The city of Yangzhou rebuilds its past to ensure a bright future

The city of Yangzhou rebuilds its past to ensure a bright future

Having been settled well over 2,000 years ago, Yangzhou City in the People’s Republic of China is not short on history and culture. Located in and around the city are the oldest canals in China, historical sites dating back to the Tang and Song Dynasties, and manmade landscapes and natural scenery that attract millions of tourists every year.

However, this rich heritage has become a challenge for urban development in modern Yangzhou. The city has not been able to upgrade its outdated public infrastructure or restore the deteriorating housing stock in the city’s old town. The city’s attempts to revitalize the area had failed as investors found it more profitable to build new developments rather than engage in urban renewal.

A further issue that the city faces is the water pollution caused by the industries located along the ancient canal in its urban centre. Here, the city has responded with a water rehabilitation project that seeks to improve water quality, and redevelop and repurpose these areas.

To help the city develop more effective, integrated solutions to these challenges, CDIA (Cities Development Initiative Asia) supported the Yangzhou Construction Bureau in preparing pre-feasibility studies for development projects, and assisted it in linking these projects to finance. This work has focused on three projects in particular:

- Preservation of the city’s old town

- Development of the San Wan Wetland Park

- Completion of the water treatment plant

The old town, previously in decline due to a lack of infrastructure, and the San Wan Wetland Park, once a dumping ground for industrial waste, are now bustling with locals and tourists enticed by the attractive sites and activities both places offer.