In China, green and smart urban development is emerging amidst rapid urbanization. There are individuals and initiatives who are passionately leading this journey, committed to striking a harmonious balance between urban expansion and environmental consciousness. Let us know more about the processes involved in guiding green and smart urban development in China.
China declared its intention to “embark on a new pattern of urbanization” in the run-up to last month’s landmark Paris climate meeting. Since 75 percent of China’s energy goes to urban areas, the success or failure of this program will have far-reaching consequences.
When it comes to China, what exactly does a “new pattern of urbanization” entail? Guidelines for defining China’s new model for urbanization were recently introduced by the China Development Bank Capital in collaboration with the Energy Innovation and Energy Foundation. Guidelines for Green and Smart Urban Development are a compilation of the best practices for creating environmentally friendly urban areas. These standards are realistic and adaptable to China’s rising urbanization, in keeping with the new central government’s aspirations.
Practices Adopted by Municipality
Two in-depth case studies, of Hammarby in Stockholm and the Pearl District in Portland, are included in the Green & Smart Guidelines. Every municipality has the potential to adopt sustainable and innovative practices.
1. The 12 Green Guidelines
They highlight the value of fundamental land-use and infrastructure improvements like public transportation, renewable energy, and water efficiency. The foundation of the 12 Green Guidelines lies in the belief that the effective progress of cities, in terms of ecology, economy, and society, can only be achieved by adopting a set of essential actions.
This infographic details how we used sound policy design concepts for each of the 12 Green Guidelines to make them useful, measurable, and doable. The rules are meant to be used by cities; thus, they also include quantitative benchmarks to help city planners and others in municipal administration meet the standards.
2. The Six Smart Guidelines
They analyze how these technological advancements can be used to improve city infrastructure. The possible contribution of smart technology to the furtherance of these societal, economic, and ecological benefits for the Six Smart Guidelines.
Smart parking and building management systems are only two examples of technology with established business models and return on investment timelines.
Innovative uses of these technologies have the potential to boost productivity and open up new avenues of possibility. The findings suggest that leading cities in the 21st century will need to fully integrate green and smart technologies, despite the fact that few towns have done so thus far.
Also See: What are Microgrid Technologies?
Sensors in Barcelona’s irrigation system, for instance, aid in more efficient care for flora while also saving money for the city through reduced water usage. Cities like Stockholm are improving public services by using smart technologies, allowing citizens to register for classes, scan their homes for radon levels, and even book weddings through state-of-the-art online platforms.
Exactly how do these ideas materialize in practice? Take Guangzhou’s Liuyun Xiaoqu neighborhood as an example, the area abandoned highways in favor of broad walkways for walking and cycling.
The area has established car control rules, such as making certain parts of the development car-free to safeguard the pedestrian culture, despite the city’s rising car ownership rates.
As an example of the significance of interactions between multiple regulations, consider how the introduction of mixed-use zoning has made the lack of vehicles irrelevant to the people of Liuyun Xiaoqu.
Formerly residential buildings now feature a wide variety of shops that are constantly teeming with consumers on the ground floor. Residents can have a great quality of life without owning a car due to the abundance of amenities within walking distance.
To Learn from Sustainable Communities
When all the Green & Smart Guidelines concepts are put into practice together, the social, economic, and environmental benefits are amplified. Cities in China can learn from the Pearl District in Portland, one of the world’s most sustainable communities, which is being toured as part of a study tour.
Both jurisdictions followed the 12 Green Guidelines by establishing environmental objectives to ensure the built environment’s continued viability, public transit, and energy and resource infrastructure. The Pearl District has made sustainability a core value by including it in the area’s master plan, guaranteeing that future construction would meet sustainability standards.
The Pearl incentivized new construction to adopt the most cutting-edge green technologies, building on the essential foundation of sustainable urban form and mobility by encouraging non-motorized transit and public transit like Liuyun Xiaoqu. This plan came to fruition all around the area, but it is most noticeable in the Brewery Blocks.
2. LEED Certification
All the buildings in this cluster of seven blocks have earned LEED certification. An ingenious use of technology allowed for the development to be certified: solar photovoltaic arrays adorn the facades of some buildings, a district cooling plant provides cooling for all the blocks, and all the buildings include low-flow water fixtures to ensure maximum water efficiency.
Also See: What is the LEED Rating System?
Incorporating Green & Smart Guidelines into Pearl’s redesign has resulted in many positive outcomes.
- Neighborhood’s quadrupling population
- Residents enjoy a good quality of life due to nearby parks
- Convenient public transportation
The majority of Pearl residents (58% in a 2008 poll) now either walk, bike, or utilize public transportation to get to work, while 75% of people say they drive less now that they live in the Pearl.
The infusion of young, artistic professionals has also been beneficial to the district’s economy. Inflation-adjusted numbers show that the value of land surged 690 percent on the market between 1994 and 2010, while employment grew by 54% during that time.
In recent years, sustainable urbanization has gained significant attention in China. To help local governments and urban planners see the forest for the trees, we’ve put together the Green & Smart Guidelines and associated case studies. China has the chance now to truly make its cities “great” through sustainable and innovative urban development.