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Chongqing Debuts Spatial Master Plan, Increasing Int'l Flights to over 100 Cities

By RAN ZHENG|Mar 27,2024

Chongqing—The Chongqing Territorial Spatial Master Plan (2021-2035) was unveiled at a press conference on March 26. 

Zhang Bing, Director of the Land and Spatial Planning Bureau of the Ministry of Natural Resources, stated that the plan is Chongqing's initial multi-planning territorial spatial master plan and implements the national territorial spatial planning framework.

The cityscape of Chongqing. (Photo/ Zheng Ran)

"This plan supports a vision for higher quality, more efficient, fairer, safer, and more sustainable development," Zhang emphasized, outlining its role in charting Chongqing's course toward high-quality development over the next 15 years. 

As the only municipality in China's central and western regions, Chongqing boasts significant geographical and strategic advantages. The plan leverages these to implement national strategies for Western Development, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Yangtze River Economic Belt, and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC).

Hu Wantai, Director of the Chongqing Municipal Bureau of Planning and Natural Resources, emphasized that with the plan's approval, Chongqing is called to enhance its external and internal corridors, ensuring multi-directional connectivity and multimodal transportation.

The plan outlines the development of 10 key transportation corridors, connecting major urban centers nationwide and bolstering six vital economic zones. It prioritizes building an extensive transport network along the Yangtze River Economic Belt to the east, connecting with East Asia and the Asia-Pacific. It also strengthens the ILSTC to the south, expanding links to Southeast Asia while enhancing connections via the China Railway Express to the west, reaching West Asia and Europe through the China-Mongolia-Russia routes.

The blueprint features a 2000km high-speed rail network, a 500km intercity rail network, and a 2100km rail network. This extensive network will allow for one-hour travel times to Chengdu and Guiyang, three-hour trips to other nearby provincial capitals, and six-hour journeys to Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

Some figures of the Chongqing Territorial Spatial Master Plan (2021-2035). (Graphic/ Zheng Ran)

The strategy also includes enhancing airport layouts, with plans for a highway network exceeding 6,000 kilometers. This involves expanding Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport, planning a new airport to offer direct international flights to over 100 cities, and ensuring over 80% domestic flight coverage.

Furthermore, a significant element of the plan involves developing a high-grade waterway system centered around the Yangtze River and its tributaries. This would enhance multimodal transport across rail, road, water, and air, and it would be complemented by a large-scale port layout system.

The master plan outlines space for developing a "33618" modern manufacturing cluster to improve industrial land use efficiency in areas such as the Chongqing Liangjiang New Area and Chongqing Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone. 

It also introduces a "416" blueprint for science and technology innovation spaces, leveraging platforms like the Western (Chongqing) Science City and Chengdu-Chongqing (Jinfeng) Comprehensive Science Center. This aims to establish a prominent science and technology hub in Western China by fostering regional innovation networks.

Addressing Chongqing's vast potential, Hu highlighted its status as a mega-city with a 34 million population and significant developmental space. The plan balances development across Chongqing's diverse regions, focusing on ecological preservation, green growth, and cultural and tourism integration.

The plan envisions an urbanization rate of approximately 80% city-wide by 2035, with the central urban area achieving a rate of about 95%.


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