Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Beijing uses GPS to track down and demolish illegal construction

(translated from 2008.sina.com.cn)
In the beginning of 2006, Beijing city planned to demolish 4.5 million m2 of illegal houses and buildings. This operation is now completed. To date, 1.6 milion m2 of the cleared land has already been converted to public areas.

A further 3 million m2 of illegal construction are planned for demolition in 2007. This is announced during an Urban Development Forum organized by the Beijing 2008 Environment Development Agency.

According to the agency, the current development to transform the urban environmental landscape has been smooth. They have step up the frequency of satellite tracking from once a quarter to bi-monthly to prevent new illegal construction. In the last 3 tracking, they have identified 40 different spots covering an area 87,200 m2.

The demolishment and relocation operation includes many of the “city villages”. The agency has planned for 80 “city villages” to be demolished and re-located to better quarters this year. 36 of these are already relocated while the rest should be completed by year end. Similar plans are in the work for the peripheral “villages” of the city.

The remaining 22 “city villages” will be demolished and relocated next year and mark the completion of the urban relocation plans for all the “city villages” in Beijing.

At the same time, relocation project of the villages in the Aviation corridor are also going on. 3 of the 9 villages are in the relocation phase while the rest are preparing for the shift.

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