Shijiazhuang (Chinese: 石家庄) is the capital and largest city of North China's Hebei province. Administratively a prefecture-level city, it is about 280 kilometres (170 mi) southwest of Beijing, and it administers 6 districts, 5 county-level cities, and 12 counties.
At the 2010 census, it had a total population of 10,163,788, with 2,861,784 in the urban area in 2010 and 3,995,290 in its builtup (or metro) area, made of 5 urban districts plus Luquan City, and the counties of Zhengding and Luancheng. Gaocheng City is about to be part of the Shijiazhuang metropolitan area, its urbanisation still growing.
Shijiazhuang is a newly industrialised city. It experienced dramatic growth after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. The population of the metropolitan area has more than quadrupled in only 30 years. It is a central hub of transportation routes. The city is home to a large garrison of military troops situated to protect Beijing. It has a number of PLA colleges and universities. Shijiazhuang has some of the worst air pollution in the world, and, as a result, in 2012 launched an initiative to replace local coal-fired boilers with gas-fired, and to take other measures to reduce the air pollution problem.
- tungs123October 2013