International News News update

Zhangan: China’s Futuristic City Solving Beijing’s Congestion and Housing Challenges

Beijing, the capital of China, is a bustling metropolis with a population of 21 million and a staggering GDP of 560 billion US dollars. However, as the city has expanded, it has faced severe congestion issues. Commuters in 2017 spent nearly three hours each weekday stuck in traffic, resulting in an estimated economic damage of 11.3 billion dollars and significant pollution.

Zhangan: China’s Futuristic City Solving Beijing’s Congestion and Housing Challenges;


Another pressing problem plaguing the national capital is the shortage of housing. In 2021, the average cost of an apartment in Beijing’s city center exceeded 17,000 dollars per square meter, making it the seventh most expensive city for real estate globally.

To address these critical challenges, China has embarked on a search for a solution. The idea emerged to construct a city of the future in the rural areas outside Beijing that could accommodate the nonessential functions of the capital. This concept aimed to alleviate pressure on Beijing and provide a new home for various administrative functions.

On February 10, 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping introduced the notion of a smart city called Zhangan, located in Habe province. Preparations for the project began on March 24, 2016, and the Chinese government publicly announced it on April 1, 2017.

Situated around Lake Baiyangdian , the largest freshwater lake in northern China, Zhangan’s initial phase will cover 38 square kilometers and primarily house Beijing’s nonessential capital functions, including finance, business, and education institutions. Following this phase, an expansive second phase covering 198 square kilometers will be built, serving as Zhangan’s main downtown area. This phase will feature numerous amenities such as shops, office buildings, parks, and an integrated transportation hub facilitating bus and train services to other parts of the city.

Five city cluster zones will surround the main startup area, providing additional housing and retail space. Notably, an eastern zone will encompass a sports stadium and a large central park. Furthermore, Zhangan new area will incorporate over 1,000 lake forests and farmland in Rongchen, Zhang, and Anjin counties.


As a high-tech smart city, Zhangan will utilize AI sensor systems to efficiently manage traffic and logistics, while 5G technology will be ubiquitous. The city will rely on an online urban cloud for storing data, and self-driving taxis will shuttle people around. Blockchain systems will handle transactions, fostering an environment conducive to innovation and attracting science and tech companies from across China. The goal is for high-tech industries to eventually contribute 75% of the city’s economy.


Zhangan is also envisioned as a green city, with vertical farms providing food and extensive parks, waterways, and green corridors weaving through the urban landscape. Approximately 70% of Zhangan’s area will be covered by green or blue surfaces. The city’s buildings will be constructed from recyclable materials like wood, and 90% of public transportation will be electric. Geothermal power plants in Zhangan, along with solar and wind power plants in Zhangbei County, will ensure sustainable energy sources.


Zhangan, the futuristic city being developed outside Beijing, holds tremendous potential to address the challenges faced by the capital. It aims to not only alleviate congestion and housing shortages but also establish itself as a beacon of innovation and sustainability. The city’s development plan incorporates cutting-edge technologies such as AI, 5G, and blockchain, which will transform the way residents and businesses interact within the urban environment.


Zhangan’s emphasis on green and sustainable practices is noteworthy. By integrating vertical farms, parks, and eco-friendly building materials, the city is setting a precedent for environmentally conscious urban development. The extensive use of renewable energy sources, such as geothermal, solar, and wind power, will contribute to reducing carbon emissions and creating a cleaner and healthier living environment.


Designed with livability in mind, Zhangan will feature a community-based layout, public services for residents, walkable streets, and robust public transportation connecting it to neighboring cities. New high-speed rail lines will link Zhangan to Beijing, and a new expressway to Beijing will be built in Xinju, in addition to a new route along the Rongcheng Wuhai Expressway.


The estimated cost for the Zhangan project is around 580 billion US dollars, with a substantial investment of 380 billion dollars already secured. The current larger area of Zhangan is home to 60 villages and just over 1 million people.


Moreover, Zhangan is designed with the well-being and convenience of its residents in mind. The community-based layout, ample public services, walkable streets, and robust public transportation infrastructure will foster a sense of belonging and connectivity. The integration of high-speed rail lines and expressways will enhance connectivity with Beijing and other neighboring cities, facilitating easier travel and regional development.




Zhangan represents a transformative endeavor that addresses the challenges faced by Beijing while providing a vision for sustainable and livable urban development. By relocating nonessential capital functions to this new city, Beijing can alleviate congestion and create space for further growth. The innovative and high-tech nature of Zhangan, coupled with its green and community-based design, promises to revolutionize urban living in China.


Furthermore, Zhangan’s potential extends beyond its immediate impact on Beijing. As a model smart city, it can serve as an inspiration for similar projects both within China and globally. The integration of advanced technologies, sustainable practices, and a focus on quality of life positions Zhangan as a frontrunner in the future of urban development.


With its anticipated economic contributions, job creation, and positive environmental impact, Zhangan has the potential to shape the region’s growth and contribute significantly to China’s ongoing development. As the city continues to evolve and progress, it is essential to monitor its implementation and learn valuable lessons that can inform future urban planning endeavors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *