Advances in Earth Science ›› 2005, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (6): 679-686. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2005.06.0679

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YUAN Zhu   

  1. Institute of Spatial Planning & Regional Economy, National Development and Reform Commisson,Beijing 100038,China
  • Received:2004-04-10 Revised:2004-11-02 Online:2005-06-25 Published:2005-06-25


There are thirty-one typical coal-mining cities in all sixty-three coal-mining cities in China, about sixty-five percents of them locating in northeast three provinces, Shanxi province and Inner Mongolia province. Those coal-mining cities, involving nineteen provinces and autonomous regions, account for fifty-three percent in total various resources cities. Among typical coal-mining cities, more than half of them locate in northeast three provinces and Shanxi province. In those thirty-one coal-mining cites, there are twenty prefecture level cities and eleven county level cities according to their administrative level. According to their population size, there are one extra large city, eight large cities, twelve medium size cities and ten small cities. To realize the sustainable development of those coal-mining cities, some problems must be overcome. The main problems are as the follows: (1) Single economic structure, namely, the economic structure is coal-mining dominant. The cities, which are depending on the coal resources to develop, are suffering from the single industrial structure, single product structure, single employment structure, single technological structure, single ownership structure and single enterprise organization structure. (2) Most coal-mining enterprises running in the red deficit after long time exploitation. Affected by the fact the coal supply surplus the coal demand, a lot of coal-mining enterprises are suffering from the production reduction, the price falling down, economic benefits deterioration. It is the common phenomena that a lot of coal-mining enterprises are running defect and the production ability left unused. (3) Environment pollution and ecological devastation during mining. The coal-mining cities are suffering from not only the three wastes, namely, waste water, waste residue, waste gas but the ground caving in. The problem of ground caving in among coal-mining cities is becoming more and more serious. (4) The number of the unemployed increasing continually and resulting in a series of social conflict. The recessive unemployment phenomenon is very common in coal-mining cities. The workforce employed per production unit is higher than the world average level. For instance, the workforce employed is twentyfolds higher than that in United States per production unit. The surplus workforce in Chinese coal-mining enterprise accounts for about twenty-six percent in all workforces. In order to help the coal-mining cities to deal with these problems, Chinese governments at all levels are facilitating the process of depletion of employment numbers and improving the level of re-employment. Great efforts are made also by the governments to regulate the coal markets in order to avoid the duplication in coal-mining industry. The total production volume is under strict control by the central government. The small coalmining enterprises are shut down. Those methods will surely enlarge the unemployment in coal-mining cites. The unemployment in coal-mining cities will keep the growth trend. (5) The decentralized city distribution as well as weakened city function. A lot of coal-mining cities are lacking in  comprehensive planning. In order to avoid the coal resources underground, and because of the bad natural conditions to build the city, many coal-mining cities distribution are decentralized. The infrastructures in coal-mining cities are very poor. A lot of coal-mining cities came into being depending on one or two big coalmining enterprises. In the inception period of building, the coal-mining cities are government and enterprise combined. With the expansion of enterprises'social function size, some other counties and cities are under the coal-mining cities'administrative area. The city separates from the enterprises.A lot of infrastructures'   mainenance and building are left for the city. But some infrastructures, such as water supply, gas supply, public transport, are still run by the enterprises. The enterprises develop those infrastructures for the benefit of their own industry. While the local government develop the infrastructure for the benefit of the local city. There are some conflicts between the enterprises and local governments in terms of infrastructure management and building. To realize sustainable development of coal-mining cities, it is of great necessity to establish the guiding ideology of economic transformation, pay more attention to and facilitate the transition from single industrial structure transformation to the composite economy, society and environment transformation, arouse initiative of coal-mining cities, governments and large state-owned enterprises to the full, facilitate technological progress and technological innovation steps, adopt new scientific methods to mine and utilize coal resources more effectively, safely and cleanly, optimize social service system and ecological environment in the coal-mining cities, encourage and support the development of non-state owned economy by taking active and effective measures, avoid imposing uniformity in all cases and objectively choose developing models according to concrete condition of different kinds of coal-mining cities. In order to facilitate the sustainable development of coal-mining cities, some ideas as follows should be followed: (1) strengthen the multipurpose utilization and deep processing of coal resources, include attaching equal importance to developing and conserving, orderly and long time utilizing resources, developing multipurpose development of coal resources and extending industrial chains as long as possible; (2) initiatively develop non-coal industries in order to substitute coal industries; (3) establish modern enterprise system and re-adjust enterprise organization structure; (4) strengthen the building of ecological friendly cities. Both inner impetus system and external support system and the corresponding countermeasures are necessary to realize sustainable development of coal-mining cities. The latter is of great importance to the sustainable development of coal-mining cities especially, for example, provide reserve funds for supporting city economic transfer; provide special funds so as to make up long environmental losses and increase investments for developing social undertakings through transitional and focusing governmental financial transfer payment etc; implement industrial preferential policies, such as providing investment subsidies for developing substituting industries, helping main coalenterprises turn losses into gains, providing preferential policies for closing coal mine and decreasing output , trying to issue bonds of the city's infrastructure construction; as soon as possible to bring environmental payment into line with resource payment and making best use of decreasing payout of fee and taxes.

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