BEIJING, Oct 18 (Xinhuanet) -- The county of Miyun, which lies just to the northeast of downtown Beijing, will publicize a development plan for its Ecologically Friendly Business District at a two-day economic conference in Beijing this month to attract the attention of businesses worldwide.
The occasion is the Beijing-Hong Kong Economic Cooperation Symposium, which runs Oct 20 to 21 in Beijing.
One major reason for the event is the county's unique position as the home of North China's largest reservoir, and the fact that this has, to some degree, hindered its economic development over the past years.
The Miyun Reservoir happens to be the major water supply for Beijing and the county is an important ecological shield. So, to protect the ecology of the area, no major industrial projects have been allowed in and around the Miyun area.
In addition, farmers who live upstream from the reservoir are not allowed to use chemicals and fertilizers in crop production.
Because of the big sacrifice the locals have made for the sake of the environment and Beijing, they are now looking for more economic benefits from this new approach.
The Miyun Ecological-Friendly Business District covers a 6.94-square-kilometer area, to the south of the county seat, and holds real estate, environmental protection, healthcare, eco-tourism, recreation, creativity and finance businesses.
It eventually hopes to house the regional headquarters of prominent domestic and global companies in these areas.
The district plan got Beijing municipal government approval on May 30, this year.
In drafting the plan, the district incorporated ideas from renowned urban design and landscaping experts, including David Reel, Chuck Perry, Bill Dennis and Randall Imail, from the United States; Cyrille Hugon, from France; and Zhu Junfu and Zhang Li, from China.
Harmony and balance
The philosophy behind the project puts emphasis on harmony between humans and nature and a balance between economic development and environmental preservation.
Miyun is the largest of the counties surrounding Beijing and has a beautiful mixture of environment, water, air and land, with more than 72 percent of it covered by trees.
The project calls for a per capita green space of 44 square meters, far more than that in the center of Beijing. In addition, at least 50 percent of its buildings will have to be green to ensure a green coverage of 36 percent for the entire development.
Water will account for about 6 percent of the eco-friendly business district.
One of Beijing's largest rivers, the Chaobai, flows through the district. And there will be several lakes to add to the watery landscape.
Plans also call for at least 80 percent of the existing natural landscape to be kept intact.
The development is expected to be in harmony with the neighboring areas, with only a few landmarks about 100 meters high.
Most buildings are expected to be no more than 45 meters tall to provide a clear skyline and to make sure that most people have a clear view of the surrounding mountains and the blue sky, either form their home or in their offices.
The business district is also being labeled as a low-carbon and energy-saving area, and clean energy, such as terrestrial heat, solar energy and wind power will be used for buildings. They will also have natural ventilation equipment to avoid the extensive use of air conditioning.
Whenever company executives go looking for a location for their offices, most of them probably head for the center of a major city because of the support facilities and convenient transportation.
These days, however, major cities in China, and the rest of the world, face an immense number of problems.
Not the least of these are the increasing traffic congestion, pollution, and the busy, but dull, home-to-office routine.
The Miyun Ecological-Friendly Business District is hoping to offer an antidote, a brand-new option, in one of the loveliest suburbs of Beijing - a place where company executives and employees can live and work in a garden-like environment.
The Chaobai River has avenues running along it that are shaded by many trees in an area that is suitable for hiking and cycling.
The mountains and farms are not far away and, on weekends, locals have easy access to relaxing, yet adventurous spots, such as the reservoir and parts of the Great Wall.
If they want to stay closer to home, they can just relax on the banks of the Chaobai or the 1,000-hectare, forested business district park.
The county has plans for housing projects in the business district, so executives can live in a top residential community, while the housing for ordinary workers is also cost-effective, especially when compared with the center of Beijing.
There will also be many facilities for everything from shopping and recreation to finance and healthcare, making life there as convenient as in downtown Beijing.
Even more important, the new transportation network shortens the travel time from the district to Beijing.
The Beijing-Chengde Expressway, which opened before the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008,cut the time to the Guomao area - Beijing's central business district - to 33 minutes. To Capital International Airport, it is only 20 minutes.
That travel time could be cut even more by the Beijing-Shenyang high-speed railway, now under construction.
It will have a station in the Miyun business district, and will mean the trip takes only 15 minutes.
There is also a subway line in the works to connect the area to downtown Beijing.
In this way, people will have many more travel options and can choose to live in Beijing and work in the Miyun Ecological-Friendly Business District, or vice versa.
For investors, there will be some top-notch services available, thanks to the local authorities. The Ecological-Friendly Business District's administrators have plans to establish an investment service center, with one-stop registration and other services.
One of the country's top real estate developers - China Resources Land - has been put in charge of major facilities in the area, including office buildings, hotels, exhibition centers, and recreation, healthcare, and cultural facilities in the district.