It’s around that time of year when everyone is making resolutions – even the government is setting new goals…they’re doing 5-year ones! Here in Shanghai, the jury is still out on whether organ donations can be used for transplants (among other things) and as for Beijing, their check list includes quite a few big to dos. In five years time, they’re hoping to build a second international airport, rid the city of the terrible smog and traffic congestion, and become an all around more “livable” city — though we’d like to point out that the last one sounds especially vague, kind of like those “lose weight, eat healthier” resolves.
But let’s talk their more tangible goals. Beijing will have an operational second international airport by 2015, alleviating pressure on Beijing Capital International Airport which is already the world’s second busiest and running at near full capacity. That’ll be in the southern district of Daxing.
Another one of their other major initiatives will be to reduce the pollution and nightmarish traffic jams. Officials have settled on increasing public reliance on public modes of transportation to that end. They’ll be continuing to subsidize the metro network (we’ll admit, we’re a little jealous of those those wonderful 2-kuai ride anywhere you want subway trips) and going further with their subway expansion plans. They’d originally planned to have metro lines grow by 551 km by 2015, but now that number is more like 661 km.
South China Morning Post says this on the topic:
The city allocated more than 14 billion yuan this year to subsidise Beijing’s subways and buses, and is expected to spend more to entice Beijingers to use cheap public transport, which authorities believe is a more effective option to alleviate congestion woes. The city rolled out a set of harsh measures last month to address the problem of its 4.8 million cars, including restricting purchases and increasing prices for car parking.
If you’re interested in seeing what else the CPC’s Central Committee’s 12th 5-year plan entails, see their 2011-2015 agenda here.