|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Baise is in western GZAR and has an urban population of 260,000. Baise is one of the 14 key national poverty areas in the PRC. Dongsun subdistrict is a peri-urban area 4 kilometers (km) west of Baise's urban center. The Dongsun subdistrict industrial area was developed during 1950 1960, when a number of state-owned enterprises built factories and housing for its workers in the southwest of Baise along the Youjiang River. During 1980 1990, these plants' low production efficiency became increasingly apparent as subsidies to state-owned enterprises were removed and production costs were brought closer to market norms. Consequently, facilities closed, and others were sold or leased to private enterprises. Today, only the coal mine, fertilizer factory, and motor plant continue to operate in Dongsun.
After more than 50 years of state-led industrialization, Dongsun shoulders heavy socioeconomic and environmental burdens. Since 2008, employment has shrunk as factories closed and workers were laid off or took early retirement options. Local residents are highly dissatisfied with inadequate social services and infrastructure. First, current flood control capacity in the project area is unable to protect against a flood that occurs once in 50 years, which is the standard requirement. Second, without a wastewater collection system, factories and residential areas discharge untreated wastewater directly into the Dongsun stream, which flows into the Youjiang river and thus pollutes Baise's main source of drinking water. Third, the existing urban road network in Dongsun is inadequate for planned population growth, the resulting increased activity in residential and commercial areas, and proper links with other subdistricts. Fourth, solid waste transportation capacity must urgently be increased to mitigate the environmental pollution currently caused by uncontrolled solid waste dumping. Further, former and current industrial facilities have left Dongsun with localized moderate soil contamination. The detailed environmental site assessment undertaken under phase 1 of project preparatory technical assistance (PPTA) described the contamination and appropriate measures to clean it up.
The Baise Municipal Government (BMG) is modernizing its industry and developing three new industrial parks with higher environmental management standards. It decided to close down the remaining industrial operations in Dongsun, relocate some factories to the new industrial parks, and prioritize urban and economic regeneration in Dongsun. The Baise City Urban Master Plan, 2010 2030 has designated Dongsun as a residential district with green and environmentally friendly facilities. In 2011 2012, the BMG contracted Tongji University to prepare the Urban Design Plan and the Control Plan to establish the legal basis for improving Dongsun from 2013 to 2030. The plans called for creating a mixed-use community with residential, commercial, tourism, and recreational areas. The population at completion in 2030 is projected to be 34,000. The identification of polluted sites and the land-use plan recommended under phase 1 of the PPTA are accurately mapped in the Control Plan prepared by Tongji University. Sensitive land uses, such as for schools and housing, were restricted to uncontaminated land.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will play a vital role in redeveloping Dongsun by financing trunk infrastructure improvements and rehabilitating waterfronts along the Dongsun stream and Youjiang river. With all major arterial roads and associated water and wastewater piped networks financed under the project, the urban infrastructure built through the ADB project will catalyze private investment in residential, commercial, and mixed-used development. The project fits well with recent objectives of the Government of the PRC to balance future urbanization with greater attention to developing small and medium-sized cities. ADB's current and future operations focus on small and medium-sized cities in the central and western PRC.
The project will support private sector participation by creating additional demand for privatized wastewater treatment services. The existing build-operate-transfer wastewater treatment plant in Baise will soon enter the second phase of capital investment. The 12,000 new customers in Dongsun that the project will connect to the wastewater treatment plant will enhance the commercial viability of that investment.
The project is envisaged playing a demonstration role for other cities on how to regenerate strategically located urban land now burdened with outdated and uneconomic industries. Many similar industrial areas developed under the state-run enterprise industrial model during 1950 1960 still exist in cities across the PRC. These areas are characterized by production inefficiency, environmental degradation, unhealthy living conditions, and inadequate urban infrastructure. The multisector integrated approach to urban redevelopment adopted by the project can be adopted by other local governments to transform environmentally degraded neighborhoods into livable mixed-use residential areas.