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[China Daily] Province OKs planners from SARs

Last updated :2021-03-01

Source: China Daily 2021-03-01 page 5  https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202103/01/WS603c3e3fa31024ad0baabab8.html
By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou and ZHOU MO in Hong Kong

Department says move will improve urban construction in Guangdong

Guangdong province will allow certified urban planners from Hong Kong and Macao to practice in the province following successful registration.

The scope of work available will include strategic planning, concept planning, urban research and design, the Guangdong Provincial Department of Natural Resources said in a notice released last week.

Urban planners wanting to conduct business in Guangdong must be Hong Kong or Macao residents who have obtained registration certificates from the Planners Registration Board of Hong Kong or the Land, Public Works and Transportation Bureau of Macao, the notice said.

It said ethical standards will be enforced, and the department will cancel registrations and withdraw certificates if planners violate laws and regulations or engage in other bad behavior or dishonesty while practicing in the province.

The department has opened special counters for urban planners from Hong Kong and Macao to register and apply for certificates to conduct business in the province, it said.

"It will help Guangdong obtain more successful overseas urban planning and design ideas and accelerate the province's urban construction," the department said.

Fu Zhengping, a professor at Guangzhou's Sun Yat-sen University and vice-dean of the Institute of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Development Studies, said the new policy is good news because Guangdong has opened its service industry wider to the outside world.

"It will help expand exchanges and cooperation between Guangdong and the two Chinese special administrative regions in the service sector and help promote and upgrade it," Fu said.

The Hong Kong Institute of Planners said it welcomed the new policy.

"The institute has always encouraged its members to actively participate in the economic construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area," it said on Friday.

"We believe registered urban planners and those who are still students majoring in urban planning from Hong Kong will have great interest in working in cities in Guangdong or other mainland regions in the following years."

Thomas Lee, chairman of the Planners Registration Board and vice-president of the Hong Kong Institute of Planners, said: "The new policy provides wider opportunities for Hong Kong planners to practice across the border, which is a boon for them. As far as I know, many professionals are quite interested in working on the Chinese mainland."

Hong Kong professionals have rich experience in providing planning services for high-density projects, while mainland counterparts excel in project greening, Lee said.

The two can complement each other and work together to provide better services, especially in first-tier cities like Shenzhen, where there is a shortage of land, he said.

Guangdong, a window of China's reform and opening-up, is sparing no effort to promote and accelerate the construction of a world-class Bay Area, which includes nine cities in the province-Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Huizhou, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing-plus Hong Kong and Macao.

Li Wenfang contributed to this story.