The Chinese Government has tasked Barton Willmore with planning the rapid expansion of one of China’s cities which is expected to grow 17 times larger in five years.

The planning consultancy it is to draw up a conceptual masterplan for the city of Beitun in the north west Xin-Jiang province.

Eastern expansion plans

The government wants the city’s 30,000 to be increased to 500,000 under its five-year national Government expansion plan.

The city sits near to the borders with Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia and there are plans to link it with the rest of China through extensions to the railway network.

Working with engineering consultancy Buro Happold, Barton Willmore will draw up the city development masterplan with a view to them going on site in the middle of 2008.

The company said it was looking forward to fostering a strong working relationship with the Chinese Government.