Will This City be the New Beijing?
As a result of overpopulation and excessive pollution in Beijing, China has announced that they will be creating Xiongan New Area which is a new city to be built and located roughly 62 miles away from Beijing.
This new city aims to address the issues in Beijing and will take over what was once a region in China's Hebei Province. According to the Guardian, Xiongan was announced over the weekend by the top leaders of China's Communist Party and already created excitement from locals as they rushed to purchase property in the area.
Quickly after the announcement property prices in the area almost doubled, and according to local media reports, local estate agents had to close on Monday due to high demands, and the government put in place an emergency sales ban.
The ban on property sales was presumably in place since the government aims to make Xiongan more resident focused and not a repeat of Beijing. They hope to shift some economic activity from Beijing to Xiongan, implement more sustainable transportation methods to ease pollution, and have non-industrial employment opportunities for residents of the new town. In regards to the town, China’s president Xi Jinping said that Xiongan would be “a demonstration area for innovative development…[which] should prioritize ecological protection [and] improve people’s well-being.”
While Xiongan is the most recent new city development plan for China, The Guardian reports that "China has created dozens of "new areas" in recent years as part of a massive urbanization drive that has seen hundreds of millions of people pour into its cities." So while the current focus will be on shaping and building Xiongan, we can anticipate more developments of new cities in China in the future.