Beijing plans to build ‘underground town’

Beijing, November 13:

The Chinese capital has stepped up its efforts to explore underground space to ease ground traffic congestion, land use demands in downtown areas and environmental problems.

Beijing has fixed 17 areas, including the traditional commercial district of Wangfujing and flourishing Central Business District (CBD), as the key zones for tapping underground space, according to the Beijing Municipal Institute of City Planning and Design.

In the long run, an ‘underground town’ covering 90 million square metres will be established by 2020, with per capita underground space reaching five square metres in the city, according to a plan of the institute. Currently, Beijing has developed 30 million square metres of underground area, said Shi Xiaodong, a designer of the underground programme with the institute.