Recently, Gao Tang Qiao Station on Line 3 of Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, has attracted attention. The station is surrounded by vast farmland and lacks connecting roads to the nearby residential areas. The residents living a few hundred meters away from the subway station have to detour several kilometers to take the subway.
Subway stations located in farmland are not uncommon nationwide.
Juzhang Road Station and Buzheng Station in Ningbo are also surrounded by extensive farmland. Nanjing’s Zhetang Station on Line S7, Mengbei Station on Line 4, Maluoxi Station on Line S3, and Mingjue Station on Line S9 are all located in farmland or near suburban factories with inadequate supporting facilities.
Can subway stations be built in farmland? In urban planning, the role and positioning of rail transportation have always faced a dilemma (see Southern Weekly’s report “Subway: The ‘Nanny’ of Cities or the ‘Leader’ of Urban Development?”).
Jiang Yang, Vice Director of the Yuheng Sustainable Transportation Research Center and CEO of Beijing Shucheng Future Technology Co., Ltd., told Southern Weekly that sometimes subway station locations are planned in advance to drive surrounding land development and create economic benefits. However, it is crucial to strike a balance in the degree of anticipation. If the anticipation is excessive, hoping for “rice to be cooked before it is harvested,” it will also create many risks, as demonstrated by the case of the Ningbo subway station.