Taiyuan, capital of North China's Shanxi province, will support the Bell Tower Street area and Taiyuan Ancient County to become national tourism and leisure precincts, under plans released by local authorities on Jan 17.

The Bell Tower Street area in the plan spans Fudong Street in the north, Kaihuasi Street in the south, Jiefang Road in the west and Liuxiang North Road in the east and covers 25 thoroughfares. The scope of Taiyuan Ancient County covers the East, West, South and North avenues.

The aim is for the city to establish unified and effective management and operation agencies in the two areas. It will recruit top experts in the cultural relics protection and cultural tourism field to plan and coordinate the protection, management and utilization of historical and cultural resources. 

In addition, the city will sponsor new technologies to participate in a census and record of architecture in the two blocks and survey their intangible cultural heritage.

Historical buildings, such as the residences of former celebrities, museums and small theaters, will be restored.

At the central area of the two blocks, urban study rooms, bookstores and branch libraries with traditional characteristics will be built to form cultural display clusters. Cinemas, small theaters, cultural creative businesses, hotels and homestays will also be introduced to the blocks.

Taiyuan will encourage festivals and activities with local features, such as evening cultural and entertainment activities and local catering and cultural displays, to settle in the blocks.

In particular, the development of the two national tourism and leisure blocks will be integrated with nearby community improvements.

Moreover, ancient and rare plants in the two blocks will be marked with nameplates. Beautifully shaped classified garbage bins, waste collection and transfer facilities will be installed and distributed in the blocks to guide local shops and tourists to protect the environment and not to litter at random.

Parking lots of different sizes are also planned to be installed around the blocks. 

In addition, Taiyuan plans to increase its support for local time-honored enterprises and allow them to sell their wares in the blocks.