[15] Aftermath of Luanhe River Diversion Project and Three Rings Highway

Aftermath of Luanhe River Diversion Project: Lack of Coordination between Provincial Maintenance 

In order to solve the severe problem of drought in Tianjin, the government spent one year to complete Water Diversion Project. The project has brought clean river water to Tianjin, benefiting thousands of people.  In the recent  years, after its completion for 30 years, the problem of the quality of water starts to emerge again. 

Haihe river is now heavily polluted, it is muddy and smelly. Because of geographical reason, Panjiakou Dam and Daheiting Reservoir are two main water sources for Tianjin city but both are located in Hebei Province, which is beyond the political boundary of Tianjin Municipal government. The local people in Hebe have no access or benefits to the water from these two reservoirs so they do not pay much attention in protecting the reservoir, Fish farming is popular in this area, which is harmful to the quality of reservoir. Secondly, local people have been witnessed dumping rubbish into river, where rubbish is seen floating everywhere on the river. Neither Tianjin or Heibe Province take responsibility to maintain the water source. 


Aftermath of Three Rings Highway: Fit-in Adjustment for Urban transformation

Tianjin city currently has a variety of motor vehicles has more than one million. With the rapid development of motorization, the volume of center city traffic continued to grow. The existing road network has been overwhelmed in the system network of the Three Rings Fourteen Arterial Roads. 

Traffic functions are mixed, which seriously affects the capacity of the Road. The current road system is not sufficient to take the load of traffic, resulting into congestions on the ring road, especially at intersections. The expressway grade is irrational. Radial roads’ grades do not match the connected ring roads. Road infrastructure is incomplete. The small number of signal control intersections and technology is lacking behind. Therefore, the conventional single plane road system has been unable to meet the increasing traffic demand. 


Overall Conclusion

It has not been easy for Tianjin government and citizens to recover from the destructions accumulated from the early founding period of PRC, such as the transformation of socialist economy structures during periods of Great Leap Forward & People’s Commune and the Political establishments and economic-urban destruction during the Cultural Revolution. 

But, luckily the government grasped the chance during the 1980s to reconstruct Tianjin mainly in two projects which contribute the most to the social wellbeing of people. The water diversion transformation in land and completion of highway network and its neighboring greening and residential areas, clearer separations of the city and the suburbs have great influence to the urban fabric and livelihood of the city.  

The urban infrastructure provides a basis for economic development, which is the basis for industrial production and the development of every industry in all walks of life. Before 1980, due to the lack of understanding of the utilisation and role of infrastructure, the development of infrastructure in Tianjin lagged behind seriously, which restricted the further development of many industries. A large number of enterprises often stated difficulty due to the restrictions of water, electricity and traffic conditions.


A Review of the Two Projects

After the ten years of construction, this situation has been radically reversed. According to statistics, Tianjin has 60% of tap water for industrial use; new power generation capacity was all contributed to the industry. Significant change of water and electricity production constraints greatly improved the industrial survival capacity in the city fabric. 

Meanwhile, more than half of the drainage pipe was catered for industrial sewage; vehicles driving contributed to the 2/3 of the Three Rings road network as trucks. The Completion of the Center Ring Link has lifted the car speed from 16 km/hr to 33 km/hr, solving the age-old city problem of ‘walking faster than driving’ in Tianjin. The traffic road capacity has increased by 2.8 times, which shortened the transport distance, improved transport efficiency, amounting to 153 million yuan of the economic benefits a year. 

Urban construction has improved the investment environment and formed a comprehensive advantage to attract domestic and foreign investments. In sole account of foreign capital, by the end of 1990, three foreign-invested enterprises have signed 550 investment contracts, which contract amount was 580 million dollars, and the actual direct investment amount was 387 million dollars; more than 230 businesses have been opened. 

The urban construction has significantly raised the living standards of the people. The living standard of urban people is not only reflected in tangible income, but also in the convenience and well-being brought by the development of collective welfare facilities and public welfare undertakings to the masses. The Luanhe project has marked the end of Tianjin people drinking unhealthy salty water; average commuting time shortened to 15 minutes; the living area per capita increased from 3.58 square meters in 1980 to 6.2 square meters in 1990. 

After ten years of city construction, the long-term accumulated masses’ grievances in commuting, shopping, cooking, drinking water has been solved in different degrees- annual income per capita of workers increased from 820 yuan in 1980 to 2313 yuan in 1990. The development of collective public welfare facilities has eased the worries of future retirement life, and uplifted the enthusiasm of the masses in socialist construction. The role in promoting economy construction by liberation of the production forces is difficult to be expressed in statistics. 


In Short Conclusion

Since 1980, Tianjin has mainly focused its energy in urban construction for ten years. In ten years, shortly, urban construction works covered all over Tianjin – the reconstruction work of the earthquake disaster, completion of the Luanhe Project, initial building work of city road system skeleton – the Three Rings Fourteen Roads traffic system, which transformed the Tianjin railway hub, and countless works, such as construction and renovation of 30 million square meters of residential housing, expansion of a number of water plants, power plants and sewage treatment plants, and the installation of posts and telecommunications facilities.The appearance of the city of Tianjin has completely changed. The level of infrastructure, altogether with people’s living conditions, has been greatly improved. 

Ten years of urban construction drove Tianjin out of chaotic situation of the past, improved the overall level of Tianjin City, and promoted an all-round development in all walks of life. 




王晓华.天津快速路系統設計及特點.” 天津建設科技 01 (2006): 47-49.

刘玉麟. “对天津城市建设的思考.” 城市 04 (1991): 3-7.


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