China’s government has approved a master plan, spanning 2018 to 2035, for Xiongan New Area. The brand new city is promoted as a green, smart city. According to a press release issued in January 2019, the master plan “will turn Xiongan into a national model of high-quality development and a new engine for the modern economic system”. The plan also sets out a series of measures which emphasise environmental protection and sustainable development such as the creation of a national park, the planting of trees as well as targets for fighting regional pollution. The press release also states a key aim of the city, located in Hebei province which neighbours Beijing, as absorbing both the ‘non-capital functions’ as well as some of its population of the latter city.
China’s plans for the Xiongan New Area are, indeed, ambitious. The Guardian reports China intends the city to be “nearly three times the size of New York” However, there are also concerns China’s enthusiastic ambitions for Xiongan will be constrained by the region’s limited and polluted water resources. Hence, China Dialogue presents “water scarcity and pollution problems mean [Xiongan] will have to conserve water right from the start”.