LNA. The objective renders the economic and geographical scale of LNA to be equivalent to that of Lanzhou main city within 20 years.
From the perspective of China: strategic platform for opening up to the West (both domestic and abroad); forerunning zone for nation’s economic upgrade and for taking up the eastern or central China’s equipment manufacturing industry
From the perspective of the Western region: crucial zone for developing strategic burgeoning industry, high-tech industry and cyclical economy; essential communication and logistics center for linking the whole West of China; key demonstration zone for “two type” society (resource economized and environment protected) and urbanization; developing experimental zone for ecological construction and comprehensive development of intact land area.
From the perspective of Gansu: the expanding zone for traditional advantageous industry and modern service industry; the predominant communication and logistics hub of the whole province; the Growth Pole for accomplishing leaping development of Gansu province.
Development Scale (Geographical and Demographic Scale)
Controlled area by 2030: 806 square kilometers.
Population: 0.6 million by 2020 and 1 million by 2030.
Functional and Structural Zone
There are four functional zones: the 246-square-kilometer central development zone environs Zhongchuan International Airport (without airport controlled area) which includes industrial congregation zone, comprehensive service zone and airport tariff-free manufacturing and logistics zone; the 48-square-kilometer ecological leisure and business housing zone; 248-square-kilometer demonstration zone for developing barren wasteland and hills; 220-square-kilometer ecological demonstration zone of modern agriculture.
The area has been described as a ghost town, as it still houses far less than the anticipated population number. As of 2017, a population number of under 100,000 is claimed. Only a few city blocks are inhabited.
Communication systems are the core of the development of Lanzhou New Area, owing to the differences with other Chinese new areas. The common model of Chinese new areas can be exemplified as a giant plain area which needs to be expanded. It is a spontaneous urbanization of the old main city area, and short distances between the new areas and their respective main cities are advantageous for the new areas' development. Lanzhou’s peculiar topography has the planned LNA located 30 kilometers away from its main city, and the linkage between the new and the old area becomes a crucial factor for its development.
The Lanzhou–Zhongchuan Airport Intercity Railway also has an intermediate station for Lanzhou New Area. Construction of the Lanzhou Metro commenced in July 2012, and future lines are planned connecting the New Area to the old city. Lanzhou Zhongchuan Airport is being extended to become a giant air hub in the Western region, making it a potential center for international flight and logistics, especially towards Central and Western Asia.
A freight railway connects a freight terminal in the north to the Lanxin Railway.
The construction of several tram lines has been approved by the government. This would be the first tram line in Northwest China. Once finished, the system is planned to have 5 lines. The first two lines will service 31 stations and are to be finished in 2019.
- "China approves new state-level SEZ in Gansu". The Global Times. Xinhua. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
- "China goes west: a ghost city in the sand comes to life". 21 March 2017 – via The Guardian.