Regulations on Protecting Historical and Cultural Sites in Beijing began to take effect on May 1st. The Regulations cover the overall protection of old city, the protection of historical and cultural blocks, the protection of cultural relics preservation units and the protection of buildings of preservation value.
The Regulations stipulate that the Beijing municipal government and concerned district governments should, in accordance with the protection plan, establish policies and measures to adjust the function of old city and mitigate the population pressure on old city, reduce population density in old city and gradually improve the housing condition of old city inhabitants.
According to the Beijing City Master Plan 2004-2020, Beijing has planned 11 new towns including Tongzhou, Shunyi and Yizhuang etc. These will relieve the population pressure on central areas. Beijing plans to reduce the current population in old city from 1.65 million to 1.1 million by the year 2020.