China the Rise of the Green City: China's Rapid Urbanisation Is Cause for Concern, but Remarkable Initiatives in Cities Such as Rizhao, Wuhan and Beijing Are Leading to a Broader Endorsement of Sustainability Principles

By Levinson, Matthew; Chen, Jing | Ecos, April-May 2008 | Go to article overview

China the Rise of the Green City: China's Rapid Urbanisation Is Cause for Concern, but Remarkable Initiatives in Cities Such as Rizhao, Wuhan and Beijing Are Leading to a Broader Endorsement of Sustainability Principles


Levinson, Matthew, Chen, Jing, Ecos


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Look across the rooftops and walls of Rizhao, a coastal city of nearly three million on the Shandong Peninsula in China's north-east, and you will see rows of solar panels on nearly every building. The traffic signals and street and park lights downtown are powered by photovoltaic solar cells, and virtually all the city's residents use solar energy for their hot water.

Per capita incomes in this small Chinese city are even lower than most other cities in the region, but Rizhao's response to sustainability has been far from ordinary.

CSIRO's Xuemei Bai, who covered the initiative in 'State of the World 2007: Our Urban Future', an annual report published by the World Watch Institute, says the remarkable achievement resulted from a meeting of three factors: 'A government policy that encourages solar energy use and financially supports research and development, local solar panel industries that seized the opportunity and improved their products, and the strong political will of the city's leadership to adopt it.'

While solar power has been promoted in industrial countries through subsidies to the end user--often a partial refund of the purchase price--the Rizhao Government has instead invested 'upstream' in the local solar and water heater industry.

The ensuing technological breakthroughs have reduced the cost of a solar hot water heater to around the same price as an electric one, and a mix of regulation and public education has ensured wide adoption of the heaters. The city now mandates the incorporation of solar panels in all new buildings, and oversees the construction process to ensure the panels are correctly installed.

According to Phil McKenna at New Scientist magazine, the Chinese Government plans to extend the policy practice developed in Rizhao to all cities in China, and the mayor of Rizhao has been promoted to chair the city committee in the National People's Congress.

Rapid growth

China's cities are growing fast. How fast? China had 200 cities until just before 1980. This has more than tripled to 655 cities, according to Chinese National Bureau of Statistics data, and 177 of those have populations of more than a million people.

Government estimates put 44 per cent of China's population living in cities. However, Deng Wei, an urban economics researcher at Tsinghua University, reported in Science that the real figure is already 50 per cent, considering that migrant workers have registered their addresses as those of their rural homes.

Until the 1980s, China carried out nationwide recycling campaigns, with at least one recycling station in every urban district or small city. However, rising income levels and reduced government support have shrunk this to ah informal process carried out by the urban poor.

Progress has, however, been made in many areas--not just improvements to pollution control, ecological restoration and biodiversity conservation, but also improvements to environmental policy, law, funding mechanisms and implementing international treaties.

By the end of 2006, Chinese authorities had proposed more than 200 environmental policies and enacted at least 58 environmental laws and 17 regulations to control air and water pollution.

Though far from mature, environmental performance ratings and public disclosure have proven effective in getting Chinese firms to improve their environmental compliance. Green production processes are also helping to improve the efficiency of resource use, product quality and the environmental performance of Chinese factories.

Remarkable initiatives

Urbanisation is an inevitable fact in China. But it needs to be nudged to a more sustainable path, which is where sustainability initiatives such as Rizhao's are important. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

China the Rise of the Green City: China's Rapid Urbanisation Is Cause for Concern, but Remarkable Initiatives in Cities Such as Rizhao, Wuhan and Beijing Are Leading to a Broader Endorsement of Sustainability Principles
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.