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01.06.2015 | Original Article | Ausgabe 5/2015

Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 5/2015

Sustainable urban development in China: challenges and achievements

Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change > Ausgabe 5/2015
Jiangyan Wang, Dongquan He


China is undergoing rapid urbanization, along with economic growth and transport automation. Because it is densely populated, China is constrained by natural resource limitations and potential impacts of global climate change. Significant challenges for sustainable urban development include urban sprawl, traffic congestion, air pollution, city layouts not oriented to twenty-first century lifestyles, declining traditional urban culture, selective over-development, and social inequities. Increasing awareness of these pressing problems has led national and provisional governments and cities to seek sustainable urban development solutions. Central ministries and non-government organizations have implemented pilot projects demonstrating best practices in the Chinese context. These are being scaled up to develop local and national guidelines and policies. This paper describes China’s urbanization issues and national and local efforts toward the realization of sustainable urbanization. It is hoped that China’s urbanization trends and challenges will stimulate sustainable and low-carbon concepts and approaches that can enrich sustainable urbanization theory and practices in and beyond China.

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