Huizhou Natural Resources Bureau recently released the Regulatory Plan of the Huizhou North High-speed Railway Station (Draft), hereinafter referred to as the Regulatory Plan, to solicit public opinion. Based on the initial conceptual urban design, the Regulatory Plan has imposed a series of control indicators, and proposed for the first time to turn the Huizhou North Station into a comprehensive transportation hub, an important gateway of the Greater Bay Area, an aggregation zone for headquarters economy along the high-speed railway innovation belt, as well as a pioneer zone for the sponge city construction. The Regulatory Plan also features the construction of an improved waterway system along the Fengmen’ao River, a friendly coastal space that highlights openness, sharing and a slow traffic system, as well as a coastal vitality corridor.
◆Development mode: to prioritize the development of Huizhou North high-speed railway station
According to Huizhou Natural Resources Bureau, “It is important for Huizhou to build a well-connected transportation network, covering high-speed railways, inter-city railways and highways, so that Huizhou can seamlessly connect with other city clusters within the Greater Bay Area and further enhance its hinterland influence”. Transportation infrastructure development has been identified as a top priority in Huizhou, and North Station New Town, is exactly one of these key transportation infrastructure development projects.
In the end of 2017, Huizhou released a provisional Huizhou North High-speed Railway Station Area Zoning Plan (Including Conceptual Urban Plan for the Core Area), proposing to turn the North Station New Town into a cross-administrative-region high-speed railway hub, an intelligence portal, as well as an eco-friendly new town. Huizhou soon accelerated the construction for Huizhou North high-speed railway station.
According to Huizhou Natural Resources Bureau, through the compilation of Regulatory Plan, Huizhou is able to coordinate the balanced regional development in regard to the Huizhou North Station and its surrounding areas, optimize land use efficiency and the urban spatial design, so that relevant functional departments can do a better job in terms of administrative approval of specific land use projects in this area.
In line with the Regulatory Plan, the planning area covers a total area of 690.37 hectares, west to Huihe Highway, east to Xiaojin River, south to North Ring Road and north to Huizhou Avenue.
According to Huizhou Natural Resources Bureau, this planning area will become an important node for Huizhou in connecting with the Greater Bay Area. It is of great significance for Huizhou to speed up high-speed railway development, facilitate the northern expansion of Huicheng District and encourage the transit-oriented development (TOD) among Huizhou North Station and its surrounding areas.
TOD is a special development mode that is driven by public transportation facilities, such as train stations, airports, metro lines and light rails among others. It is a mixed-use development mode incorporating the functions of office space, commercial facilities, culture, education and residence.
◆ Transportation hub: the connecting point for high-speed railways, inter-city railways and inter-city railways
Huizhou and Shenzhen are now connected by Xiamen-Shenzhen Railway, the only railway connecting these two cities; however, this railway only has set up stops at Huiyang district and Huidong county. That’s why Huizhou is now speeding up the development of Ganshen High-speed Railway and Guangshan Railway. The development of Huizhou North Station is therefore of great importance to the strengthened connectivity with Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
According to Huizhou Natural Resources Bureau, “Huizhou North Station will become the most important node connecting Huizhou with Shenzhen”. As the largest newly-built station along the Ganshen High-speed Railway, it will build a three-dimensional transportation system. In addition, Guangshan Railway and Ganshen High-speed Railway will connect at this station, a station that is equipped with high-speed railways and metro lines. It will definitely become a regional transportation hub, allowing the seamless connection with Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
When examining Regulatory Plan, we have noticed that a reserved area, exclusively for the connection between Ganshen High-speed Railway and Guangshan High-speed Railway, has been made available. It is evident that this station will have the functions of connection and departure.
In line with the Regulatory Plan, land use for the Metro Line 1, 5 and the northern extension line of Dongguan-Huizhou Inter-city Railway, has been made available, and the exact railway routes and stations will be only finalized by the actual construction plan.
According to Huizhou Natural Resources Bureau, Huizhou has accelerated the railway construction for the section between Xiaojinkou and Huizhou North Station, and early-stage feasibility study on the extension line of Dongguan-Huizhou Inter-city Railway has been carried out accordingly.
In addition, this planning area will include an extensive road system, allowing the expedited transportation connectivity with the downtown of Huizhou. The road system has 5 tiers, namely highway, fast road, city trunk road, city secondary trunk road and tributary side road, further creating a highly connectivity regional transportation hub.
As for the construction of detailed transportation facilities, we have noticed that this planning area will build a high-speed railway station, an inter-city railway station, an urban transit line station and a long-distance coach station, with the total land area exceeding 25.12 hectares.
◆Ecological environment: To build an open coastal area that highlights openness, sharing and a slow traffic system
The ecological resources for the surrounding areas of Huizhou North Station include Xiaojin River, Fengmen’ao River, coastal green space and wetland.
According to Huizhou Natural Resources Bureau, “Apart from transportation facility improvement, the Regulatory Plan also emphasizes the importance of spatial quality”. Huizhou will take active measures to improve the waterway system of Fengmen’ao River, create a coastal area that highlight openness, sharing and a slow traffic system, and build a coastal vitality corridor by improving the landscape value of river banks.
In line with the Regulatory Plan, a series of control requirements, including spatial layout, architectural style and building height restriction, will be imposed for the land use development of this planning area so as to improve the land use development quality.
In particular, by giving full play to the existing spatial structure of Huizhou North area, the development of this planning area will create a modern and three dimensional eco-city, that highlights the harmony among mountains, rivers, green space and urban development.
In addition, in terms of architectural form, this planning area will showcase the image of Lingnan architecture by building traditional Hakka buildings.
As for the green space planning, this planning area will have parks, green area for environmental protection and public squares, with the total area exceeding 151.38 hectares.
◆Supporting facilities: 5 schools, 3 medical centers
According to the Regulatory Plan, the population size of this area will be capped at 150,000, and relevant supporting facilities will be built or newly added when the population further rises. The existing Regulatory Plan will include a boarding high school of no less than 36 classes, with the land use of 5.1 hectares; a 9-year school of no less than 45 classes, with the land use of 4.12 hectares; as well as 3 stand-alone kindergartens, with the combined number of classes exceeding 21.
As for medical facilities, this planning area will build a hospital offering no less than 200 medical beds, with a land size of 2.21 hectares; 2 community medical centers, each with a building area no less than 400 square meters, as well as elder care homes and elderly day-care centers.
Public libraries, cultural stations, commercial squares and green spaces will be built at the same time, satisfying the demands for local residents; in addition, efforts will be made to build more ancillary facilities, as residing population will further increase due to the frequent talent exchange and industrial clustering in this area.