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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.

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Monique Abud

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

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