Fudan University officially launches an online platform to store social sciences data this afternoon and is inviting individuals, organizations and governmental institutions around the world to publish and share research findings on it.
All published data can be found for free at http://dvn.fudan.edu.cn.The platform is developed in cooperation with Harvard University’s Dataverse Network. Registered users can also apply to authors via the platform for information not fully publicized, Fudan said.
The platform has been tested since June with 1,377 data sets stored by Fudan researchers and 57 now completely open to the public.
More researching findings are expected to appear after its official launch, the school said.
Category Archives: Websites
“Beauty of China and picturesque countryside” photo competition
A photo competition is being held by the China News Photography Association, the Guangdong Branch of Xinhua News Agency, Xiqiao Town and Nanhai District Committeeon the theme of “Beauty of China and Picturesque Countryside”. While the Chinese government is promoting urbanisation,thiscompetition aims to showcasetheimpact urbanisationhason the natural environment, on Chinese people’s everyday lives, on culture, and on people’s spiritual side.
Submission date: from 18 July 2014 to 30 September 2014
Final assessment: early October 2014
Official Website (http://www.gd.xinhuanet.com/mlxc/)
Shanghai street stories = 上海街头故事
Shanghai street stories = 上海街头故事. Retrieved 24 June, 2014, from http://shanghaistreetstories.com/
The pace of urban development in Shanghai is as swift as it is unrelenting and its impact is far-reaching in both the positive and negative.
I photograph and collect stories in Shanghai, seeking to capture the lives of ordinary Shanghainese and 外地人 or “waidiren” in the city, as well as the process behind the city’s rapid urbanisation.
My work is a mix of photojournalism and street photography. The former allows me to cover a wider gamut of topics such as old architecture, individual stories, lifestyle, while the latter is indicative of a style of photography I sometimes prefer.
For interviews I have given about photography, blogging and Shanghai in general can be found on the Published Work page.
To learn more about how the website is set up and the plugins that run the blog, read “The Anatomy of My Blog: An Amateur’s Tale (and Tips!)“.
Read the blog : http://shanghaistreetstories.com/
More information about the author and the blog itself
- Tay, S A. (2014, April 9). An urbanist’s guide to the best and worst of Shanghai. The Guardian. Retrieved 24 June, 2014, from http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/apr/09/shanghai-urban-guide-best-worst-china-city
Pollution and China’s food security
Tiezzi, Shannon (2014, January 1). Pollution threatens China’s food security. The Diplomat. (Retrieved 10 January, 2014).
A Reuters report this week noted that nearly 3.33 million hectares (eight million acres) of Chinese farmland are too polluted to grow crops. The article, which was re-posted by the state-run China Daily news site, quoted Wang Shiyuan, China’s vice minister of land and resources. Wang says that the government is determined to address the issue of polluted farmland, and will commit “tens of billions of yuan” each year to help return the land to a usable state.
Food security is a major concern for Chinese leaders, and worries over this issue already had the potential to severely slow down other planned reforms such as urbanization. The announcement on China’s pollution levels further complicates the balance of preserving farmland and speeding up urbanization. Wang Shiyuan noted that the amount of polluted land represents nearly 2 percent of the country’s arable land, which is not something the Chinese government can ignore. China’s per capita arable land area is already less than half of the world average — the country simply can’t afford to lose any more land to pollution.
China’s government wants to ensure enough arable land is left reserved for farming, and the large swath of polluted fields cuts into that amount. Xinhua reports that China’s arable land survey counted about 135.4 million hectares (334.6 million acres) of farmland — but after removing from that count land reserved for “forest and pasture restoration” as well as land too polluted for crop-growing, the “actual available arable land was just slightly above the government’s red-line” of preserving 120 million hectares (296 million acres) of usable farm land. In other words, pollution is presenting a dangerous threat to one of the government’s highest priorities.
This presents a tough choice for Chinese leaders: let the land lie fallow and risk disrupting food supplies, or allow crops to be grown on tainted soil. Wang’s remarks show the government is leaning towards the former. Tainted crops have already caused scares among China’s citizens. A report by Guangzhou in May found that nearly half the rice in the cities’ restaurants had excessive levels of the heavy metal cadmium. The city’s residents were outraged when the report was published. The rice in Guangzhou was linked to polluted plots in Hunan province, which produces 11 percent of China’s total rice each year. Caixin published an article arguing that cover-ups by both local and provincial governments allowed the problem to spread before it exploded into the public consciousness in late spring 2013.
Global Carbon Atlas
Developped by the French research unit Laboratoire des sciences du climat et de l’environnement (LSCE) ,
the Global Carbon Atlas is a platform to explore and visualize the most up-to-date data on carbon fluxes resulting from human activities and natural processes. Human impacts on the carbon cycle are the most important cause of climate change.
The full data and methods are published in the journal Earth System Science Data Discussions, and data and other graphic materials can be found at: www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget
- Visit the website at: www.globalcarbonatlas.org
Striving towards ecocity: experience from Huainan
Xie, Pengfei (2013) Striving towards ecocity: experience from Huainan, China. Sustainable cities collective (28 October, 2013). Retrieved from http://sustainablecitiescollective.com/nature-cities/190911/striving-towards-ecocity-experience-huainan-china, 22 november 2013.
China’s rapid urbanization in the last 30 years has brought about many problems. The country is now facing a huge challenge to balance economic development with environmental conservation and social stability. Sustainable development is in the spotlight: how can we build a better city that can provide a better life for its citizens?
The ecocity seems to be one of the solutions. Since the concept of “Eco-Civilization” was advocated by China’s central government in 2007, local governments have responded actively to the appeal. By 2011, 90% of Chinese cities at the prefecture-level and above had proposed ambitious goals to build eco-cities (XIE and ZHOU, 2010). However, in China and throughout the world, the ecocity is still in its preliminary stage, without a mature theoretical basis and systematic exemplary practices. Local governments in China are encouraged to learn by exploring sustainable development models through ecocity construction.
Different people hold different opinions on the concept of an ecocity. By now, there has been no globally recognized definition for an ecocity. In China, a representative definition is: an Ecocity is a composite human settlement system combining balanced socio-economic development with healthy ecological objectives to achieve the harmonious coexistence of man and nature.
Beijing’s rise as a global city
Wang, Feng (2013) Beijing as a globally fluent city. Washington, DC : Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy & Global Cities Initiative. 20 p. (accessed 28 October 2013)
Beijing is without any doubt already a global city. A symbol of China’s emergence as a global power, Beijing ranks among the world’s most influential cities. Beijing has developed into an important global city in a relatively short period of time. Beijing has benefited from efforts by the Chinese government and Beijing’s municipal government to elevate the city’s international reputation, and from Beijing’s legacy and position as China’s political and cultural center. There has also been massive investment in infrastructure to support business and innovation activities and to enhance Beijing’s global connectivity. However, Beijing’s rise as a global city is still incomplete.
Beijing’s global influence in terms of economic competitiveness and financial interconnectedness still do not measure up to the top cities in the world. In Beijing as a Globally Fluent City, Feng Wang examines four key questions on Beijing’s rise towards becoming a top tier global city:
- What kind of city does Beijing aspire to be?
- How can Beijing improve its governance?
- What does it take to build a more vibrant economy?
- How can Beijing’s global identity be further enhanced?
- Wang Feng (Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy)
Kashgar on the path to future
Rippa, Alessandro (2013, October 14). Kashgar on the move. The Diplomat. (Retrieved 17 October, 2013).
China’s westernmost city, Kashgar lies at the edge of the Taklamakan Desert, closer to Bagdad than Beijing. For travellers and traders coming from Central Asia and Pakistan, the city offers a first glimpse of China. Yet, in most cases, Kashgar strikes them for its similarities to the countries they have just left. Coming from inner China, on the other hand, Kashgar often leaves the impression of entering another country, particularly as one walks through the narrow alleys of the old town, or watches the crowd at the dusty livestock market on a Sunday morning.
Kashgar’s links to the Central Asian world – geographic and cultural – are thus not only a feature of its much-discussed “old town,” which at any rate is being transformed in a massive process of renovation. Central Asia is also an important part of the city’s future plans for development. This future, far from the artisans and mosques of the old town, is reflected in the current construction of the new Special Economic District.
The district will represent the core of Kashgar’s Special Economic Zone (SEZ), as the city was classified in May 2010. Kashgar’s model is Shenzhen, transformed in thirty years from a small fishing village into a large city that is one of China’s wealthiest. If Shenzhen was chosen for its proximity to Hong Kong, Kashgar lies within a day’s ride of four different countries: Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan (though the border at the Wakhjir Pass is not an official border crossing point and it is not served by a road) and Pakistan.
China is not hiding these ambitious plans for its westernmost city. Quite the contrary. Between the end of June and the beginning of July, as foreign journalists in China were busy covering the most recent spate of attacks in Xinjiang, an important four-day fair in Kashgar went almost unnoticed. It was the ninth edition of the Kashgar Central & South Asia Commodity Fair, an important attraction for Central and South Asian traders. The main avenue was the impressive Kashgar International Convention and Exhibition Center, situated not far from the recently constructed Eastern Lake – a major attraction for Chinese tourists. Meanwhile, for the first time in 2013 the China Kashgar-Guangzhou Commodity Fair has been held as part of the main fair, though in a different location: the Guangzhou New City, a exposition complex in the South-Western part of town, on the Karakoram Highway, newly opened for the occasion.
Car parking in China
Eeckhoff, Insa (12 August 2013). Does Beijing really need 2.5 million parking lots? GIZ China Transport Blog. (accessed 28 September 2013) [GIZ=Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit]
Parking problems are always a hot topic among Beijingers. Cruising around for a long time until you find a parking space is a daily experience for inhabitants of the Chinese capital. In Beijing you may observe pedestrians and cyclists being forced to transit along the motor lane because the cycling lane or side walk is being occupied by parked vehicles. However, can the perceived parking problem be affiliated to a parking slot shortage? Does Beijing need 2.5 Million Parking lots? It occurs quite similar to the problem with traffic congestion in Beijing. Does Beijing continuously build new roads to meet the continuously growing transport demand? Maybe not. New roads and parking spaces can also trigger new demand. Hence, new parking facilities can possibly induce more traffic.
Au, Vincent (2012). Car parking in China : issues and solutions. In Sustainable Transportation Systems, éd. Yong Bai [et al]. Reston : American Society of Civil Engineers, p. 130-137. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/9780784412299.0016 (accessed 28 September 2013)
Car-parking has always been an unresolved issue in most municipal cities in China. Despite efforts by officials of the relevant government departments to put forth new policies and launch various solution proposals from time to time; followed by aggressive actions in the implementation of improvement action plans, their work seldom yield tangible/visible outcome, and the problem remains. This paper aims to examine what has gone wrong in the government policies and actions, and to make suggestions to resolve the long-standing entangled issues of car-parking in municipal cities in China.
Wang, Rui and Yuan, Quan (2013) Parking practices and policies under rapid motorization : the case of China. Transport Policy, 30, p. 109–116 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tranpol.2013.08.006 (accessed 28 September 2013)
With the rapid motorization in China, parking has become increasingly difficult and costly for automobile users. However, the effects of parking on the society go far beyond vehicle owners’ costs. To inform decision makers in China and cities in similar motorizing societies, this study describes the market and policy trends of automobile parking in Chinese cities. Available data show that the gap between supply and demand in parking has enlarged, while most city governments have little experience and are institutionally unprepared for the proper planning, regulation, and management of parking. International experience and the Chinese problems call for a reform in urban parking management in order to promote sustainable urban transportation and maximize social welfare. This paper offers policy and planning suggestions regarding on- and off-street parking.
China’s Li Keqiang about urbanization
Economy, Elizabeth C. 2013, September 10. China’s Li Keqiang on the urbanization warpath. Asia Unbound. http://blogs.cfr.org/asia/2013/09/10/chinas-li-keqiang-on-the-urbanization-warpath/ (accessed 19 September 2013)
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is on the urbanization warpath. For Li, urbanization—transforming rural Chinese into urban dwellers—has become perhaps the most important issue of his early months as premier. Most recently, on September 7, in advance of November’s Party Plenum to lay out the country’s economic blueprint, he met with a group of experts to discuss urbanization strategies. Scarcely a month goes by where he does not give a speech or offer some commentary on the issue. For Li, successfully urbanizing China is at the heart of the country’s ability to continue to grow economically. He notes that urban residents spend 3.6 times more than rural residents, for example, underscoring the importance of urbanization to China’s economic rebalancing from an investment and export led to consumption-based economy. His remarks in March 2013 make clear his fears that if China does not find the correct urbanization path forward, it will fall into the trap of many Latin American countries with “dual” urban structures characterized by “urban slums” and “other social problems.”
Urban studies in France
Anaïs Collet & Philippe Simay & translated by Oliver Waine, « Urban Studies in France », Metropolitics, 11 September 2013. URL : http://www.metropolitiques.eu/Urban-Studies-in-France.html (accessed 25 September 2013)
Can French research into cities and urban territories truly be considered “urban studies”, in the cross-disciplinary sense of the term understood in English-speaking academic circles? The history of the “urban” social sciences in France and the institutional structure in place have shaped the production of research, which remains largely confined to traditional disciplines and steered by “social demand” and objectives with a number of blind spots. What are the specificities of French urban research, and what developments could lie ahead in this field, in light of practices elsewhere in the world?
Urban history and urban development in China
Xue, Qian. 2013, March 8. Urban history : a knowledge base for urban development.
http://www.csstoday.net/ywpd/News/52897.html (accessed 9 July 2013).
Starting from 2013, the Hangzhou Cultural and Historical Research Association will embark on a five year project investigating various aspects of the city’s history, including industrial development, urban construction, transportation development, etc. It is expected to provide knowledge and referential experience for current urban development.Since the 1980s, China’s rapid urbanization has drawn more and more scholars toward the study of urban history; research on Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing and Wuhan has achieved significant results.
Chinese urban history studies grow fastAccording to incomplete statistics, during the period from 1979 to 2010, publications on Chinese urban history totaled more than 2,000 volumes.Professor Li Changli at the Institute of Modern History at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that in the past 20 or more years, the urban development in China has inspired many new topics and subfields among urban historian. Research in the area is blossoming. Particularly in recent years, publications of Chinese urban history have seen greater serialization, covered a broader range of issues and reached a more international audience.
Urban history is a branch of history. It originated in the 1920s in the west and saw a revival in the 1960s; till 1980s, the subject had only gradually drawn attention from Chinese academia. He Yimin, vice president of the Chinese Urban History Association and director of the Institute of Urban Studies at Sichuan University, noted that China’s social development, urbanization, industrialization and modernization are the driving forces of Urban History Studies. Scholars often take major emerging cities such as Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing and Wuhan as original research subjects; today, their research is developing quickly.
Read more on Social Sciences in China Press
Anhui Yellow Mountain New Countryside Demonstration Project
World Bank. (2013) Environmental management plan for Huangshan. Vol. 6 of China – Anhui Yellow Mountain New Countryside Demonstration Project : environmental assessment . s.l.] ; [s.n.]
http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2013/06/17991582/china-anhui-yellow-mountain-new-countryside-demonstration-project-environmental-assessment-vol-6-6-environmental-management-plan-huangshan (accessed 12 July 2013).
The objectives of the Anhui Yellow Mountain New Countryside Demonstration Project for China are to: (i) submit Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project to the environmental protection departments of corresponding levels and World Bank (WB) respectively, which should be consistent with their respective regulatory requirements. (ii) assist Project Management Office (PMO) in the preparation of all components required in the environmental assessment process of WB (e.g., consultation with affected persons, information disclosure, etc.); and (iii) conduct due diligence according to the relevant requirements of WB for the project or related activities. Negative impacts include: solid waste, traffic, water pollution, noise pollution, health problems, and poor drainage. Mitigation measures include: (1) disposing domestic garbage of construction work by environmental protection department; (2) planning new construction road for connecting road between local village and remote villages; (3) supervising the dietetic hygiene to avoid poisoning accident; (4) clearing up and renovating land after the completion of construction; (5) providing sewage disposal facilities; (6) carrying out labor protection measures of builders and the builders should wear dust mask; and (7) prohibiting construction work during night to avoid noise pollution.
- Complete report in English (Official PDF)
- Complete report in Chinese (Official PDF)
Bringing cycling culture back to China and Taiwan
Zevitz, Elise (2013) Switching gears and bringing cycling culture back to China and Taiwan. The City Fix, March 25
http://thecityfix.com/blog/switching-gears-bringing-cycling-culture-back-china-taiwan-elise-zevitz/ (accessed 8 July 2013).
China is currently experiencing the fastest growth in bike-sharing in the world, with thirty-nine bike-share systems in place, with the latest addition from last month in Aksu, near the the Kyrgyzstan border. At the head of the thirty-nine cities sits Hangzhou, which currently runs the world’s largest bike-sharing program, with over 60,000 bikes in service. That’s 40,000 more than the Vélib bike-sharing program in Paris, France.
Yet, at the same time, bikes have lost the wide appeal they once had in China. “In 1950, as a status symbol, every citizen had to have three things: a watch, a sewing machine, and a bicycle”, says professional fixed gear cyclist, Ines Brunn, who has lived in China since 2004. In the last decade, however, Brunn observes that the bike has become an image of the past and a mode of transport for those who cannot afford cars. However, local governments and their citizens in China and Taiwan are recognizing that more needs to be done to promote cycling as a commuter mode and a recreational activity, beyond implementing more bike-sharing programs.
Read full text on The City Fix
Kunming confronted to the issue of recycled cooking oil
Luo, Chris. “Kunming struggling to deal with ‘gutter oil’”. South China Morning Post. 27 June 2013. http://www.scmp.com/article/1270196/kunmings-making-gutter-oil-use-comes-stall [Accessed 27 June 2013]
Kunming, the capital city of China’s Yunnan province, is having problems dealing with recycled cooking oil – often derisively referred to as “gutter oil”. City municipal officials told the Chinese media that the problems with “gutter oil” have existed for centuries.
His comments attracted widespread condemnation from internet users. Some accused city authorities of shirking their responsibilities over the issue.
The use of illegal cooking oil – recycled from waste oil – is rampant in China. And because waste oil contains harmful carcinogens and other pollutants, mainland authorities have been determined to crack down on it for years.
Kunming has a national pilot scheme which converts recycled cooking oil into bio-fuels for vehicles. But the scheme is not working very well, the media also reports […] Read more