China’s national leaders have recently made a priority of changing lanes from a pollution-intensive, growth-at-any-cost model to a resource-efficient and sustainable one. The immense challenges of rapid urbanization areone aspect of the problem. Central-local government relations are another source of challenges, since the central government’s green agenda does not always find willing followers at lower levels. This paper identifies barriers to a more comprehensive implementation of environmental policies at the local level in China’s urban areas and suggests ways to reduce or remove them. The research focuses particularly on the reasons for the gap between national plans and policy outcomes. Although environmental goals and policies at the national level are quite ambitious and comprehensive, insufficient and inconsistent local level implementation can hold back significant improvements in urban environmental quality. By analyzing local institutional and behavioral obstacles and by highlighting best-practice examples from China and elsewhere, the paper outlines options that can be used at the national and local levels to close the local “environmental implementation gap.” The findings emphasize the need to create additional incentives and increase local implementation capacities.
Ying, Yin and Xiao, Xingfeng. (2012) A comparative study with Swedish and China’s eco-cities : from planning to implementation, taking the Hammarby Sjöstad, Sweden and Wuxi Sino-Swedish eco-city, China, as cases. Advanced Materials Research, 524-527, pp 2741-2750.
This paper targets to improve understanding and explain influential factors of different planning and implementing process of two eco-cities, Hammarby Sjöstad, Sweden, and Sino-Swedish Low-carbon Eco-city, China. The study is approached by examining and comparing the two eco-cities in perspectives of plans formulation, policy and regulations foundation, planning management and implementing mechanisms. Lessons from Hammarby Sjöstad are that integrative planning and management, follow-up and evaluations of implementing results, and lifestyle transitions all need to be concerned, as well as environmental technologies. In Sino-Swedish low-carbon eco-city, lack of local technologies, supporting policies and regulations, inactive cross-sector cooperation and public participation are summarized as main obstacles. To approach these, efforts are made on formulating local regulations, government documents, and coordinating cross-sector cooperation, promoting mutual learning. Finally, concluding that, besides environmental technologies, the foundation of legislations, policies and environmental objectives, integrative approaches, public awareness are key areas need to be promoted for popularizing sustainability in China.
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