49307-002: Xinjiang Hetian Comprehensive Urban Development and Environmental Improvement Project | Asian Development Bank

China, People's Republic of: Xinjiang Hetian Comprehensive Urban Development and Environmental Improvement Project

Sovereign (Public) Project | 49307-002 Status: Proposed

More than 80% of the population of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) is living below the official poverty line. Hetian is a desert oasis city in XUAR, with more than 89% of its population comprised of ethnic Uygurs. The project will help improve essential urban infrastructure and municipal services, thereby enhancing the urban environment, raising livability standards for city residents, and ensuring that the city is able to prepare for and take advantage of future public and private sector investment opportunities as a regional hub.

Project Details

Project Officer
McIntyre, Andrew J. East Asia Department Request for information
  • China, People's Republic of
  • Water and other urban infrastructure and services
Project Name Xinjiang Hetian Comprehensive Urban Development and Environmental Improvement Project
Project Number 49307-002
Country China, People's Republic of
Project Status Proposed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Loan
Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
Loan: Xinjiang Hetian Comprehensive Urban Development and Environmental Improvement
Ordinary capital resources US$ 100.00 million
TA: Innovation to Leverage Enhanced Infrastructure Sustainability and Effectiveness in Xinjiang Hetian
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 400,000.00
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture, natural resources and rural development / Water-based natural resources management

Transport / Urban public transport - Urban roads and traffic management

Water and other urban infrastructure and services / Renovation and protection of cultural heritage - Urban policy, institutional and capacity development - Urban sewerage - Urban water supply

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Effective gender mainstreaming
Description More than 80% of the population of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) is living below the official poverty line. Hetian is a desert oasis city in XUAR, with more than 89% of its population comprised of ethnic Uygurs. The project will help improve essential urban infrastructure and municipal services, thereby enhancing the urban environment, raising livability standards for city residents, and ensuring that the city is able to prepare for and take advantage of future public and private sector investment opportunities as a regional hub.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

XUAR is one of the least developed regions in the PRC because of its harsh climate and remote location in the far west. Its 2015 per capita gross domestic product and average urban disposable income were both much lower than national averages, despite significant support from the central government. Hetian is a county-level city in an oasis belt, located on the south route of the ancient Silk Road between the Kunlun Mountains and Taklimakan Desert, with a population of 348,300 in 2015. With high population growth of 9.5% from 2010 to 2015 and rapid urbanization growth of 52% in 2016, urban infrastructure and services are struggling to maintain adequate quality, and any new infrastructure needs to be robust and flexibly designed to accommodate the rapid urban expansion. This growth is expected to continue as several strategic development programs boost the city's development, including the National Strategy for Development of the Western Region and the Belt and Road Initiative. Hetian's population is expected to grow to 550,000 by 2030. It is envisaged to serve as a regional logistics center and play a leading role in driving southern XUAR's regional development. Supporting sustainable urban development will significantly promote inclusive and sustainable growth, and support the goal to achieve a moderately prosperous society by 2020.

Hetian is severely water stressed, with a very harsh climate. It has only 35 millimeters of precipitation per year and the existing water supply relies only on ground water resources, providing low to moderate service coverage for about 80% of the population. This means all water resources need to be protected, conserved, and used wisely. Only 65% of people have access to wastewater services, resulting in localized pollution of the aquifer. All wastewater is treated to a standard that cannot be reused; instead, it is discharged to rivers. About 15% of households own a vehicle, with the rest relying on nonmotorized transport along crowded walkways or irregular buses from distant bus stops to travel to work. Road improvements have allowed for higher traffic flow but negatively impacted the historic core. Without improved traffic management systems, efficient mobility is impeded. The historic residential core is a cultural asset that is under pressure from nearby industry, traffic, and poor municipal service standards. The boundaries for urban expansion, limited by the surrounding desert, force the city to build up rather than out, which further strains service provision. In spring and winter, frequent sand storms deposit large amounts of sand across the city, highlighting the need for urban greening and windbreak forest plantation for protection. Hetian has a long history as an oasis town on the southern silk route, and it will be difficult to preserve its unique cultural heritage while addressing urban challenges and facilitating sustainable growth.

The project will (i) significantly improve municipal services in the project area by increasing potable water supply coverage by 35% and wastewater management by 50%; (ii) introducing 100% reuse of reclaimed water for landscaping, city windbreak forest, and services to the power plant and industrial areas, which will save almost 30% of additional ground water resources; and (iii) provide new electric buses, bus stops, and routes that will reduce passenger waiting time by 30% and increase access to nearby stations by 50%, while reducing public transport greenhouse gas emissions by 45%. Road, traffic management, and housing improvements are focused in the old city center providing more flexible options for the city to responsively manage mobility, economic activity, and heritage preservation and ensuring a more functional city environment.

Impact A harmonious society with ethnic characteristics in Hetian sustainably developed
Outcome Urban living conditions for residents in Hetian improved

1. Water sector services improved and use of reclaimed water introduced

2. Urban road system upgraded

3. Public transport services improved

4. Tuancheng urban upgrading program strengthened and implemented

5. Planning and project management capacity strengthened

Geographical Location Hotan Airport
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement A
Indigenous Peoples B
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects The project is expected to achieve significant environmental benefits by (i) using reclaimed water to partially replace groundwater extraction, (ii) improving traffic flow to save fuel and reduce emissions and air pollution, and (iii) improving public transport access and device quality. Impacts on the natural environment or environmentally sensitive habitat will be minimal, as most project activities are within built-up areas. An initial environmental examination, conducted following ADB's SPS , includes an environmental management plan with safeguards measures to mitigate identified impacts and monitor their implementation. Construction impacts (e.g., noise, dust, erosion, runoff, and traffic) will be temporary and are expected to be appropriately managed. Operational impacts have been carefully considered and are addressed in the initial environmental examination, together with measures in the environmental management plan, to ensure environmental compliance and operational safety. The plan lists design, site management, and mitigation measures for each impact for the attention and action of contractors and the Hetian project management office. Adaptation measures recommended by the climate risk vulnerability assessment have been incorporated in the preliminary design considerations and will be adopted during detailed design.
Involuntary Resettlement Most of the infrastructure and facilities under the project will be built within existing rights-of-way. The Tuancheng urban upgrading program is the only output that will acquire state-owned land and involve house demolition to widen narrow lanes and improve urban infrastructure and service provision. Of the 401 Uygur households in the project area, 201 households with 773 persons (including 41 home-based small shops) will be affected. The total house demolition area is 12,000 square meters (m2), comprising 10,180 m2 of residential houses and 1,822 m2 of home commercial structures (for 41 households whose affected persons are included in the total of 773). All the affected houses will need only partial demolition to allow space for building public infrastructure. However, the remaining land of 28 households will become unviable, so they are considered totally affected and will be need to be relocated in the Tuancheng area. Some 39 poor households affected require special support and assistance. The project team undertook meaningful consultations with affected people and prepared a resettlement plan consistent with PRC regulations and SPS; and which adopted replacement cost compensation principles, culturally appropriate mitigation measures and special support and assistance to the poor and vulnerable households such as access to adequate housing and income sources. Key information in the resettlement plan was disclosed to the affected households during resettlement planning. Resettlement information booklets (in Uygur and Han languages) were distributed to the affected persons on 13 17 November 2017. Following completion of the final design, the resettlement plan will be updated and submitted to ADB for review and concurrence before house demolition activities.
Indigenous Peoples Hetian is comprised of 89.3% Uygurs, 10.3% Hans, and the remainder of other mixed ethnicities. The project will not adversely affect the Uygur population, except the 201 Tuancheng area households (773 persons) who are subject to involuntary resettlement impacts. All project area households will benefit from the new and improved infrastructure, which the poverty and social analysis has confirmed is well received by the Uygur ethnic community. The social and ethnic minority development plan has identified two potential risks: (i) affordability constraints limit voluntary urban upgrading by poor Uygur households, and (ii) project contractors' lack of awareness of local culture and norms (footnote 21. Relevant mitigation measures have been discussed and agreed with HCG, which will provide individual financial support to ensure that poor families can more easily opt to participate in the program, and all contracts will have provisions ensuring compliance with local ethnic culture and norms. Project supervision and safeguards monitoring mechanisms, developed and agreed by Hetian project management office and project implementation units, are in the PAM and social and ethnic minority development plan.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services

For the loan will require the following:

(i) quality- and cost-based selection - 138 person-months

(ii) consultants qualifications selection - 16 person-months

(iii) individual consultants selection - 18 person-months

The TA will require the 24 person-months inputs through individual consultant selection.


Open competitive bidding/Advertised internationally - 6 contracts

Open competitive bidding/ Advertised nationally - 22 contracts

Responsible ADB Officer McIntyre, Andrew J.
Responsible ADB Department East Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Urban and Social Sectors Division, EARD
Executing Agencies
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Government
XUAR Housing & Urban-Rural Dev't Bureau
No. 462 Zhongshan Road,
Urumqi, Xinjiang, PRC
Concept Clearance 25 Jul 2016
Fact Finding 16 Oct 2017 to 27 Oct 2017
MRM 15 Dec 2017
Approval -
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 20 Mar 2018

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

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Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards

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Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

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Related Publications

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