IV. ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING FOR THE LIAONING MIDDLE CITY GROUP, WITH SHENYANG AS THE CORE
A. Middle city group
1. Development of the middle city group
Liaoyang was for centuries the political centre of the whole north-eastern region of China. It was not until 1625 that the Post Jin leader, Nuerhachi, moved the capital from Liaoyang to Shenyang. The administrative position held by Liaoyang was taken by Shenyang, which developed rapidly into the biggest political, economic and military centre in north-eastern China.
Table 4. Population density and economy of the middle city group
Sources: Chinese Statistical Yearbook, 1994; Liaoning Statistical Almanac, 1994.
In recent times, Liaoyang, Anshan, Fushun and Benxi became industrial cities on the basis of resource-development. In this century, especially after the 1930s, the massive development of mineral resources led to the rapid development of the cities in the region. Up to 1949, Shenyang had a population of more than 1 million, while Fushun and Anshan were middle-sized cities with populations of over 200,000.
After the People's Republic of China was established, Liaoning became the leading area of national investment over a long period. For example, during the first Five-Year Plan period, 24 of 156 major national projects were located in the province. Of the 24 projects, the largest were established in the middle region, such as the reconstruction of the Anshan Iron and Steel Corporation with an investment of Y2,170 million, the Ben Iron and Steel Corporation, and the Fushun aluminium plant.
The development of the cities in the Liaozhong city group has been closely associated with national investment in capital construction. Long-term and high-strength investment in the region brought about the establishment of an integrated heavy industrial system, thus accelerating the expansion of those cities and setting the pattern for the middle city region of today.
Industrial relationships exist between the cities in the Liaozhong city group, through which the industrial systems for electric power, metallurgy, machinery production, petroleum refining, chemical and chemical fibre production have gradually been formed on the basis of the coal, metal, mineral and oil resources of the region. Driven by the high level of development in the region, large and middle-sized State-owned enterprises have held the leading positions in the local economy. Because the development of cities has been significantly affected by the local economy, the region has experienced a high city density and a high level of urbanization.