China should include the "livable" factor in the performance of
local city officials, said a leading urban planning expert
Gu Wenxuan, secretary-general of the Chinese society for urban
studies, an academic group under the Ministry of Construction, said
domestic cities should not sacrifice the "livable" factor while
relentlessly pursuing economic prosperity.
"The country's fast urbanization and economic boom has brought
more problems for many cities, like environment deterioration,
energy use, and traffic congestion," he said at the unveiling
ceremony of a set of standards on "livable cities" compiled by the
The standards are a comprehensive evaluation of the daily life
of urban residents.
It incorporates six components, social civilization, economic
affluence, environment condition, resource capacity, living
convenience and public sense of safety. The maximum score is 100
Public opinion on housing, traffic and social welfare, accounts
for almost one-third of the score, said Luo Yameng, a drafter of
Cities with 80 points or above are considered "livable", those
between 60 and 80 "less livable", and those below 60 "alarmingly
Cities with a very high crime rate, severe wealth gap and
serious environment pollution and resource depletion, will be
rejected even if they score well in other aspects.
Luo said as more than 600 cities have pledged to build a
"livable city" in their planning, he hoped the standards would
serve as a general reference.
"We don't want to see local officials building more 'image
projects' or bribing list compliers to get on the list. That is
totally against our intention.
"We hope cities adopt the standards, and improve their
decision-making," Luo said.
(China Daily May 31, 2007)