Firstly, as Gutian is located in a central area of Wuhan, there are tensions over land use due to land scarcity and demand to maintain some of its industrial structure. Secondly, the city of Wuhan is trying to understand how to develop the land in a sustainable manner and have influence on land use in surrounding areas when the relocation of the industrial park and the demolition of the old urban area are complete. Thirdly, the government wants to understand how they can attract advanced enterprises and encourage them to research and market sustainable products and services. Lastly, given limited funds, the city wants to encourage developers to establish a sustainable community within a reasonable budget.
Gutian New Ecological Town of Hanjiangwan will be used as an opportunity to advance new area construction, old town reconstruction, traffic facilities improvements and other progresses to advance urban appearance.
The goal is to build Gutian Ecological New Town as a sustainable development community. A pilot project over an area of over 1.2 million square meters has been constructed according to rigorous green building standards: this will save 3.755 million KWh in energy, reduce CO2 emissions of 33.8 Mt, and save 1.32 million tons of water. By 2020, the newly constructed green buildings will cover 4 million square meters. After all relocations were completed in 2014, total emissions of main pollutants in the district were reduced by 90%.
There is a need for urban development in Wuhan; even without the environmental protection requirements, there was a need to relocate the polluting chemical enterprises located near the centre, develop urban green land and build a habitable and ecological city. Gutian Ecological New Town includes a comprehensive functional centre, including an IKEA and others, which will lead regional development in the service sector.
The project also aims to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Wuhan by reconstructing urban villages in a more ecological fashion. This will also be achieved through supporting cultural facilities, such as a 6,000 square meter cultural centre, a 750,000 square meter sports park and public health facilities among others.
Out of the whole of the Gutian Ecological New Town project, only the resettlement and renovation of the old industrial zone in core area is underway; the other zones are still under planning or design. Projects that are yet to be built include an urban park of 1 million square meters, an urban forest park of 4 million square meters along the river, and three large urban parks occupying an area of more than 700,000 square meters.