[12] New Urban Configuration of Tianjin after Luanhe River Diversion Project and Three Rings Highway

Tianjin faced serious problem of water scarcity before the completion of Luanhe River Diversion Project in 1981.Tianjin government decided that If the situation was not improved, then the industrial factories would be closed and the residents need to be relocated to countryside to reduce the use of water in the city. Some big Industries in Tianjin for example, papermaking, Electroplating need large amount of water. If these factories were closed then there were would be thousand of unemployed workers on the street.

After the completion of Luanhe River Diversion Project, Water supply distance has extended to 234 km, amount of water supply reach to One billion cubic meters. The project form a completed water supply system in Tianjin City, providing drinking water, industrial use water. The demand of underground water was also reduced, solving the problem of ground subsidence. Since then, the landuse of Tianjin has been changed responding to the new river layout.

Maritime transport
Since there is Luan River at upstream, the pier at downstream of Hei River can be rebuild. Maritime transport could be developed to relieve the pressure of road transport.

There are two important industries in Tianjin required large amount of water, one is Iron and steel industry and the other one is Transportation Manufacturing. The number of industrial factories has increased after the completion of River Diversion Project. Tianjin even becomes the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world. (The manufacturing of bicycle highly rely on sufficient and stable water supply)

Farms (Agriculture)
Before the Luanhe River Diversion Project, irrigation from Hei River is forbidden. The use of water for irrigation was also strictly limited. Since the problem of irrigation is improved after Luanhe River Diversion Project, the area of farm could be expanded.

Luanhe River Diversion Project is the foundation of Eco-City. In the Recent years, Tianjin Government decided to make change on cityscape, creating a sustainable city by adding greenbelt along the river. The water system is also expanded radially to achieve the goal of eco-city.


Celebration of the completion of Outer Ring

The road network links up the public center, industrial center, commercial center and city parks, becoming an important route for citizens to enter the city.  The Inner ring and middle ring mainly support daily life functions, including transport system, commercial activities and landscape features. The two sides of the roads are continuous shophouses, creating a good walking experience. The outer ring is mainly for transport function. The greenbelt could reduced vehicle/pedestrian conflicts, and create beautiful city landscape. 

Expansion of urban development

Unbalance development between regions is caused by road infrastructure, railway, river and geographical condition. The major urban development is to expand along the river to the southeast coast. Due to smaller resistance of development of the western and southern regions of the city, its development speed is faster than the northern region of the city. To avoid urban sprawl, the planning of radial roads should meet the need of the direction of development, encouraging axial urban development. 

Historic District

Historic District is protected and promoted as tourist attraction by the road network system. The 5th Avenue is located in the south of the downtown Tianjin, a parallel street from east to west. There are over 230 buildings of all kinds from the architecture of Britain, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. The 5th Avenue is located in between inner Ring and Middle Ring. There are commercial and business areas around the 5th Avenue. The road network become an important inter-city transportation, providing accessibility to the 5th Avenue.  

Road Network and Five Great Avenues in the center
Five Great Avenues


The outer ring is surrounded by 500m of greenbelt, acting as urban boundary and environmental protection zone. The greenbelt could also avoid wind-blown sand as 570 thousand fruit trees were planted in 1988. A good condition for irrigation and stock raising are also provided by greenbelt.

Greenbelt along the outer ring
Greenbelt along the outer ring



蔣寅, and 曹伯虎. “环放式路网在天津的实践发展.” 城市规划, December 2009, 45-48.

胡春萌. “规划变迁:一部天津城市发展史书.” 建設輝煌60年 中華建設: 32-35.

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