China maps out low carbon eco-city strategy

By Ni Yuanjin
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, October 23, 2009
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The Chinese Society for Urban Studies (CSUS) issued a report named "China's Low Carbon Eco-city Development Strategy" on October 19, indicating that China's urbanization will rapidly step forward.

Also on the same day, experts from the CSUS, Energy Foundation (EF) and other research institutes specifically focusing on urban studies discussed such urban disease issues as overspread and expansion, decreases in air quality, short water resource supplies, traffic jams, backward environmental infrastructure, and wasting of resources.

"Dozens of issues need to be solved! Overexpansion is a very serious problem in some cities of China," said Dr. Yang Fuqiang, director of global climate change of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

According to Li Xun, secretary of the CSUS, the decrease of resource supply and environmental carrying capacity follows rapid urbanization, which is challenging and unavoidable.

Surveys show that the urban sector, as the core region of economic development, is a main "contributor" to energy consumption and waste emission. In 2006, the urban districts of 287 prefecture-level cities in China consumed 55.48 percent of the total nationwide energy while emitting 54.84 percent of the nation's total carbon dioxide.

Wu Yin, vice president of the CSUS and vice director of Chinese Academic of Social Sciences, said, "The current extension-oriented urban development model is now standing at a critical juncture for transformation, as it no longer suits the emerging needs for urban development."

The Report indicates that China's urban development strategy should meet the needs of main functional regions – optimizing structure, improving economic performance, lowering consumption and protecting the environment – in order to achieve rapid economic development and properly guide the migration of population.

The Report also emphasizes that the urban government's administrative discretion needs to be restricted. "Resource, energy and environmental issues occurring in the process of urban development are closely related to government's administrative discretion toward distribution of land territory and financial resource. Therefore, I feel a need to restrict the urban government's administrative discretion through reinforcing and detailing procedural regulation and optimizing the system," said Li Xun.

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