Beijing is planning to clear the smog from the skies with the help of Mother Nature. The latest proposal is to build a ventilation corridor. It calls for creating five wind routes, more than 500 meters wide, which run largely from the capital’s northern suburban areas to the south. Some secondary corridors will be more than 80 meters wide. The corridor will be created by connecting the city’s parks, rivers, highways along with their green belts, as well as low building blocks.
In addition to the planned primary and secondary corridors, other smaller corridors will also be added to the system. The officials are planning to impose the height of new buildings on the routes and wanted to demolish some residential buildings and commercial complexes. The government has not yet said the date for the plan.
Before Beijing’s announcement, about 10 other cities, including Shanghai, Nanjing, Ji’nan, Hangzhou, Fuzhou and Zhengzhou, have proposed city ventilation research and building wind passages to dilute airborne pollutants and ease the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. The UHI effect is when temperatures in urban areas rise to become markedly higher than those in surrounding areas.
The government of Guiyang, capital of Southwest China’s Guizhou Province, has started to build a ventilation network in September last year.
Some forerunners like Stuttgart, Germany and Hong Kong have shown that these corridors can help deal with overheating and air quality problems, but some experts are still skeptical about their feasibility. Some experts think the effects of the corridors are limited and the results won’t be instantly seen.
In recent years, Beijing has taken stringent measures to control air pollution. In 2015, the city replaced coal-fired power plants with cleaner energy and closed or limited the production of more than 2,000 polluting factories.