The 20-year "deformation meter" of resource-exhausted cities

  Prosperity due to resources and decline due to resources are the fate of the "resource curse" that is difficult for all cities that once "had mines at home" to circumvent.

  With the end of the "Golden Decade" of commodities after the financial crisis, the comprehensive utilization of resources in many resource-based cities is low and gradually exhausted.

When the cumulative recovered reserves have reached more than 70% of recoverable reserves, these cities are called resource-exhausted cities.

In 2008, 2009, and 2012, China identified 69 resource-exhausted cities (counties and districts) in three batches, including 37 coal cities, 14 non-ferrous metal cities, 6 ferrous metallurgical cities, and 3 oil cities. There are 9 other cities with a population of 154 million.

It can be said that the future of resource-exhausted cities is not only related to the destiny of a city, but also related to the development ecology of Chinese cities, and it is related to the quality of the high-quality development of the entire society.

  The "National Sustainable Development Plan for Resource-Based Cities (2013-2020)" pointed out that for declining cities, to accelerate their transformation and development, the core is to vigorously develop alternative industries while solving some of the most prominent historical issues.

"Transformation" is the ultimate subject of a resource-based city, and different regions have given different ideas for solving the problem.

However, due to various factors such as resources, environment, system, technology and even talents, the transformation is difficult.

In the past 20 years, the effect of the transformation, what experiences and lessons there are, where is the way out in the future, etc., are still the torture that China's resource-based cities need to face at the crossroads of their destiny.

  Lost city

  After the recession, Fuxin, Liaoning, became a new starting point.

  Located 2.5 kilometers southeast of Fuxin Municipal Government, it is the first large-scale mechanized open-pit coal mine after the founding of New China and the first open-pit coal mine in Asia-Haizhou Open-pit Coal Mine.

  The Haizhou Open-pit Coal Mine, which was officially put into operation in 1953, has created incredible brilliance: in more than half a century, it has produced a total of 244 million tons of coal, completed an industrial output value of 9.698 billion yuan, and paid 3.345 billion yuan in profits and taxes.

  But this also left a huge "scar" for Fuxin City, equivalent to the total area of ​​the 38 Beijing Forbidden City.

After more than half a century of mining, the Haizhou Open-pit Coal Mine has formed a giant "mine" with a length of 3.9 kilometers from east to west, a width of 1.8 kilometers from north to south, a vertical depth of 350 meters, and a total area of ​​7.02 square kilometers.

  In 2001, the coal mines in Fuxin had been completely bankrupt, and the Dongliang Mine, Pingan Mine, and Xinqiu Open-pit Mine were approved by the State Council to go bankrupt.

Also in this year, Fuxin was identified as "the country's first pilot city for economic transformation of a resource-exhausted city" at a special office meeting of the State Council.

On May 31, 2005, the Haizhou Open-pit Coal Mine, which had been brilliant for more than half a century, was officially closed.

  Other resource-based cities across the country have also entered similar predicaments one after another.

  Gansu Baiyin, a northwestern city named after precious metals, although not rich in silver, is a treasure land of non-ferrous metals such as copper, aluminum, lead, and zinc.

  In July 1956, Baiyin Company conducted three big mine blasts, which are considered to be three loud noises of pioneering significance for Baiyin.

The young people from all over the world responded to the call and left their homes to come to Baiyin.

The Gobi Desert was brightly lit, and factories and urban areas were built.

On October 1, 1959, the Baiyin Company's open-pit copper mine was officially put into operation. The output of copper and sulfur products and the profit and tax rate of output value have ranked first in the country for 18 consecutive years.

  Baiyin once became the second largest industrial city in Gansu Province after Lanzhou, but its peak was short-lived.

The Silver City Records recorded that after the 1990s, workers were laid off and the social unemployment rate rose.

By 1995, the urban population and unemployed persons continued to increase, and the degree of employment of urban residents continued to decline.

In 2004, the Silver Company declared bankruptcy.

  After waking up from the dream, the declining silver faced a more cruel reality.

"Among the first batch of resource-exhausted cities in the country, Baiyin City is the city with the most historical debts, the worst financial situation, the worst ecological environment, and the most difficulties." An official "Resource-exhausted City Transformation Plan of Baiyin, Gansu Province" "Wrote in this way.

  On December 24, 2007, after the State Council issued the "Several Opinions of the State Council on Promoting the Sustainable Development of Resource-Based Cities", the National Development and Reform Commission identified the country’s first batch of resource-exhausted cities on March 17, 2008. A total of 12 cities have been listed. .

Including Fuxin, Yichun, Liaoyuan, Baishan, Panjin, Shizuishan, Baiyin, Gejiu (county-level city), Jiaozuo, Pingxiang, Daye (county-level city), Daxinganling.

Since then, in 2009 and 2012, 32 and 25 resource-exhausted cities have been identified respectively.

  These cities seem to share the same fate. Most of them emerged during the period of the first five-year plan of New China, but they encountered collective pains around the 21st century.

  Yu Jianhui, an associate researcher at the Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Secretary-General of the Resource-Based Cities Professional Committee of the Chinese Society of Natural Resources, told the Beijing News that China’s rapid economic development after reform and opening up also means rapid consumption of resources. Many cities are in During the period of the Republic of China and even ancient times, there were mining activities, and the consumption of resources was even greater.

In addition, the state-owned enterprises in resource-exhausted cities tend to be concentrated, and the historical burden is heavier due to the impact of the reform of state-owned enterprises in the 1990s.

  According to the National Development and Reform Commission, as of 2018, 69 resource-exhausted cities across the country have received nearly 160 billion yuan in transfer payments from the central government. In response to the development difficulties of independent industrial and mining areas and coal mining subsidence areas, investment support within the central budget has been increasing year by year. Big.

  Industry change

  For resource-exhausted cities, financial subsidies cannot fundamentally solve the problem, and transformation is the only way out.

  "The transformation of resource-based cities in the world is a huge problem." Yu Jianhui said, resource-based cities have little incentive to develop other industries during the peak period of resource extraction. Slowly, a single industrial structure and urban development are overly dependent on resources. Type industry, it is difficult to fight the hidden dangers of volatility risks.

At the later stage of resource extraction, many contradictions such as social security deficits, excessive proportion of unemployed persons, and outdated facilities have become apparent. At this time, cities whose economic pillars have begun to collapse and their financial resources cannot make ends meet should be considered for development that is much larger than before. The problem of transformation is even more difficult.

"There are still many issues of development awareness, development inertia, etc., which are even more difficult to reverse."

  A paper entitled "Reflections on the Transformation and Development of Resource-Based Cities with Chinese Characteristics" pointed out that the core of the transformation of resource-based cities is economic transformation, and the fundamental of economic transformation is industrial transformation.

Generally speaking, the domestic industrial transformation model includes three categories. One is the alternative type, that is, completely abandoning traditional industries to achieve a complete transformation; the second is the extension type, that is, further deepening the original industrial model and achieving in-depth integration or industrial clustering. The transformation of development goals; the third is a hybrid, that is, a hybrid development transformation that takes into account the extension and transformation of the original industry and the cultivation of new industries.

  Hegang, Heilongjiang, is a typical city that uses "the head of coal to transform the tail" as its starting point for transformation.

Today, the coal industry is still Hegang's pillar industry, and it is difficult to "de-coalize" in the short term.

  In 2015, based on the coal resources of Hegang City, China National Offshore Oil Group Co., Ltd. invested and constructed the first coal chemical project in Northeast China-Huahe "3052" project was completed and put into operation, with an annual output of 300,000 tons of synthetic ammonia and 520,000 Tons of urea.

  It is necessary to blaze a path of high-quality development that involves not only coal but extending coal, deep processing of products, and transformation of a resource-based city. Based on this judgment, Hegang will make every effort to promote coal-to-electricity, coal-to-coke, coal-to-gas, and coal-to-fertilizers. , The development of the five major industrial chains of coal-based polygeneration, accelerate the construction of coal chemical industry parks, promote industrial agglomeration, and take the deepening of the coal intensive processing industry chain as one of the effective ways for Hegang to solve economic difficulties and transform the city.

  The transformation of Yumen in Gansu was even more radical. Not only did the industry change lanes, but the city was also abandoned.

This small town in the northwest was once the cradle of China's petroleum industry and the hometown of the iron man Wang Jinxi.

In the early 1990s, signs of decline began to emerge, and the oilfield industry seemed to have entered a countdown.

In 2003, in order to get rid of dependence on oil, Yumen made an amazing move of "abandoning the city".

  After moving to the city, Yumen tried to use the city's efforts to develop the wind power industry.

With Qilian Mountain in the south and Mazong Mountain in the north, Yumen has become a natural passage for east-west wind and is known as the "world wind outlet" because of the special geographical location of "two mountains and one valley".

  Yumen, which is "waiting for the wind", has also caught up with the country's "wind vent" for advocating the development of new energy.

A set of data shows that the total reserves of Yumen wind energy resources are 150 million kilowatts, and the developable capacity is more than 40 million kilowatts, accounting for one-seventh of the country's developable capacity. The wind farms are concentrated in 10,000 square kilometers, and the annual full-load power generation hours Up to 2300 hours.

  With the upgrading of the industrial structure, the transformation has a broader scope for extension, and resource-exhausted cities are exploring transformation paths based on their respective advantages and characteristics.

For example, China’s “zinc capital”, Shaoguan, Guangdong, has actively integrated into the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and carried out in-depth cooperation in transportation, industry, technology, finance, and people’s livelihood; Data industry, industry-university-research transformation and other industries; Guangxi "Coal City" Heshan is based on industrial research and refurbishment of mines, mines, old railway stations, railroad tracks and other relics, and strives to create a unique "one city, one track, one park" characteristic industrial tourism brand ... Among these, some cities have successfully turned around, while others are still trying to find their way.

  The collision of obsolescence and trend

  On July 18, 2021, a sound wave blasted in the giant pit of the Haizhou Open-pit Coal Mine in Fuxin with restless drums. This was the stage scene of the "2021 Liaoning·Fuxin Strawberry Music Festival".

Over the two days of performances, more than 35,000 music fans poured into the unique 80,000 square meters mine pit and enjoyed a wonderful musical feast.

  The well-known singer Mao Buyi, rock musician Xie Tianxiao and many niche bands all appeared on the stage. The "scar" pit left by the "industrial disease" in the past has turned into a stage with a punk temperament.

Although it is midsummer, in this unique "Mine Pit Music Festival" in the country, the enthusiasm of young fans has pushed the scene to a climax again and again.

  In recent years, the popularity of music festivals has risen steadily.

Since the first Beijing Midi Music Festival held in 2000, the music festival market has ushered in its third decade. In addition to good data, an obvious change is that the music festival market gradually sinks from the first-tier cities to the ground. In cities and county-level cities, music festivals are becoming a powerful tool for "urban marketing."

  Resource-exhausted cities have clearly seen their opportunities.

According to incomplete statistics from reporters of the Beijing News, at least 25 resource-exhausted cities have held music festivals, and modern notes floated over the age-conscious industrial cities, colliding with a chemical reaction that is very different from other cities.

  The music festival is an epitome of cultivating new forms of cultural tourism in major cities.

International experience shows that the cultural and tourism industry is often one of the "prescriptions" for resource-exhausted cities to break through. In addition to the development of traditional tourism, various sports events and urban carnivals are favored and selected.

  On May 22, 2021, a mountain marathon 100-kilometer cross-country race in Baiyin, Gansu came to an abrupt end. Unfortunately, 21 participants fell on the road.

  This game was originally an attempt by Baiyin to develop the "cultural and sports brigade" industry. The cross-country shot was shot at the Yellow River Stone Forest, which plans to create a 5A-level scenic spot.

According to a June 2018 report by Jingtai Financial Media in Jingtai County, where the scenic spot is located, since 2017, the Yellow River Stone Forest Scenic Spot has successively hosted international cycling races, 10,000-person walking races, and international marathons.

  This report stated that the local area should rely on the unique topography of the Yellow River Stone Forest to "create a unique international brand event integrating the Yellow River, Stone Forest, Desert, Gobi, Oasis, and Wonderful Mountain Peaks."

  This design strategy of highlighting the natural landscape with local characteristics is no different from the idea of ​​"running horses" in other cities. The problem is that the local organizers of Baiyin lack a plan for extreme weather, which eventually led to this regrettable accident.

  Wu Kang, a professor at the School of Urban Economics and Public Management of Capital University of Economics and Business, told the Beijing News that urban infrastructure and services will directly affect the effect of urban development of the tertiary industry of cultural tourism.

However, he also pointed out that it is difficult to support the rejuvenation of resource-exhausted cities by relying solely on consumer tertiary industries. “Consumer cities often require large cities and high population density, especially young people, to ensure urban consumption. Vitality and resource-exhausted cities lose their population outwards, and infrastructure and services cannot keep up, forming a vicious circle."

  Ecological restoration to achieve "butterfly change"

  The resource-exhausted cities that fell from the top face the severe destruction of the ecological environment first. How to repair the ecological "tatter" is an unavoidable problem for resource-exhausted cities.

  Xuzhou Jiawang District, Xuzhou's "Hundred Years Coal City", prospered by coal and established by mining, once had a "grey history".

Jiawang was once one of the important coal producing areas in Xuzhou. Year-round mining has severely damaged the local ecological environment. "It was covered in mud on rainy days, and covered in dust on sunny days", which was a portrayal of the real life of surrounding residents at that time.

  In order to improve the ecological appearance of the local Pan'an Lake and the living environment of ordinary people, in March 2010, Jiawang District officially implemented the transformation of the Pan'an Lake coal mining subsidence area, which opened the curtain of Jiawang's ecological transformation.

  Jia Wang vigorously carried out air pollutant emission reduction work, promoted the project of green water surrounding the city, improved the urban water environment, and fully launched the "second march into the barren hills" greening project to restore the bare barren hills.

After a set of combo punches, Jia Wang has become an amazing ecological sample, truly realizing the transformation from "a city of coal ash and half a city" to "a city of green hills and half a city lake".

  Different from the transformation of mineral resource-exhausted cities, due to the sustainable nature of forestry resources, forestry-resource-exhausted cities often choose to use forest resources scientifically to manage forests and develop a "carbon sink economy" ecological compensation mechanism, while developing eco-tourism and other industries. Ecological transformation path of advantageous and characteristic industries.

  Through combing, it can be found that among the 69 pilot cities for resource depletion transformation, 16 of them are forestry resource depletion pilot cities, accounting for 23.2% of the total number of pilot cities.

Mapped to the geographical space, China's forestry resource-exhausted cities are basically distributed in the large and small Xing'an Mountains and Changbai Mountains in the northeast.

  Yichun, a small town where the forest industry of New China started, has vast forest resources.

In 2011, the "Plan for Ecological Protection and Economic Transformation in Daxinganling Forest Regions" was implemented. Yichun took the lead in halting forest logging. In 2013, commercial logging was completely halted one year earlier than the province's forest industry.

  As a key state-owned forest area with the earliest development and the earliest suspension of logging in the country, Yichun cultivated 340,000 mu of forest reserve resources after suspension of logging, and cultivated more than 8.8 million acres of forest. The rate has increased by 0.3 percentage points, which has consolidated the most important ecological barrier in the north.

  The Yichun Forest District has identified forest food, eco-tourism, northern medicine planting, wood processing, and green mining as the leading industries for transformation, playing an ecological card, taking a distinctive path, and a green ecological industry system has initially formed. In addition, efforts are made to increase forestry carbon sinks and promote Forestry carbon sinks move towards market transactions.

But overall, these industries are still in their infancy.

Due to the remoteness and occlusion, the economic and social development of state-owned forest areas is still relatively lagging.

Taking 2018 as an example, Yichun State-owned Forest Region achieved a gross product value of 27.415 billion yuan, a public fiscal budget of 1.789 billion yuan, and a per capita disposable income of permanent residents of 24,998 yuan, which is still relatively low compared to the developed regions in China and the relatively developed regions in Heilongjiang Province. Big gap.

  This is destined to be a tough battle with no retreat.

On September 22, 2020, President Xi Jinping pointed out at the general debate of the 75th United Nations General Assembly that China will increase its nationally determined contributions, adopt more powerful policies and measures, and strive to reach its peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. Strive to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

  The tide of carbon neutrality has come, and China's energy structure is facing a "big reshuffle", behind which is a profound regional and urban revolution.

"Resource-based cities are the largest carbon emitters in my country. The transformation of these cities, especially the transformation of resource-based industries in cities, whether it is technological improvement or capacity reduction, will play a significant role in the effective reduction of carbon emissions." Yu Jianhui said, "The realization of my country's dual-carbon goals is closely related to the scientific transformation of resource-based cities."

  After "stop bleeding"

  In 2013, the National Sustainable Development Plan for Resource-Based Cities (2013-2020) issued by the State Council stated that by 2020, the historical problems of resource-exhausted cities will be basically solved, the capacity for sustainable development will be significantly enhanced, and the transformation task will be basically completed.

  Now, what is the result of the transformation of resource-exhausted cities across the country?

According to Yu Jianhui's analysis, "From the current observation results, the goal of basically solving the historical problems of resource-exhausted cities has been achieved."

  Yu Jianhui said that the state began to conduct pilot transformation of resource-based cities in 2001, and implemented large-scale transformation guidance and support policies for resource-exhausted cities in 2007, which solved a large number of historical problems in these cities. It can be said that if there is no state assistance, These cities will not have their current state of development.

Although some cities are still relatively disadvantaged in their respective regions, they are much better than they were in 2007.

  In May of this year, the General Office of the State Council issued the “Circular on Supervising and Incentivizing the Implementation of Related Major Policies and Measures in 2020 for the Places with Significant Effectiveness of Practical Work” (Guobanfa [2021] No. 17), which is aimed at fostering and expanding the replacement industry, Guaranteeing and improving people's livelihood, strengthening ecological environment improvement, and focusing on solving historical problems, etc., which have outstanding results in transformation Seven resource-exhausted cities, including Huangshi City and Luzhou City in Sichuan Province, provided supervision and incentives.

  Wu Kang told the Beijing News reporter that the above-mentioned cities have in common that they have successfully cultivated and strengthened the succession and replacement industries, especially the development of scientific and technological innovation industries; second, the urban infrastructure and people’s livelihood environment has improved significantly, and the third is the ecological environment. The rectification is relatively thorough.

  Yu Jianhui believes that some deep-seated problems in resource-exhausted cities have not yet been resolved. It will take some time for long-term institutional mechanisms to be established. At present, the problem of "stop bleeding" has been resolved, but can the later development be as sustainable and sustainable as other cities? Whether to catch up with the average level of regional development in all aspects, it still needs a lot of effort.

  Yu Jianhui pointed out that the actual status of resource-based cities as China's resource and energy supply areas will not change. Such regions are still an indispensable force for China's economic and social development and the realization of the great national rejuvenation.

Resource-based cities are the primary task of fulfilling their own urban functions. In the process of urban development, they can creatively construct their own transformation paths to avoid future development fluctuations caused by resource depletion. It is the future to become a city that achieves sustainable development. The goal of hard work.

  Reference materials: "Research on the Sustainable Development of Resource-Based Cities in China", "Reflections on the Transformation and Development of Resource-Based Cities with Chinese Characteristics" ("Journal of Northwestern Polytechnical University" Social Science Edition), "Research on the Transformation Mechanism of Forestry Resource-Exhausted Cities" (" Ecological Economy'') etc.

  Beijing News reporter Li Zhao, intern Yang Runmiao and Han Meng

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