Beijing to limit construction in air corridors

Beijing, Feb 23 (IANS) Construction of high-rise buildings in planned ventilation corridors in Beijing will be strictly limited, authorities said on Tuesday.

“Within the sphere of the planned corridors, the height and density of buildings will be strictly controlled,” Xinhua quoted He Yong, deputy director of the planning research department of the Beijing Municipal Institute of City Planning and Design, said.

There are many high-rise buildings and crowded building blocks along the corridors, obstructing air flow. Some of the outdated buildings will be demolished over time, He said.

Beijing plans to develop a number of corridors by connecting large areas of park space, rivers and green land.

The five primary ventilation corridors are designed to be more than 500 metres in width. Some secondary corridors will be more than 80 metres wide.

“The corridor is expected to bring cold air from the suburbs to the downtown area and blow away hot air and pollutants,” said He.

The primary corridors, planned from north to south, will allow northern winds to blow through Beijing during winter, when smog usually occurs.

“Ventilation corridors are still in the planning phase. Officials are making plans for their implementation,” He said.

Corridor development content will be written into new city planning documents and serve as a guide for future city-planning work.

Researchers have carried out tests on the effect of corridors in the Kunyuhe area of northwestern Beijing.

“The ventilation corridors have proven effective in relieving the urban heat island effect, facilitating air flow and alleviating air pollution,” He added.

Beijing faces a heavy task in curbing air pollution. In 2015, the city replaced coal fire power plants with cleaner energy and closed or limited production of more than 2,000 polluting factories.

Beijing aims to reduce pollutants by 40 percent in 2020 from 2013 levels.

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