Meine Pieter van Dijk (2015). Measuring eco cities, comparing European and Asian experiences: Rotterdam versus Beijing. Asia Europe Journal. 20 p. Published online: 4 January 2015. URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10308-014-0405-7
Many cities have taken initiatives to achieve more sustainable development or to become ecological cities. In this paper, ten dimensions are suggested for defining ecological cities and an effort has been made to provide indicators to measure them. Many cities claim to be ecological cities, but there are no non-ambiguous definitions of ecological cities and few efforts have been made to measure to what extent the cities have achieved their goal. This paper considers the efforts of Beijing and Rotterdam to become more eco cities, using these dimensions. What can we learn from these experiences for developing the city of the future? In an illustrative effort to apply the suggested criteria, Rotterdam scored slightly better than Beijing. The latter city is facing more serious environmental problems and is willing to try more innovative solutions, while Rotterdam spends more money on prevention and CO2 reduction.
Ferro, N. (Ed.). (2014). Sviluppo sostenibile e Cina, le sfide sociali e ambientali del XXI secolo. Rome: L’Asino d’oro edizioni.
In this collective book published in Italian, authors question the concept and implementation of sustainable development in China.
A first part looks at the growing awareness of sustainable needs in the Chinese sociey. Then, several chapters are dedicated to the challenges posed by economic growth and urbanisation, including food safety.
The last part studies the possible role of entreprises in answering sustainable development needs in China.
Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE – Nottingham Trent University)
Curien, Rémi. (2014) Chinese urban planning : environmentalising a hyper-functionalist machine? China Perspectives [Online], 2014/3. Connection on 16 September 2014. URL : http://chinaperspectives.revues.org/6528.
How should the considerable discrepancy between the concepts of sustainable urban development proclaimed by the Chinese authorities and the reality on the ground be understood? This article examines the urban planning procedures that currently hold sway in China. The building of new cities is based upon a generic method of hyper-productivist and functionalist planning, reflected as a pyramid structure that extends over the whole country and is embodied by urban zoning on a vast scale. This procedure, which has been in force for nearly 30 years, is not at present one that is called into question by Chinese decision-makers, and does not take environmental principles seriously into account. Conversely, all of the reasoning upon which urban development is based remains very far removed from environmental considerations. China is continuing down the road of accelerated development behind the wheel of a growing hyper-functionalist urban machine.
Chai, Yanwei (2014). From socialist danwei to new danwei: a daily-life-based framework for sustainable development in urban China. Asian Geographer. Published online: 1 August 2014. DOI: 10.1080/10225706.2014.942948
The danwei (or work unit) compound was the basic spatial and social unit of urban China in the pre-reform period, and its transformation has been an important part of the larger transitions that have remade urban China during the reform era. This paper investigates spatial and social changes in urban China over three stages; namely, the formation of the socialist danwei system, the decline of the socialist danwei and the formation of a new kind of danwei. I argue that the socialist danwei included positive elements like mixed land use, job-housing balance and social equality, while the decline of the socialist danwei system has resulted in many negative outcomes such as spatial mismatch and social segregation. In proposing a framework for new danwei, I suggest that urban life should be structured around residents’ daily activity spaces based on their daily-life-circle systems. The concept of the new danwei offers a practical solution through combining a human-focused approach with consideration of China’s contemporary economic and social reality. The paper concludes with a discussion on possible avenues for future research.
Zhao, Zhirong Jerry (2014). Making China’surban transportation boom sustainable. (Paulson Policy Memorenda). Chicago, IL : The Paulson Institute.
China’s economic takeoff of recent decades has been accompanied by the dazzling growth of the nation’s transportation infrastructure. China’s total highway mileage had reached a staggering 4.2 million kilometers (km) (2.6 million miles) by 2012, expanding from just 126,675 km (78,712 miles) in 1949. Railroads in operation increased from 22,900 km (14,229 miles) in 1952 to 98,000 km (60,894 miles) in 2012, including more than 9,360 km (5,816 miles) of high-speed rail (HSR) that moves sleek passenger trains between China’s major urban centers at speeds that clock in at over 200km (124 miles)/h.
In China’s current subway boom, meanwhile, not only are megacities like Beijing and Shanghai actively adding new lines and extensions (see Figure 1) but smaller Chinese cities are also racing to open their first subway lines.
The International Conference on Urban Regeneration and Sustainability addresses all aspects of the urban environment aiming to provide solutions leading towards sustainability.
23-25 September, 2014
Certosa di Pontignano, Siena, Italy
Wessex Institute of Technology, UK
University of Siena, Italy
The Conference addresses the multi-disciplinary aspects of urban planning; a result of the increasing size of the cities; the amount of resources and services required and the complexity of modern society.
Most of earth’s population now lives in cities and the process of urbanisation still continues generating many problems deriving from the drift of the population towards them. These problems can be resolved by cities becoming efficient habitats, saving resources in a way that improves the quality and standard of living. The process however, faces a number of major challenges, related to reducing pollution, improving main transportation and infrastructure systems. New urban solutions are required to optimise the use of space and energy resources leading to improvements in the environment, i.e reduction in air, water and soil pollution as well as efficient ways to deal with waste generation. These challenges contribute to the development of social and economic imbalances and require the development of new solutions.
Grangé, Jérémy and Petitet, Sylvain (2014). For cities of a different nature : bringing sustainable infrastructure to urban areas. Translated by Oliver Waine. Metropolitics, 26 March 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2014 from: http://www.metropolitiques.eu/For-cities-of-a-different-nature.html
City-dwellers want to see more of their metropolitan areas turned over to nature and urban public spaces; however, our cities today are still structured by a network of roads that were primarily built to manage motor traffic flows. Sylvain Petitet and Jérémy Grangé show how implementing sustainable urban infrastructure could provide city-dwellers with easy and convenient access to the places that generate most of their journeys, revealing a new form of network-based public space.
The city of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China, won the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2014 for its demonstration of sound planning principles and good urban management.
The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize is co-organised by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore and the Centre for Liveable Cities. It aims to honour cities which tackle urban challenges through good governance and innovation. The prize places an emphasis on practical and cost effective solutions and ideas in order to facilitate the sharing between cities accross the world of best practices in urban solutions and sustainable urban development.
Suzhou has undergone remarkable transformation over the past two decades. The significance of its transformation lies in the city’s success in meeting the multiple challenges of achieving economic growth in order to create jobs and a better standard of living for its people; balancing rapid urban growth with the need to protect its cultural and built heritage; and coping with a large influx of migrant workers while maintaining social stability.
Intern at the CNRS, UrbaChina project. M.A. in urban local development (IEDES, Paris); M.A. in international development studies (Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris – Utrecht University); B.A. in geography and law (Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris).
OECD (2013), Urbanisation and green growth in China, 102 p.
This working paper assesses national policy and governance mechanisms that can influence green growth in Chinese cities. It applies the OECD conceptual framework for urban green growth to examine the potential challenges and opportunities for increasing economic growth through reducing the environmental impact of urban land use, transport and buildings; through improving water and air quality; and through fostering supply and demand of green products and services. The paper first situates the issue of green growth within the nexus of urbanisation and environmental challenges now facing China. This is followed by a review of environmental and quality of life challenges posed by rapid urbanisation. Opportunities for national policies to influence green growth in four key urban policy sectors are then examined. The paper concludes with an assessment of governance challenges and considers potential changes to facilitate economic growth while reducing the environmental impact of cities.
Chinese Perspectives on the Environment and Sustainable Development, edited by: Ye Wenhu, Peking University; translated by: Christopher Heselton at Brill.
With China’s rapid growth over the past several decades, the detrimental effects of industrial growth on the environment have become ever more apparent. In this collection of articles from some of China’s most distinguished political scientist, economist, and environmentalist, we find the emerging debate on environmentalism unfolding as Chinese try to find their own way. At the core of these concerns is a debate on balancing the needs of economic development with responsibilities to the planet, and the degree to which that responsibility applies to China as a developing country. These articles seek to illustrate broader principles for environmental policies and international support, as well as more specific projects in China that have been tested and those that have failed.
Presentations and debates will highlight current thinking and how these issues are being addressed around the world nowadays.
The scope of the symposium is interdisciplinary. Are encouraged contributions that focus both on single issues whether social, environmental, economic or technological, as well as contributions that focus on the challenges and opportunities where these streams seem to merge.
Submissions may focus on either practice (e.g., innovative programmes, strategic challenges), or theory (development and reflection), or empirical research (involving the collection and analysis of data).
Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou, China
The Conference aims to address the many inter-related aspects of the urban environment from transport and mobility to social exclusion and crime prevention. The meeting will build on the contributions made in previous conferences, which successfully managed to provide an international view of the problems facing modern cities and their solutions.
Sustainability has emerged as the most important global issue for business, industry, government, and academia, and yet to begin with sustainability was associated only with environmental concerns such as energy and global warming. It is now recognized that the concept of sustainability is applicable to all areas of human society, for example in terms of social/economic justice, or responsible business practice. Issues such as poverty, hunger, education, health care, and access to markets should be a part of the evolution of any comprehensive sustainability paradigm. ACSEE 2013 will address these various dimensions of human sustainability. Scholars from around the world are invited to address questions and search for synergies and solutions to the complex issues surrounding sustainability in a forum encouraging exchange between academics, members of the global business community, and practitioners in the fields of human endeavor that link these.