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.
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.