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Chinese leaders caution against urban sprawl 2006-08-22 23:46:11

    BEIJING, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese leaders warned here on Tuesday that urban sprawl at the expense of the environment and excessive energy consumption was detrimental to China's modernization and contrary to the interests of the general public.

    Urban planning must be carried out in an energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly manner and consider the convenience of residents' daily lives, Premier Wen Jiabao stressed in a written instruction to the 2006 China Mayors' Forum that opened here on Tuesday.

    He urged local city planning departments to restrict the size of cities to "a reasonable level" and pay attention to the needs of residents.

    Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan told the forum's opening ceremony that measures must be taken to curb blind expansion and the waste of land and capital resources.

    "Find the rhythm of your city's development, avoid urban sprawl and the arbitrary use of land resources," Zeng told more than 300 participants at the forum initiated by the China Mayors' Association, stressing that a city must develop its own personality rather than simply replicate projects seen elsewhere.

    Cities should strive to outperform others in the conservation of land, water and energy resources and in improving the environment, he said.

    Zeng warned that urban development must not be separated from rural growth. "An important job of mayors is to facilitate balanced development between cities and countryside, to enrich citizens and simultaneously bring wealth to farmers."

    He said that mayors must remember to create jobs for rural laborers and defend their legitimate interests in cities.

    The purpose of town planning is to ensure that cities are convenient and comfortable places to live. To reach the goal, public utilities and infrastructure facilities must be optimized. A more effective emergency response system should be established to protect the interests of the people, he said. Enditem

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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