Public opinion is being solicited on the merger of Hengqin New Area, the Zhuhai Free Trade Zone, and neighboring Hongwan and Wanzai areas into a new urban center. The plan is to enhance cooperation between Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao, thus stimulating development in the western Greater Bay Area over the next two decades.
The Integrated Development Plan for the merger has been posted by the Hengqin New Area Urban Planning & Land Resources Bureau for public review.
It proposes a short-term development phase from 2018 to 2020 and a longer one from 2021 to 2035. The 46.64-sq-km (18-sq-mile) area will be extended to Jiangjun Mt to the north, Small Hengqin Mt to the south, Modaomen Waterway in the west, and Qianshan and Qixinxia waterways as well as the Zhuhai-Macao Cross-Border Industrial Zone in the east.
Rendering of integrated zone
The integrated zone will deepen industrial cooperation between Zhuhai, Hong Kong, Macao, and Shenzhen. It will remove space restraints on Hengqin's development by regionalizing functional zones and creating an integrated layout.
The zone will spur development of the Guangdong Pilot FTZ Hengqin Area in step with the Zhuhai Free Trade Zone for an innovation-driven modern industrial system with high-end industries. It will also promote development of the Guangdong Pilot FTZ Hengqin Area and Gaolan Port Economic Zone to become a free trade port.
As for industrial layout, the new urban center will have an eclectic mix of high-end business, financial services, and cultural and recreational facilities. The Zhuhai Free Trade Zone will shift focus to bonded warehousing and logistics; new-type research, development and manufacture; online and offline display-and-trade platforms; and commercial offices.
Meanwhile, new-type industrial clusters will spearhead scientific and technological innovation, as well as advanced manufacturing. Hongwan will improve logistics and customs clearance services while also developing high-end warehousing and logistics and characterized fishing ports.
MRT station under construction [Photos courtesy nanfangplus]
Furthermore, the area south of Maliuzhou Waterway will incubate scientific research, hi-tech, leisure and tourism, and cultural and creative industries. A 100-hectare (247-acre) Central Green Valley Park will be created north of the waterway, near the south section of Lovers Avenue.
Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity MRT Extension Line stations will be set up in Wanzai, Shizimen Central Business District, and Financial Island. Shizimen Station will connect to Zhuhai‘’s urban rail transit network, whereas the Guangzhou-Zhongshan-Zhuhai-Macao Intercity MRT will cross the western area of the integrated zone and then head southward, connecting Guangzhou and Zhongshan with Hengqin.
The layout of the integrated zone ensures that there is a bus stop within a radius of every 500 m (547 yd).
Neighborhoods will have 15 primary, seven middle, and five high schools; two comprehensive sports centers; and one community sports park. The integrated zone will also have five comprehensive hospitals, two built to Grade-III Class-A standards.