strengthening urban environmental treatment is an internal by housework

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									  Strengthening Urban Environmental Treatment is an Internal Task for Creating Strong
                        Economic Provinces in Western China
                        Construction Department of Shaanxi
                                   (Sept.11, 2005)

      Urban area is the center of modern social, political, economic and cultural activities as well
as the key foundation of productivity layout. To meet the goal of creating strong economic
provinces in western China, people must do a good job with city construction and management.
Urban environmental treatment refers to the systematic project aimed at creating good living
conditions for the public and providing driving force for economic development and industrial
restructuring, with the government playing the guiding role while related administrative agencies
taking their own responsibilities.
      Since 1997, Shaanxi province has been working for the comprehensive renovation of urban
area with the aim to creating clean, smooth, bright, green and orderly city image. After the launch
of the tenth 5-year plan, particularly, we divided the comprehensive renovation into five categories,
namely comprehensive management, urban appearance management, garden greenization and
municipal public facility construction and management, quantified into 52 indicators.
Governments at provincial, municipal, county and regional level sign the Responsibility Document
of Managing the Comprehensive Treatment of Urban Environment at the beginning of each year
and accept examination, appraisement and commendation at the end of each year. To effectively
promote the comprehensive treatment of urban environment, our province attached importance to
keeping urban managers’ mindset close to the era. Governments at all levels are required to reflect
the methodologies of “being human-oriented”, “comprehensive and coordinated development”,
“sustainable development” and “making the Party serve the interest of the public and the people ”
in all the concrete work related to urban construction and management. They are required to
establish the concept that to enhance urban competitiveness is to promote advanced productivity
and advanced culture, to maintain the fundamental interest of the people and to enrich the
province and its people. In the process of implementing comprehensive treatment of urban areas,
we take into consideration of the different features of both urban and rural areas and apply
feature-based development methods. Meanwhile, we also combine the efforts in different areas
and regions so as to realize coordinated development. Generally, we hold all province working
conference on urban construction and management on annual basis, aiming to enlighten the
practitioners with good models and realize a market-based mechanism featuring plans with high
starting point, high intensity financing, high level construction and high efficient management.
      According to statistics, during the ninth 5-year plan period, the province has made a total of
15.3 billion yuan of investment on urban infrastructure, about three times that during the eighth
5-year plan period. During the tenth 5-year plan period, the annual growth rate in the investment
on urban infrastructure maintained above 20%. The total investment during this period is expected
to reach 4.25 billion yuan, about 2.8 times that during the ninth 5-year plan period. A number of
newly built or renovated urban roads, squares, parks, pipeline network, green land, road lights,
toilets, sewage and waste treatment facilities, water, gas and heat supply facilities have been put
into use, helping improve the service functions of cities. Buildings constructed against rules have
been abolished according to law and surface of buildings alongside streets have been painted
regularly. We consistently cracked down upon those venders that illegally occupied streets and


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rectified the management of outdoor advertisement. These efforts help improve people’s living
and working environment and effectively accelerate the economic development and urbanization
process. Just in the four years between 2000 and 2004, the urban GDP in Shaanxi province
grew from 96.689 billion Yuan to 160.009 billion Yuan, up by 65.5%; the actual urban
residential population increased from 11.77 million to 13.67 million, with the urbanization
rate reaching 36.9%, up by 4.6 percentage points.
       At the same time, we are also aware that Shaanxi is still lagging behind those coastal
provinces and municipalities as well as some in middle areas in terms of both the urban growth
rate and the management level. Particularly, from the perspective of building strong economic
province, the current urban capacity remains insufficient and even weak in many aspects. The
weaknesses are mainly reflected in the following areas: first, the inadaptability of urban
infrastructure construction with social and economic development; second, the inadaptability of
the status quo of municipal public affair management with the requirement of market oriented
reform; third, the inadaptability of service level with public expectation. Now the sewage disposal
rate and the harmless waste disposal rate remained low, with the construction of sewage collection
pipeline network lagging behind the development of sewage disposal facilities. Some cities are
still facing high water supply leakage rate, with the pipeline renovation work progressing slowly.
Urban roads remain to be digged repeatedly with the maintenance of road facilities lagging behind,
road marks unclear, transportation crowded and parking hard. There are still too many
advertisement boards and lights in urban areas, with too much load on pavement. In terms of
environmental hygiene, dead corners still exist and the greenization rate in gardens remains quite
low with quite few area of green land in downtown area. The management mechanisms in some
industries are not working smoothly, with problems such as multiple management and dispute
over trifles yet to be resolved and urban management related law enforcement to be standardized.
To resolve problems requires us to conduct further research and continue to innovate and improve
management practices.
       Starting from comprehensive treatment of urban environment, we work hard to accelerate
urban development and enhance urban management, thus providing a good carrier for building a
strong economic province in western China. This is the established principle of the CPC
committees and governments at all levels within the province, and is required in our practices of
implementing the theory of “Three Represents”, realizing the scientific approach of development
and sincerely serving the 37 million Shaanxi People. First, we must strengthen the management
function of the government over urban planning. In the coming 15 years, we plan to make
Shaanxi a province with Longhai railway, Baotong expressway, Xibao and Xikang railway as its
axis. A city group, with Xi’an as the center, will be established to drive the comprehensive
development in surrounding cities. Baoji, Xianyang, Yulin and Hanzhong are going to be turned
into big cities, and Yan’an, Ankang, Weinan, Tongchuan, Shangluo and Yangling into regional
centers with well-established functions and strength. Efforts will also be made to cultivate new
cities based on resource development. Based on calculations, our development goal is as
followed: the urbanization rate all over the province will reach 44% by 2010, with urban
population standing at 17.07 million and 2.92 million people transferred from countryside to
urban areas. By 2020, the urbanization rate will go further to 54%, with urban population
reaching 22.14 million and another 5.07 million people transferred from countryside to urban
areas on the basis of achievement made by 2010. With statistics in 2002 as the basic data, our


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economic development strategy goes like this: step 1, the annual growth rate of provincial
GDP will reach 10.5% between 2003 and 2006 and realize 300 billion yuan of GDP by 2006;
step 2, the annual growth rate of provincial GDP will reach 10% between 2007 and 2010 and
realize 440 billion yuan of GDP by 2010; step 3, the annual growth rate of provincial GDP
will reach 9% between 2011 and 2020 and realize 1 billion yuan of GDP by 2020. That is, at
least in the coming 15 years, Shaanxi’s urban construction and development plans must be
oriented towards national economy and social development plans. We are required to do a
good job with the research and editing of regional urban system plans. With the guidance of
provincial urban system plan, we will proactively edit and implement the plans for the city group
alongside the “one line and two belts”, system plans for the energy and chemical industry base in
northern Shaanxi province, plans for protecting, developing and using the resources on the north
side of Qinling mountain, plans for integrated development in Xi’an and Xianyang, thus
strengthening the integration between the land use plan and the overall urban plan, helping the
editing and implementation of rural and county plans, facilitating the development of key villages
and counties and making them play demonstrative role in developing new type of socialist villages.
We must fully avoid poor quality buildings and out-of-date municipal facility projects so as to
ensure the biggest social and economic effects out of the planned investment both in capital and
land resources. Second, we must take an operation approach in managing cities and try to
find various financing channels for urban construction. With multiple financing channels and
market-based mechanism, we should manage cities in a way like operating a special industry with
the aim to effectively integrating urban resources and quickly adding the value to regional capital.
We should further explore the market mechanism and method, improve the market based land use
mechanism. With scientific urban plans, we will improve the land quality before selling it so as to
enlarge the differential rent of land. Efforts should also be made to increase investment in planned
region and improve infrastructure with the aim to promoting the value of the planned land and
realizing the virtuous cycle of urban land development as well as the ideal turnaround of
investment capital. According to the principle that the people who make the investment should
take the responsibility of management, enjoy the benefit and shoulder the related risk, multiple
channels and methods should be explored to pool capital. Firstly, we should comprehensively
promote the investment and financing system restructuring, reasonably identify the government
investment scope, increase the government investment on public infrastructure and give full play
to the governments’ guiding role in urban infrastructure development. Secondly, we should further
focus on municipal infrastructure projects and industrial development projects and try to acquire
national debt capital and credit support from financial institutions. Thirdly, we must adopt market
based mechanism to promote accrued investment from multiple channels; Fourthly, we should
open wider to the outside world in urban construction field and continue to expand manners of
financing, franchise operation, operation right transfer and etc so as to attract more foreign
investment. Third, we must strengthen the government’s functions in managing city
appearance and environmental hygiene. The effectiveness of managing city appearance directly
reflects cities’ investment and habitat environment, with great impact on the opening efforts as
well as the efforts in building strong economic province in western China and building a well-off
society in an all around way. Work on urban environment is uninterruptible, therefore low
management level or slight carelessness may lead to spread of dirt, disorderliness and discomfort.
Currently, most cities in our province are witnessing problems with management to different


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degrees. There are both reasons related to economic development and reasons related to weakened
functions of some government agencies. Particularly, when the nationwide urbanization process is
accelerating and the tourism industry begins to witness boom, the complexity and difficulty
involved in urban management are becoming further enhanced. How to scientifically allocate the
functions of different agencies, establish strict urban management goals and examination system,
innovate and improve the incentive mechanism, get liberated from the past extensive management
concept and administrative approach, organize urban management and public service in a more
humane, legal-based, economic and scientific manner and continue to enhance management level
has become a permanent subject faced by urban managers. Now we should boldly introduce
market mechanism in labor-intensive industries and foster a mode with government playing the
monitoring role and society playing the management role so as to enhance the management
efficiency. Efforts should be made to ensure the orderliness and beauty of buildings alongside
streets with the building size, structure and decoration coordinated with the environment. All
practices against rules such as illegal digging, occupation and construction must be effectively
curbed. All stalls and evening markets alongside major streets that seriously damage cities’
appearance must be cramped down. No outdoor business is allowed for stores and restaurants, and
open market should be kept clean with bright road lights. The advertisement boards and marks
should be reasonably arranged and designed. There should be no rubbish stockpiled or exposed to
the air. Living waste should be harmlessly disposed on daily basis. Fourth, we should
proactively promote the market-oriented reform with municipal public affairs. We will
gradually establish the three mechanisms that allow market competition, business operation and
government monitoring according to the unified requirement of the country, making the
management of municipal public affairs gradually take on a path featuring virtuous cycle and
sustainable development. Firstly, we will promote the system of franchise operation and improve
the franchise operation contract in various industries; secondly, we will explore the government
monitoring mechanism that can meet the requirement of market economy, improving the market
access conditions of various industries and establishing service quality appraisement system;
thirdly, we will accelerate the separation of political agencies from business operation; fourthly,
we will continue to promote the price adjustment of water supply and sewage treatment and
establish market based pricing system.




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