Hangzhou: A Rising Global City

According to the recent World’s Urban Systems rankings, Hangzhou is giving tough competition to many world cities and now occupies the tenth position in the list. Last month, Globalization and World Cities Research Network Organization (GaWC) published the ranking for World’s Urban System, which is the most authoritative ist of its kind and of the strictest parameters.The assessment covers 361 cities across the world, including New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hangzhou.The following factors set Hangzhou apart and contributed to its rise in the list:

1. Hangzhou’s Booming Economy

Hangzhou often takes the lead in terms of the economic growth rate, for example, it was growing at a rate of 8.1 percent in the first half of last year. According to recent numbers, its gross domestic product reached RMB 1,105.049 billion last year, up 9.5 percent from a year earlier. During this time, the national average annual growth rate was 6.7 percent.

Alibaba Already the largest retail trading platform in the world, after joining the Olympics as a sponsor, Alibaba furthered its image by becoming the official partner of cloud services and E-commerce platform services, and the founding partner of the Olympic Channel.
NetEase NetEase is a leading Internet technology corporation in China running various businesses such as Netease Music, Kaola Purchase Choice, Netease Cloud Class, etc., all of which have operations based out of Hangzhou.
Geely A Chinese automaker, Geely shot to prominence after its acquisition of Volvo, a high-profile merger that gained much attention from the world.
Hikvision As the witness, operator and promoter of digitalization, cyberization and intelligence of global video monitor, Hikvision carries the largest market share of iHS global video monitor.
Characteristic Economic Towns In Hangzhou, there are many characteristic economic towns, such as Dream Little Town, the famous industrial park, Yunxi Little Town, etc.
The First International Entrepreneurial Innovation Park Hangzhou was also the first city in China to construct an international talent entrepreneurial innovation park.

2. Hangzhou’s Convenient Transportation

From Song Dynasty onwards, as the final city along the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and due to its convenient location in the Yangtze River delta, Hangzhou has capitalized on opportunities for promoting business, travel, and transportation.

As per the Hangzhou Major Construction Project Thirteenth Five Year Plan, the city is going to promote five hundred significant construction projects by 2020, investing more than RMB 1,100 billion in these projects.

Subway System By 2019, the city plans to finish five subway lines and two intercity lines, and by 2020, Metro Line 7. In the third phase of constructing the subway system, before the 2022 Asian Games, there will be ten lines fully completed and put into operation.
High-speed Railway Hangzhou West Station is currently being planned to connect to more national railway hubs and to come into use before 2022 Asian Games. It will introduce more high-speed railway routes such as Hangzhou-Huangshan, Shangqiu-Hefei-Hangzhou, Hangzhou-Wenzhou high-speed Railway, etc.
Airport Links To increase connectivity between transportation hubs and meet the growing local transportation demands arising from new international flight routes, Hangzhou has sped up the construction pace of Metro Line Seven, Airport Extension Line of Metro Line One and some other express lanes from Xiaoshan Airport to downtown Hangzhou.
Water Transportation The Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal is the longest ancient canal in the world that is still in use. Apart from the Grand Canal, Qiantang River is another charming water body that makes a great contribution to Hangzhou’s convenient water transportation options.
Public Bikes Hangzhou has been one of the pioneering cities to promote use of clean short-distance transportation options instead of cars through its public bike system.
Bridges Qiantang River Bridge was the first ever two-layer bridge to be designed and built entirely by Chinese engineers, and has been in service since September 1937.
Tunnel Zizhi Tunnel (紫之隧道), stretching from Zijingang Road – Zhipu Road, is the longest urban tunnel group in China. It was opened to traffic in August 2016. Spanning a distance of 14.4 kilometers, it comprises three tunnels and two bridges.

3. Hangzhou’s Significant Events

ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association)
Hangzhou is the third city to hold this meeting in China, and the first two having been Beijing and Shanghai.

Other prominent events held in Hangzhou:
• 2016 G20 Summit
• West Lake International Expo
• China International Cartoon & Animation Festival
• Hangzhou Cultural & Creative Industry Expo
• World’s Top 500 Enterprise Elite Seminar
• World Industrial Design Conference
• China International Tea Expo
• Computing Conference

4. Hangzhou’s Reputation and Honors

As a city known internationally for its exceedingly high adoption rate of mobile payment systems, Hangzhou also ranks the highest in terms of the Internet financial development index and has been featured high on Forbes’ Best Cities for Business ranking for three consecutive years.

Other distinctions enjoyed by Hangzhou include:
• The Best City in China
• The Smartest City in China
• The Happiest City in China
• One of the Top Ten Civilized Cities in China
• One of the Top Ten Livable Cities in China
• The first city to hold G20 summit in China
• The city with the best public bike service in the world
• The provincial city with the most patents
• The city with the Most Enterprises in the Top 500 Private Enterprises
• The city with the most beds for the elderly
• The city with the highest white-collar annual bonus

Hangzhou is also famous for:
• Hangzhou East Station – the largest transportation hub in Asia
• Alibaba – the largest retail trading platform in the world
Qiantang Tidal Bore – the most famous tidal bore in the world
Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal – the longest and largest canal in the world
Qiandao Lake – the lake with the most islands in the world

5. Hangzhou’s Cultural Heritage

Hangzhou’s culture is not just the product of its modern advancements, but dates back thousands of years. Such a long history brings with it various kinds of cultural relics and intellectual property in form of stories, poems, folklore, as well as customs and practices. Hangzhou’s prominence in ancient China can be attributed to a number of physical and intangible parts of its heritage, which include the following:

 West Lake  Longjing Green Tea Lingyin Temple
Xiling Seal-Engravers' Society  Former Residence of Hu Xueyan  Pagoad of Six Harmonies
 Leifeng Pagoda  Liangzhu Cultural Site  Liangzhu Legend
 Legend of White Snake  Legend of Jigong  Jiangnan Sizhu – Traditional Stringed and Woodwind Instrument
 Yueju Opera  Hangzhou Ping Opera  Chinese Seal Engraving
 Du Jingsheng Brocade  Zhang Xiaoquan Scissors  West Lake Silk Parasol
 Wang Xing Ji Fan  Wushan Temple Fair  Manjuelong Osmanthus appreciating

6.  Hangzhou’s landmarks

Besides the significance of ancient and longstanding heritage, Hangzhou also attracts much attention for modern additions and institutions, such as:

•    Hangzhou International Conference Center
•    Hangzhou Lotus Stadium
•    Raffles City, Hangzhou
•    Wulin Square
•    Hangzhou East Railway Station
•    Qianjiang New City Light Show
•    West Lake Music Fountain
•    The fountain in the Hangzhou Qianjiang New City
•    Eight Maidens Fountain in the Wulin Square
•    Two Fountains in the east and west of West Lake Cultural Square
•    The best scenic spot to view Qiantang tide
•    No. 7 Hangzhou’s elite university
•    Zhejiang University – one of the top five university in China
•    Zhejiang University of Media and Communications –the university with the most beauties
•    China Academy of Art –the senior art institution

7. Hangzhou Cuisine

No ode to Hangzhou is consummate without a mention of its famed food items:

•    Pian Er Chuan Noodles
•    Noodles with Quick-fried Eel Shreds and Shelled Shrimps
•    Small Steamed Bun
•    West Lake Lotus Root Powder
•    Pan-fried Bun
•    Dongpo Pork
•    Shelled Shrimps with Dragon Well Green Tea
•    West Lake Carp in Sweet and Sour Sauce