Yunnan Dianzhong Government
ASEAN Industrial City (AIC)
Dongmeng Industrial City, also known as ASEAN Industrial City (AIC), is a site located adjacent to the Kunming Changshui International Airport, within the Dianzhong New District in the Yunnan Province of China. Essentially what would be termed a satellite town with the focus on incorporating large amounts of industrial land use, the site of 30 square kilometers was proposed for a population of approximately 190,000 people. Dr Liu and the team from MORROW were engaged by the local government to prepare a broad land use concept plan, detailed master plan, and urban design for a start-up area of about 4.5 square kilometres.
The main goal of this development is to enhance the industries in the areas around the airport and to attract investors to set up their headquarters in the city of Kunming – which also counts Mandalay, Myanmar, as one of its sister cities. Strongly supported by the provincial government, the startup area of 4.5 square kilometers was targeted for completion within 10 years of project commencement.
Modelled after the HDB new towns in Singapore, this satellite town with industrial uses as one of its core considerations is set to be a unique model that can be applied not just within the province of Yunnan, but in other parts of China as well. The Dianzhong New District that AIC is set in, is a new experimental development approved by the Chinese state council in 2015.
Connectivity and Self-Sufficiency
The National Highway G320 highway runs southwest from Shanghai – on China’s central coast – through the provinces such as Zhejiang and Guizhou before ending in Ruili, Yunnan at the country’s border with Myanmar. Cutting across the southern half of China, the G320 highway spans more than 3,000 kilometres and borders the satellite town. The Guizhou-Kunming (Guikun) Railway, converted to an electrical one in 1988, runs west of AIC, Airport North Highway in the south, while Yukun Highway runs east. Meanwhile, in the north, the Qingnian reservoir sits near the Kunming Raocheng Expressway
An accelerated construction in 2022 of the Yukun High-speed rail that links Kunming with Chongqing aims to shorten the journey between these two cities minimally by two hours. This will be highly beneficial for industries with the improved connectivity, while the existing Shaoguang Road will link the upcoming Xiaoshao central business district (CBD), which will be less than three kilometers off the west of AIC. A micro-scale rail system was planned to connect AIC to the adjacent future CBD, Changshui International Airport and to Kunming Central City. With these connections, this satellite town is planned with self-sufficiency in mind, which could be further supported by potential developments of AIC.
Potential development of AIC
The wide variety of industries that could potentially develop in this region includes high-tech parks, light industries, sports and manufacturing industries, logistics, and healthcare. To further complement this, basic amenities such as residential lodging of different types – from dormitories to landed houses, commercial centres, healthcare facilities and educational institutions for both the local and international residents. In addition, community services that look after both the young and old will be among the facilities, while some reserved lands are set aside for future contingencies should the industries or population experience exponential growth.
MORROW’s Solutions to The Challenges
Despite the proximity of the Kunming Changshui International Airport and other rail and highway connections bringing added connectivity, there were also challenges. One issue faced during the planning process was the noise pollution from the airport, along the boundary covering almost a third of the south of AIC. An earthquake buffer zone along the eastern boundary of the site, and hilly terrain within the site boundary differing by approximately 200m in height present added constraints to the planning.
In order to embrace the unique surroundings of the development, Dr Liu, engaged by the local government, envisioned a “terraced” development resembling the rice terraces that are a feature in Yunnan and many parts of Asia. The team from MORROW, led by Dr Liu, thus worked to ensure that structures such as viaducts and tunnels were avoided in order to protect and respect the existing terrain. With the concept plan for the entire development of 30 square kilometres, and detailed master plan complete with urban design and guidelines for 4.5 square kilometres, AIC will be a development model for cities not just within the Yunnan province, but possibly the rest of China.