Tag Archives: sustainable urbanisation

New Pathways to Urbanisation

UN-conferenceThe United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the China Energy Fund Committee organised a high-level panel and luncheon on sustainable urbanisation in China on 8 July 2014. Members participated in a lively discussion about China’s new urbanisation.

China is experiencing an unprecedented pace of urbanisation. The implementation of new urbanisation policies will greatly increase market size and create economic growth, such as trade and investment for the entire world. In this process, China can contribute to global environmental protection and climate change. China’s experience can also enrich the global collective experience of urbanisation. Content of the panel discussion and the radio reports can be found at the following links: http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/chinese/archives/208530/.


Chi-Han Ai

Ph.D. candidate of EHESS ( École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris) focusing on regional economic development in China and Taiwan.

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Informal recycling

Informal recycling, Elosua Miguel

A bicycle loaded with polystyrene (styrofoam) boxes in Shanghai, March 2013. All around the city a legion of informal recyclers buy plastic, cardboard, etc. from particulars and businesses alike for recycling. Some have devised ingenious ways to carry as much recycling material as possible. However, in the case of polystyrene, the amount of money a recycler can get for it is not calculated based on volume but on weight, and polystyrene is very light (it is composed of 95% air). According to the information gathered, a recycler of polystyrene may get 5 mao (0.5 yuan) per 500 grams. Since it is voluminous, transport is not economical. Trucks usually compress the material, reducing its size before transporting it to the recycling plants. Those without such means have no choice but to carry as much as possible with the old bike. At any rate, the impact of informal recycling on the economy must be considerable. Citizens at the service of the State.

Miguel Elosua

Spanish qualified lawyer; PhD in Chinese Law. UrbaChina Research Officer. Has lived in China since 2006.

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UCI 2013 Call for research

The Urban China Initiative aims to be the source of innovative solutions to urban development issues in China. To achieve this goal, UCI conducts a grant program to support research concerning China’s urban development and sustainability.

UCI accepts research applications on an annual basis for grants up to RMB 100,000. It also provides assistance and guidance during the research process and facilitates the publication of working papers and implementation through city pilots (Click here for more supports UCI GRANTS provide).

The Initiative supports research on the effectiveness of programs and technologies related to urban development; emerging domestic and global best practices in project design, development, and execution; and paths to successful structural adjustment in China’s cities. Grant-supported research focuses on sustainable urbanization (Click here for detailed requirements).

Candidates are required to submit an application package which includes a detailed research proposal and CV (download a. application form and b. proposal template) to grant@urbanchinainitiative.org.

The deadline for the upcoming round of funding is December 31, 2013. Research for the grants is expected to be completed within a year. For inquiry, please contact us via contact@urbanchinainitiative.org or +86(10)-8525-5331.

Monique Abud

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

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Bilateral collaborations in Sino-foreign eco-cities

Chen, Xinting. (2012) Bilateral collaborations in Sino-foreign eco-cities : lessons for Sino-Dutch collaboration in Shenzhen international low-carbon town. Master thesis, Delft University of Technology, Delft.

The increasing concerns about global climate change and rising environmental pressures have prompted countries and cities to explore new sustainable development pattern. The concept of eco-city has been proposed as a potential sustainable urban solution. China as the most populous country in the world, is especially challenged by its rapid urbanization and environmental degradation, and has launched a number of eco-city initiatives in recent years. Among them many are eye-catching bilateral collaboration projects with the engagement of international partners. The growing trend of Sino-foreign eco-city initiatives give rise to the main research question of this study: “What is the role of bilateral collaborations in Chinese eco-city development?” This question is further divided into three sub-questions, among which the first sub-question intends to categorize previous Sino-foreign eco-city collaborations based on distinct features observed through an investigation on eight previous Sino-foreign eco-cities. The second sub-question focuses on the critical success factors influencing bilateral collaborations in Sino-foreign eco-cities at political/institutional, organizational, and individual levels. Finally based on the lesson drawings from previous experience, the study intends to answer the question of what a viable Sino-Dutch collaboration alternative could look like in Shenzhen International Low-carbon Town. Qualitative research methods including case study and comparison are used in the study. Case studies on eight selected Sino-foreign eco-cities present detailed empirical information and analysis systematically. Following the case studies, three types of bilateral collaborations in previous Sino-foreign eco-city projects were concluded: client-provider/designer type collaboration, intergovernmental agreement based collaboration, and JV-based collaboration under joint supervisory board. Based on the case studies, a framework of success factors influencing bilateral collaborations in Sino-foreign eco-cities is also established. With the lesson drawings from previous experience and specific analysis for Shenzhen International Low-carbon Town, two potentially viable Sino-Dutch collaboration alternatives including the cultivating and sufficing collaborations are proposed. Finally, some general findings across the cases are discussed and summarized in the paper. This study intends to fill in the literature gap in international bilateral collaborations in eco-city development by focusing on China’s experience. Besides, it also can contribute to the academic and professional community by making an inventory of existing Sino-foreign eco-city projects. The empirics and findings in this study can also shed light on the design of future bilateral collaborations in Chinese eco-city development with proper adaptations.

Download the thesis on the TU Delft institutional repository



Monique Abud

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

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