BEIJING, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Some 34 km east of Tian'anmen Square in the heart of Beijing, new premises for the municipal government are taking shape.
At the end of this year, four city departments will move to the office complex in Lucheng Town, Tongzhou District.
The move is part of wider efforts to address overcrowding, congestion and pollution in the capital, as its population exceeds 21 million.
Another major project under construction is the new international airport, 46 km south of Tian'anmen Square. Designed to relieve the strain on Beijing Capital International Airport, the 11.6 billion-U.S.-dollar airport in Daxing District will open in 2019.
The administrative complex and the airport will support the integrated development of the region covering Beijing; Tianjin, a port city 120 km southeast of Beijing; and Hebei Province.
The central authorities required that the Tongzhou complex must employ international standards while retaining Chinese characters throughout its planning, design and construction.
"The subcenter construction should adopt most advanced concepts, highest standards and best quality," said Beijing Mayor Cai Qi.
Residents must enjoy practical benefit from urban planning and development, said Lian Yuming, president of Beijing International Institute of Urban Development.
Beijing will progress with the construction of 20 subway lines or sections, spanning over 350 km in 2017. Currently, the city's subway network is among the world's busiest, with 19 lines covering 574 km, and transporting an average 10 million passengers per day.
"Beijing is becoming a world city with a convenient subway service", said Yang Guangwu, a municipal official.
With water diverted from the Yangtze River, lakes and underground water in Beijing have been supplemented and the environment has improved.
Meanwhile, Beijing has closed more than 1,000 polluting factories and transferred some plants and markets to neighboring areas.
HIGHER EFFICIENCY OF MANAGEMENT
Remarkable progress has been made in the capital's management, too.
In early February, more than 100 officials from Beijing's various departments were despatched to support the Tongzhou project. It is hoped their experiences will be an invaluable asset to the construction project.
In July last year, the restructured Beijing City Management Commission was allocated more functions.
It now manages all energy-supply management, spanning coal, power, petrol, gas and heating.
Other areas it now overseas include all garbage and sanitation work, which had previously been run by many different departments.
"In the past, a bag of rubbish was the responsibility of one department if it was on a road, another department if in the roadside greenbelt and a third if on the riverside," said Ren Fang, a cleaning volunteer in Xicheng District.
"Now it is much better. All garbage falls under the big 'chengguan'(city management)," said Ren.
Sun Xinjun, director of the commission, said there was still room to improve city management, especially the way in which the commission interacts with residents.
In this regard, Chaoyang District sets a good example. Residents in Chaoyang are well known for providing information on crimes such as drugs or prostitution.
The district even has an app in development, Chaoyang Resident HD, which allows users to pass information on to the police.
"We provide information on drug addicts, public security, disputes and hidden dangers among other duties," said Sun Chenghu, 68, a volunteer in Chaoyang.
So far, there are more than 850,000 public security volunteers in Beijing. In 2015 alone, they filed 410,000 reports and volunteers successfully mediated 97 percent of disputes, official statistics showed.
Beijing should focus more on people's lives and infrastructure when preserving its historical areas, said Wang Wei, a senior city planning official.
"The city is determined to enhance living and environmental standards for residents," said Mayor Cai Qi.