Category Archives: Articles

Food waste research in China

Cheng, Shengkui (2014). Special session: Food waste research in China : motivation field study, and preliminary results. The Last Food Mile Conference, December 8, 2014, Philadelphia, USA. http://repository.upenn.edu/thelastfoodmile/sessions/session/21.

Food Waste Away-From-Home in the Beijing Urban Area—An Estimate Based on First-Hand Data

Reducing food waste is attracting growing public attention in China, and is widely acknowledged to contribute to abating interlinked sustainability challenges such as food security, climate change, and water shortages. However, the pattern and scale of food waste throughout the consumer stage is poorly understood in China, despite growing media coverage and public concerns in recent years. This paper aims to the estimate food waste away-from-home in the Beijing urban area, mainly based on first-hand surveys.

During the first-hand surveys in the catering sector in the Beijing urban area in 2013, 187 restaurants were investigated, which can be divided into large, middle, small, canteen and fast food categories. Finally, 3833 samples were been collected, and each sample included two parts: a consumer questionnaire, and the weight of food waste generated.

The main conclusions are as follows: (1) It is estimated that about 79.69 g food waste were generated per capita and per meal away-from-home in the Beijing urban area. Obviously, the food waste varied greatly depending on the type of restaurant. For example, the generation in large restaurants was more severe, up to 3 times that in fast food restaurants. (2) The food waste generated comprises many different food groups; the most prominent by weight were cereals (25%), vegetables (41%), meats( 13%), seafood products (11%), poultry (7%), legumes (1%), eggs (2%), and dairy products (less than 1%). (3) According to different purposes and motivations of the meals, the estimate of food waste is: friends meeting (109 g), public events (95 g),family parties (62 g), working meals(63 g) (4) Causes of food waste away-from-home identified in urban China predominantly involve: lack of awareness, portion sizes, individual food preferences, income, and age of the diner. (5) On this basis, the study estimates annual food waste generation away-from-home in the Beijing urban area at approximately 298×103 tonnes, requiring the inputs of about 93441 hm2 arable land, 774020 hm2 grassland, 2461 hm2 water area and 829×103 m3 water wasted without benefit to the consumer.

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Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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“(un)civil society” and “Chinese internet or internet in China?”

The University of Alberta’s China Institute invites paper proposals for the 13th annual Chinese Internet Research Conference (CIRC) to be held in Edmonton, Canada on May 27-28, 2015. While following the CIRC tradition of welcoming a wide range of general submissions, this year’s conference will highlight the themes of “(un)civil society” and “Chinese internet or internet in China?”

(Un)civil Society

To date, much research on the Chinese Internet has focused on internet censorship as well as state-society confrontations. While these issues continue to hold importance, a new generation of research could help to unpack the multilayered and multidimensional reality and contradictions of the Chinese Internet. As the population of Chinese netizens has surpassed 600 million, not only has the Chinese internet become a contentious medium for the state and an emergent civil society, it has also given voice to controversial exchanges between various social groupings along ideological, class, ethnic, racial and regional fault lines. Some examples include the internet flame war between Han Han and Fang Zhouzi that defamed “public intellectuals” in China, the Left-Right debate amongst China’s intellectual communities that occasionally spill over into street brawls, online breach of privacy (e.g. certain instances of “human flesh search engine”), conflict between “haves” and “have-nots,” contention between Han and ethnic minorities in Tibet and Xinjiang, racial discourse on mixed-race Chinese and immigrants, and debate over the “sunflower movement” in Taiwan and the “umbrella movement” in Hong Kong. Papers on this theme will shed light on uncivil exchanges online that fail to produce consensus or solutions and the social/cultural/political schisms that complicate the promise of constructive citizen engagement and civil society in China. Conversely, papers that illustrate, analyze and reflect on overcoming incivility online, without curtailing citizens’ rights to speech, security and safety are also welcome.

Chinese Internet or Internet in China?

Papers on this theme could consider the extent to which internet applications and user patterns in China are unique or simply representative of global trends, with local variations in terms of technology use and the associated cultural meanings. They might also address the growing popularity of Chinese internet applications among users abroad. Put differently, how “unique” and how “Chinese” is the “Chinese internet?” Should we be talking about a “Chinese internet” or the “internet in China?” Comparative perspectives as well as the development of fresh theoretical angles are encouraged.

Papers may be submitted outside these two themes. Researchers are invited to submit proposals on any aspect of the development, use, and impact of the internet in China. Topics may include the economic, political, cultural, and social dimensions of internet use in China, may focus on interpersonal, organizational, international, or inter-cultural dimensions; and may explore theoretical, empirical, or policy-related implications.

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Internet business, entertainment, and gaming
  • Research methods, web metrics, “big data” analysis, and network analysis
  • The digital divide along class, gender and rural-urban lines
  • The globalization of such Chinese internet firms as Baidu, WeChat, and Alibaba
  • Cultural activities or cultural tensions expressed through such popular mediums as microblogs (weibo), and WeChat (weixin)

The China Institute will sponsor participants’ meals during the conference dates, but is unable to cover travel costs. A limited number of university accommodations are available at reduced rates on first-come-first-served basis. There is no registration fee for this conference. As in past years, top single-authored papers by graduate students will receive awards. Participants are also invited to join in a three-day, self-paid trip to the Canadian Rockies after the conference. Please submit paper proposals of no more than 400 words in length with the subject line of “CIRC proposal” by February 15, 2015 to esarey@ualberta.ca. Acceptance notices and panel information will be released in March 2015.

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Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Complementary strategies to eco-cities for a new Chinese urbanization

Luchino, Chiara, Lenci Ruggero (2014), Complementary Strategies to Eco-cities for a New Chinese Urbanization. 中国新城市化之生态城市的互补策略, Department of Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Abstract

The article highlights the need for urban renewal and re-use of the existing housing in Chinese cities, in combination with the current “eco-cities” trend, in view of an expected new urbanization. Buildings’ regeneration would be one of the main factors leading to sustainable growth in China, as happened in Europe.

According to the 2013 ECFIN report, the progressive Chinese Government’s reduction of the restrictions related to the registration permit system (“hukou”, 户口), is likely to be accompanied by an urban migratory wave. Higher

migratory flows would foster an increasing housing demand. This demand would also be influenced by the recent policies adopted in Chinese cities – for example, in Beijing and Shanghai “second child” policies have been implemented.

However, urbanization comes at a cost. China is now in the middle of an environmental crisis with its epicenter in the cities. On the contrary, in the cities’ outskirts, the “eco-cities” are often not economically affordable for the majority and remain frequently uninhabited (“ghost towns”). The current “eco-city” trend is already trying to face pollution with many projects for entire new districts and completely sustainable neighborhoods, sometimes reproductions of European architecture models.

In this scenario, building renovation may play a key role, being far more ecological and sustainable than the entire new construction process. In addition, the increasing surplus of old, small, vacant dwellings within Chinese cities and by forecasts the U.S. Energy Information Administration on the buildings increasing energy consumption confirm the need for a more in-depth reorganization of the Chinese housing asset.

This is in line with what happened in Europe, where the logic of indiscriminate urban expansion was abandoned in the last decades. With a qualitative transformation, facing the residential discomfort, Europe has become the scenario of various measures of housing sustainable renewal.

Combining the main characteristics of Chinese eco-cities with European best practices of housing renewal, and adapting them to the Chinese urban context, is crucial for a sustainable city growth. In such a complex process, with migrants coming from peasant environments, housing design might be nature-oriented with references to rural elements to make it more “familiar” for the new residents.

The main purpose of the research is to give an overview of the necessity for China to regenerate city assets in order to meet the expected housing demand over the next years. This research is supported by explicative graphics and analyses based on the data of the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics. In parallel, as a complement of the research, it will be reported a few examples of the main European renewal methodologies, drafting a possible starting point for a renovation plan and focusing the problem from an architectural point of view.

The study opens up to the Green Architectonic Renovation in China, where sharing best practices and adapting them to the context are the key factors for future urban renewal.

Read the full text on Reasearchgate

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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The elites’ former houses in Beijing’s South Luogu Lane

Zhifen Cheng, Hangyi Zhou, and Stephen Young,  The elites’ former houses in Beijing’s South Luogu Lane, Sustainability 2015, 7(1), 398-421; doi:10.3390/su7010398

Abstract

Place is seen as a process whereby social and cultural forms are reproduced. This process is closely linked to capital flows, which are, in turn, shaped by changing property regimes. However, relatively little attention has been paid to the relationship between property regimes, capital flows and place-making. The goal of this paper is to highlight the role of changing property regimes in the production of place. Our research area is South Luogu Lane (SLL) in Central Beijing. We take elites’ former houses in SLL as the main unit of analysis in this study. From studying this changing landscape, we draw four main conclusions. First, the location of SSL was critical in enabling it to emerge as a high-status residential community near the imperial city. Second, historical patterns of capital accumulation influenced subsequent rounds of private investment into particular areas of SLL. Third, as laws relating to the ownership of land and real estate changed fundamentally in the early 1950s and again in the 1980s, the target and intensity of capital flows into housing in SLL changed too. Fourth, these changes in capital flow are linked to ongoing changes in the place image of SLL.

Read the full text :  http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/7/1/398/htm#sthash.mR60mj6C.dpuf

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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The state of social welfare in China

Article written by Urban Marie « L’état de la protection sociale en Chine » Revue française d’administration publique, 2014/2 N° 150, p. 467-479. DOI : 10.3917/rfap.150.0467.

The Chinese welfare system has been gradually expanded since the early 2000s to cover the entire Chinese population. Despite extensive coverage, it is still a geographically fragmented and disparate system, which provides unequal protection depending on whether people live in urban or rural areas. People living in rural areas receive very few benefits and still depend upon family solidarity to cope with illness or old age, while migrant workers, because of their precarious status, remain largely excluded from the social welfare system. The Chinese system needs to be further reformed to guarantee greater equality in the payment of pensions and access to care, thus ensuring it is sustainable in the medium term, just as the ageing of the population is raising issues regarding its funding.

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Miguel Elosua

Spanish qualified lawyer; PhD in Chinese Law. UrbaChina Research Officer. Has lived in China since 2006.

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Shanghai as a city of juxtapositions

Jeffrey Wasserstrom (2014) , Shanghai as a City of Juxtapositions  Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development, Volume 5, Number 3, Winter, p. 371-374 | 10.1353/hum.2014.0028 Available on Project Muse.

Abstract

Shanghai has long been seen as a city of juxtapositions, a reputation that first took hold when it was divided into foreign-run and Chinese-run districts in the nineteenth century. More recently, though, it has become an open question as to whether the most striking juxtapositions in the metropolis relate to cultural difference or chronology. This essay explores this theme, paying particular attention to how, in the twenty-first century, its people sometimes see Shanghai as a meeting point between the past, the present, and the future.

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Cultural and Institutional Bifurcation: Clan versus City

Cultural and Institutional Bifurcation: China and Europe Compared. Article written by Avner Greif and Guido Tabellini. American Economic Review, May 2010.

 How to sustain cooperation is a key challenge for any society. Different social organizations have evolved in the course of history to cope with this challenge by relying on different combinations of external ( formal and informal)  enforcement institutions and intrinsic motivation. Some societies rely more on informal enforcement and moral obligations within their constituting groups. Others rely more on formal enforcement and general moral obligations towards society at large. How do culture and institutions interact in generating different evolutionary trajectories of societal organizations? Do contemporary attitudes, institutions, and behavior reflect distinct pre-modern trajectories?

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Miguel Elosua

Spanish qualified lawyer; PhD in Chinese Law. UrbaChina Research Officer. Has lived in China since 2006.

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International Journal of Chinese Education

image of International Journal of Chinese Education

ISSN: 2212-585X
E-ISSN: 2212-5868

The International Journal of Chinese Education aims to strengthen Chinese academic exchanges and cooperation with other countries in order to improve Chinese educational research and promote Chinese educational development. Articles can be submitted as empirical studies, especially on popular issues, policy studies, and theory studies, and can address all educational disciplines, educational phenomena and education problems.

Subscription and article submission information


Volume 3, Sound Bites Won’t Work: Case Studies of 15-Year Free Education in Greater China, 2014

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Urban spatial restructuring, event-led development and scalar politics

Hyun Bang Shin (2014) Urban spatial restructuring, event-led development and scalar politics. Urban Studies, November 2014 vol. 51 no. 14. DOI:10.1177/0042098013515031.

This paper uses Guangzhou’s experience of hosting the 2010 Asian Games to illustrate Guangzhou’s engagement with scalar politics. This includes concurrent processes of intra-regional restructuring to position Guangzhou as a central city in south China and a ‘negotiated scale-jump’ to connect with the world under conditions negotiated in part with the overarching strong central state, testing the limit of Guangzhou’s geopolitical expansion. Guangzhou’s attempts were aided further by using the Asian Games as a vehicle for addressing condensed urban spatial restructuring to enhance its own production/accumulation capacities, and for facilitating urban redevelopment projects to achieve a ‘global’ appearance and exploit the city’s real estate development potential. Guangzhou’s experience of hosting the Games provides important lessons for expanding our understanding of how regional cities may pursue their development goals under the strong central state and how event-led development contributes to this.

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Author’s personal website: http://urbancommune.net/

Miguel Elosua

Spanish qualified lawyer; PhD in Chinese Law. UrbaChina Research Officer. Has lived in China since 2006.

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Panhandling and the contestation of public space in Guangzhou

Ryanne Flock1 (2014), « Panhandling and the Contestation of Public Space in Guangzhou », China Perspectives [Online], 2014/2 | 2014, Online since 01 June 2014, connection on 17 December 2014. URL : http://chinaperspectives.revues.org/6449

Abstract

Urban public space is a product of contestations by various actors. This paper focuses on the conflict between local level government and beggars to address the questions: How and why do government actors refuse or allow beggars access to public space? How and why do beggars appropriate public space to receive alms and adapt their strategies? How does this contestation contribute to the trends of urban public space in today’s China? Taking the Southern metropolis of Guangzhou as a case study, I argue that beggars contest expulsion from public space through begging performances. Rising barriers of public space require higher investment in these performances, taking even more resources from the panhandling poor. The trends of public order are not unidirectional, however. Beggars navigate between several contextual borders composed by China’s religious renaissance; the discourse on deserving, undeserving, and dangerous beggars; and the moral legitimacy of the government versus the imagination of a successful, “modern,” and “civilised” city. This conflict shows the everyday production of “spaces of representation” by government actors on the micro level where economic incentives merge with aspirations for political prestige.

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  1. Ryanne Flock is a PhD candidate at Freie Universität Berlin.Freie Universität Berlin, East Asian Institute, Ehrenbergstr. 26-28, 14195 Berlin, Germany (flock.ry@googlemail.com). []

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Contracting with private providers for primary care services: evidence from urban China

Yan Wang, Karen Eggleston, Zhenjie Yu and Qiong Zhang.  (2013) Contracting with private providers for primary care services : evidence from urban China. Health Economics Review, 3:1. 20 p. doi:10.1186/2191-1991-3-1

Controversy surrounds the role of the private sector in health service delivery, including primary care and population health services. China’s recent health reforms call for non-discrimination against private providers and emphasize strengthening primary care, but formal contracting-out initiatives remain few, and the associated empirical evidence is very limited. This paper presents a case study of contracting with private providers for urban primary and preventive health services in Shandong Province, China. The case study draws on three primary sources of data: administrative records; a household survey of over 1600 community residents in Weifang and City Y; and a provider survey of over 1000 staff at community health stations (CHS) in both Weifang and City Y. We supplement the quantitative data with one-on-one, in-depth interviews with key informants, including local officials in charge of public health and government finance.

We find significant differences in patient mix: Residents in the communities served by private community health stations are of lower socioeconomic status (more likely to be uninsured and to report poor health), compared to residents in communities served by a government-owned CHS. Analysis of a household survey of 1013 residents shows that they are more willing to do a routine health exam at their neighborhood CHS if they are of low socioeconomic status (as measured either by education or income). Government and private community health stations in Weifang did not statistically differ in their performance on contracted dimensions, after controlling for size and other CHS characteristics. In contrast, the comparison City Y had lower performance and a large gap between public and private providers. We discuss why these patterns arose and what policymakers and residents considered to be the main issues and concerns regarding primary care services.

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Monique Abud

Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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A boy being photographed by his family, and a boy being abandoned by his family

Emperor2

The first photo was taken on 21 November 2014 in Pudong New District, Shanghai. The second was taken in Guangzhou, and was featured in an articled written by Alex Millson, and published by the South China Morning Post on 2 April 2014. They reflect two consequences of the CCP’s policies. The first one might be a result of the One-Child Policy, the second of the absence of a comprehensive social security system. According to the article, the city closed the doors of a “baby hatch” just after two months of its opening due to the overwhelming number of children who were abandoned, all of them ill or disabled.

Captura de pantalla 2014-11-21 a las 10.40.43

Miguel Elosua

Spanish qualified lawyer; PhD in Chinese Law. UrbaChina Research Officer. Has lived in China since 2006.

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Role of users in the developing eco-innovation

Nathalie Lazaric, Jun Jin, Ali Douai, Cecile Ayerbe (2014). Role of users in the developing
eco-innovation:  comparative case research in China and France. Economies et societes,
developpement, croissance et progrès – Presses de l’ISMEA – Paris, Serie Dynamique
technologique et Organisation (N 3), pp.455-476.
This article proposes a model of eco-innovation that emphasizes the role of users and regulation in the development and diffusion of eco-innovationproducts, by comparing the diffusion of two e-bike companies, CEP and Lvyan, from China and France.
These cases show that diffusion of eco-innovation in China and France is strongly linked to the institutional context and specific consumer needs, highlighting the importance of involving users in the development and diffusion of eco-innovation in order to satisfy market demand, and increase profit and competitiveness in niche markets. It also shows that, to achieve a comprehensive picture, institutions and policy makers should adopt a coevolutionary approach to regulation that includes consideration of technology, uses and practices.
The case of CEP reveals that regulation appropriate to the market fosterscompanies‟eco-innovation;compared to the case of Lvyan which shows that irrelevant regulation can become a barrier to the diffusion of eco-innovations such as the e-bikes.
The superior„ snob effects‟ of the French market are discussed and compared with the„ bandwagons effects‟ noted in the Chinese market.

 Full text on the French multi-discciplinary open access archive HAL

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Rule of law: one term, two characters, many meanings

Article written by Cary Huang and published by the South China Morning Post on November 10th, 2014.

President Xi Jinping called for it, the Communist Party endorsed it and the country’s judicial system is to be governed by it but there is still no consensus on how it should be rendered in English.

At the end of the annual gathering of the party’s elite last month, leaders backed Xi’s push to promote fazhi – a concept officially translated as “rule of law”. But others argue that the term is better translated as “rule by law” or “rule through law” to drive home the point that whatever the changes to the system, the law is not something unto itself – it’s there to serve the party.

Please click here to read the rest of the article (restricted access): http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1635985/rule-law-one-term-two-characters-many-meanings

Miguel Elosua

Spanish qualified lawyer; PhD in Chinese Law. UrbaChina Research Officer. Has lived in China since 2006.

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Pathways toward zero-carbon electricity required for climate stabilization

Richard Audoly, Adrien Vogt-Schilb, Céline Guivarch,Pathways toward zero-carbon electricity required for climate stabilization, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 7075 2014. Full text : hal-01079837v1

Abstract

This paper covers three policy-relevant aspects of the carbon content of elec-tricity that are well established among integrated assessment models but under-discussed in the policy debate. First, climate stabilization at any level from 2 • C to 3 • C requires electricity to be almost carbon-free by the end of the century. As such, the question for policy makers is not whether to decarbonize electricity but when to do it. Second, decarbonization of electricity is still possible and required if some of the key zero-carbon technologies — such as nuclear power or carbon capture and storage — turn out to be unavailable. Third, progres-sive decarbonization of electricity is part of every country’s cost-effective means of contributing to climate stabilization. In addition, this paper provides cost-effective pathways of the carbon content of electricity — computed from the results of AMPERE, a recent integrated assessment model comparison study. These pathways may be used to benchmark existing decarbonization targets, such as those set by the European Energy Roadmap or the Clean Power Plan in the United States, or inform new policies in other countries. These pathways can also be used to assess the desirable uptake rates of electrification technolo-gies, such as electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric stoves and heat pumps, or industrial electric furnaces.

 

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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