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284 49 We Must Be Determined to Fix the City’s Street Traffic1 April 14, 1989 The traffic on Shanghai’s streets has gotten to the point where it must be fixed. The city has less than 2 square meters of road surface per capita, and if the transient population of 2.09 million is factored in, then there’s less than 1.5 square meters per capita. Given such conditions, even though we’re determined , this problem absolutely cannot be solved within a year or two, so we hope our people won’t have overly high expectations. However, we always want to achieve a goal, so while we don’t dare say we will significantly or greatly improve traffic, we do want residents to feel that there has indeed been some improvement. Through hard work, this is a goal that can be achieved. Following are some issues that will have to be addressed along the way. Combining Long- and Short-Term Solutions After a recent look at the streets and traffic management in Beijing and Tianjin, I see that urban construction must combine the long term and the short term. Our present work should be laying a good long-term foundation, and our longterm work should combine its tasks with pressing immediate needs. Drawing on the experiences of some experts in Beijing and Tianjin that I called upon, I would like to discuss three lessons of particular value. Lesson 1: Focus on Planning, Especially Traffic Planning. City planning must mainly be about traffic planning: in Tianjin, they’ve already laid a foundation for the next several decades of Tianjin’s development. They will gradually fill in the blanks according to this plan, making traffic convenient and housing easy to deal with. The reason Shanghai residents would rather just have space for a bed in the city center than an apartment in Pudong is that transportation is inconvenient, so it won’t do to neglect traffic planning. In Shanghai, we’ve already drawn up a plan, and the construction department and planning 1. This is the main part of a speech by Zhu Rongji at a Shanghai mobilization rally to fix street traffic. Zhu_Shanghai Years_1987-1991_hc_9780815731399_i-xii_1-620.indd 284 12/26/17 12:00 PM We Must Be Determined to Fix the City’s Street Traffic 285 department have also done a great deal of work, but it now appears that this plan still needs to be supplemented and revised in the light of new circumstances . Also, without comprehensive traffic planning, we’ll be “treating the head when the head hurts, and treating the foot when the foot hurts”2 —traffic problems can’t be solved this way. Planning must be traffic-oriented: this concept must be better embodied in the plan. To truly alleviate traffic in Shanghai, we must transfer people and industries from Puxi to Pudong. The peak population density in the urban area is 60,000 people per square kilometer—where can we put them all? Some have proposed building a “Greater Shanghai” or a “New Shanghai” in Jinshan. This is not an unreasonable idea, but in the final analysis, Jinshan is quite distant so transportation would be a serious problem. It won’t be possible to move the downtown network and its facilities there. It’s taken decades to build one Shanghai, and it isn’t possible to build another Shanghai to take its place. Hence the future center of Shanghai should remain in the present urban area. We just have to disperse some people, move some factories, renovate some garden villas, demolish some rundown buildings, and restore the streets and greenery—then Shanghai would become a very beautiful city. Lesson 2: Concentrate Superior Forces to Fight a “War of Annihilation.” Why was Tianjin able to work so quickly? The city concentrated its forces, with each level focusing on the next. Once it said to demolish, all proceeded to demolish; once it said to build, they built one thing after another—that’s why they were able to do it so quickly. We’ve now dug up all the streets in Shanghai: “There’s a date for construction to begin, but none for it to end.” Yesterday, I went to an on-site meeting at Pudong Road South. We’ve been working on that road for over a year, and even the water mains and gas pipes have frequently been turned off. There are many letters of complaint from the people—we can’t go...


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