High-speed rail adds mobility in delta region
The rapid development of the high-speed railway system has resulted in a greater flow of people between cities in the Yangtze River Delta region, according to experts at the 2018 International Science, Technology and Innovation Think Tank Forum on June 22.
The forum was part of the annual Pujiang Innovation Forum held in Shanghai.
"Thanks to the high-speed rail, many people can live a life shuttling between two cities in the region. They would have no difficulty arriving at their offices in downtown Shanghai from their homes in Suzhou or Wuxi within 90 minutes," said Luo Dajin, director of the Shanghai Institute for Science.
There are currently 20 high-speed rail routes running through the region, making it the country's most developed high-speed network. The Yangtze Delta region contributes nearly 20 percent of China's GDP and is located at a significant convergence point of the Belt and Road Initiative and Yangtze River Economic Belt.
Wu Zhiqiang, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering and also vice-president of Shanghai-based Tongji University, led a team from the university in a yearlong study of the region, which discovered that the density of the network in 2015 was nearly 19 times the figure in 2000.
"The successful structuring and development of innovative urban communities depends on the formation of an interactive network with innovative elements, and the essence lies in the innovative and interactive activities among people," Wu said.
"We believe the connections between the cities in the region will become deeper in a decade, and we will see a clear structure of multiple centers and nodes featuring differentiation, stability and balance."
Luo noted that more than 28 million trips across the region's 20 cities last year were paid for using public transportation cards from other cities.