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Planners in China’s capital try to make most of cleared-out spaces

Beijing is drafting guidelines on the management and reuse of land freed up by the relocation of wholesale markets out of the capital, The Beijing Times reported ­on Wednesday.

The guideline, to be jointly drafted by the city’s development and reform commission and the Beijing Planning and Land Resources Commission, would detail policies for such land and tackle problems such as how to develop marginal sites, it said.

“Some great breakthroughs have been made in this document to ease concerns of the [parties] that have to move out of the markets,” said Wang Haichen, deputy director of the Beijing Development and Reform Commission. “The freed space will be reused effectively.”

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Beijing is working to downsize its downtown area and relocate wholesale markets, hospitals and universities that are defined as “non-capital functions” to neighbouring Tianjin and Hebei, and refocus the city as a centre of politics, culture, international exchanges and innovation.

The guideline is also part of measures to support integrated development of Tianjin and Hebei, and ease traffic jams and control pollution in Beijing.

Wang, who is also executive deputy director of Beijing’s Leading Group for Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Integrated Development, said Beijing would close 300 manufacturers this year, reaching its target to close 1,200 a year earlier than planned.

Managing China’s urban spread

Universities under the direct administration of the Beijing government have cut enrolment by 10 per cent and new campuses are planned for suburban areas. Three such universities have moved to the suburbs, as well as some vocational schools, to free up 58,000 square metres.

A major hospital is to be moved out of central Beijing and the new phase of another hospital is under construction in the ­suburbs. Two more top hospitals will also be moved out.

Wang said the capital was also working on other ways to support regional integration, such as establishing a development fund.