Caprotti, Federico (2014). Eco-cities and the transition to low carbon economies. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan. 136 p. ISBN : 9781137298751 (Hardcover) / 9781137298751 (Ebook EPUB) / 9781137298751 (Ebook PDF).
Eco-cities are increasingly being marketed as solutions to a range of pressing global concerns, such as environmental and climate change, hyper-urbanization, demographic shifts, energy security, and the Peak Oil scenario. In response to these issues, eco-cities are being conceptualized as ‘experimental cities’, new urban areas in which new technologies and ways of organizing urban and economic life can be trialled, and where transition pathways towards low-carbon economies can be tested. The author examines the two most advanced eco-city projects under construction at the time of writing – the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City in China, and Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. These are the largest and most notable attempts at building new eco-cities to both face up to the ‘crises’ of the modern world and to use the city as an engine for transition to a low-carbon economy.
Éric Florence, « Chloé Froissart, La Chine et ses migrants. La conquête d’une citoyenneté (China and its migrants: the conquest of a citizenship), », China Perspectives, 2014/4 | 2014, URL : http://chinaperspectives.revues.org/6596
La Chine et ses migrants. La conquête d’une citoyenneté (China and its migrants: the conquest of a citizenship) is a major work, and along with Dorothy Solinger’s Contesting Citizenship in Urban China (1999) constitutes the most complete and solidly documented scientific study of rural migrants in the People’s Republic of China, of public policies concerning them, and of the dynamics of their relations with the Party-state. Based on a doctoral thesis, the book examines to what extent the enduring presence of migrant workers in post-Maoist China’s urban areas, and the increasingly important role they play there, have led to a redefinition of criteria for social and political affiliations. In other words, how has the Party-State transformed itself so as to preserve the basis of its power while allowing the partial integration of a social group whose politico-institutional domination is increasingly reflected in rising social, ideological, and economic contradictions? The perspective adopted is resolutely dynamic, perceiving social change as the result of interactions and conflicts between the state and society. The author, a senior lecturer at the University of Rennes 2, documents in detail not only the process of transformation of public policies relating to the management and integration of migrant populations in cities, but also migrants’ practices, norms, and representations vis-à-vis the state and Chinese society.
The work is structured in five parts. In the first, Chloé Froissart offers a genealogy of the concept of citizenship and its mobilisation in the Chinese context. She contrasts the universalist conception inherited from the Enlightenment, by which “the citizen is an abstract subject of laws, implying civic, political, and legal equality of individuals,” with the Maoist one brimming with the notion of a special political and socio-economic determination of individuals’ rights and duties (p. 45). As a framework for interpreting society-state relations, the author offers the dialectic of this dual vision of citizenship that continues to inform the Communist Party’s actions. While Chapter 1 shows that Maoist era ideology and political struggles constitute an inescapable presupposition for interpreting the reach of the constitution and laws of the People’s Republic of China, Chapter 2 documents the role and effects of the “residency permit” (hukou) administrative system that has defined individual-state relations since the 1950s, establishing a system of statuses linked to one’s position in the productive system, local inscription, and political status, and invalidating “the apparent universality of Chinese laws” (pp. 45-46).
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.
“World Bank; Development Research Center of the State Council, the People’s Republic of China. 2014. Urban China : Toward Efficient, Inclusive, and Sustainable Urbanization. Washington, DC: World Bank. URI http://hdl.handle.net/10986/18865
In the last 30 years, China’s record economic growth lifted half a billion people out of poverty, with rapid urbanization providing abundant labor, cheap land, and good infrastructure. While China has avoided some of the common ills of urbanization, strains are showing as inefficient land development leads to urban sprawl and ghost towns, pollution threatens people’s health, and farmland and water resources are becoming scarce. With China’s urban population projected to rise to about one billion – or close to 70 percent of the country’s population – by 2030, China’s leaders are seeking a more coordinated urbanization process. Urban China is a joint research report by a team from the World Bank and the Development Research Center of China’s State Council which was established to address the challenges and opportunities of urbanization in China and to help China forge a new model of urbanization. The report takes as its point of departure the conviction that China’s urbanization can become more efficient, inclusive, and sustainable. However, it stresses that achieving this vision will require strong support from both government and the markets for policy reforms in a number of area. The report proposes six main areas for reform: first, amending land management institutions to foster more efficient land use, denser cities, modernized agriculture, and more equitable wealth distribution; second, adjusting the hukou household registration system to increase labor mobility and provide urban migrant workers equal access to a common standard of public services; third, placing urban finances on a more sustainable footing while fostering financial discipline among local governments; fourth, improving urban planning to enhance connectivity and encourage scale and agglomeration economies; fifth, reducing environmental pressures through more efficient resource management; and sixth, improving governance at the local level.
Arrival City: How the Largest Migration in History is Reshaping Our World. Book written by Doug Saunders, and published by Knopf Canada (September 21, 2010).
What will be remembered about our century, more than anything except perhaps changes to the climate, is the final shift of human populations from agricultural life to cities, the effects of which are being felt around the world. Arrival City gives us an on-the-ground view of this phenomenon—from Maryland to Shenzhen, from thefavelas of Rio to the shanty towns of Mumbai, from Los Angeles to Nairobi.
Doug Saunders introduces us to the migrants themselves, and with the aid of their stories elucidates their essential part in the economic fabric. He makes clear that the cities and nations that provide citizenship and opportunity to migrants stand to benefit as the migrant class evolves into a middle class, and he explains why those that ignore these people will see increased social unrest, poverty, and religious fundamentalism.
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.
On 20 November 2014, GIZ and the China Sustainable Urban Transport Research Centre (CUSTReC) conducted a training on quantifying emissions of urban transport in Chengdu.
Chengdu is one of three pilot cities in the Large City Congestion and Carbon Reduction project financed through the Global Environment Fund and managed by the World Bank. One of the activities of the Project Management Office of the GEF in Chengdu is to monitor the development of their transport emissions. GIZ cooperates with CUSTReC and the World Bank to support the quantification of transport emissions, using the China Road Transport Emission Model (HBEFA China).
Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, Thank you, but we prefer the salt monopoly, TeaLeafNation, November 20, 2014
China is the world’s biggest consumer of salt — one kitchen staple that has so far remained unadulterated by the country’s many food safety scandals. But now Chinese netizens are worried that is about to change.
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced on Nov. 20 that it will end the state monopoly on salt that has existed since 1950, according to a report by state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV). State media is touting the move as a step towards the market reforms that President Xi Jinping and the ruling Communist Party have pushed as China’s export-oriented economy slows.
Yet the country’s netizens are far from rejoicing at what appears to be a step to rein in the power of China’s hulking state-owned enterprises. Rather, the question roiling China’s online social spaces after CCTV’s announcement seemed to be what will happen when profit-hungry fraudsters, eager to make a quick buck, jump into the newly open salt market.
“There will soon be frequent cases of industrial salt” — far cheaper than table salt — “being mixed with edible salt,” went one popular comment on Weibo, China’s huge Twitter-like microblogging platform. Another user wrote, “Soon the media will be putting out articles called ‘How to tell industrial salt from table salt.'” The topic seemed to resonate; “salt monopoly abolished” became a top-trending hashtag on Weibo, and one related post on CCTV’s official Weibo account quickly garnered over 1,300 comments. One user commented cynically, “I’ve eaten all kinds of fake products; now I will finally have the opportunity to eat fake salt!”
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.
Li Hao, Daniel Houser, Lei Mao, Marie Claire Villeval (2014), A field study of Chinese migrant workers’ attitudes toward risks, strategic uncertainty, and competitiveness,
Using a field experiment in China, we study whether migration status is correlated with attitudes toward risk, ambiguity, and competitiveness. Our subjects include migrants and non-migrants. We find that, migrants exhibit no differences from non-migrants in risk and ambiguity preferences elicited using pairs of lotteries ; however, migrants are significantly more likely to enter competition in the presence of strategic uncertainty when they expect competitive entries from others. Our results suggest that migration may be driven more by a stronger belief in one’s ability to succeed in an uncertain and competitive environment than by risk attitudes under state uncertainty.
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.
Urban, Planning & Transport Research is a fully Open Access journal offering rapid publication and wide dissemination of new research to a global audience. It publishes peer-reviewed contributions in all areas of urban, planning and transport research.
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
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.
« Ambiguous Rights: Land Reform and the Problem of Minor Property Rights Housing », paper written by Karita Kan (2012). China Perspectives, 2012/3.
Minor property rights housing (xiao chanquan fang 小产权房) is an unofficial term referring to illegal residential structures built on rural, collectively-owned land that is sold or rented to non-local urbanites. Its controversial legal status stems from the dual ownership structure in China’s land regime. According to Article 8 of the Land Administration Law, the state claims ownership of urban land, while land in rural and suburban areas is owned, unless otherwise stipulated, collectively by rural residents represented by peasant collectives. Rural collective land is theoretically reserved for the exclusive use of villagers, and should be not sold, transferred, or leased to non-rural residents. The real estate boom and successive hikes in property prices have nevertheless provided strong incentives for rural landowners to capture the monetary benefits of urban development through selling and leasing land and houses to urbanites looking for affordable accommodation.