- Planning for Eco-cities in China: Visions, Approaches and Challenges   click here to open paper content583 kb
by    YIP, Stanley C T | stanley.yip@arup.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
This paper discusses the approaches used, lessons learned and challenges faced in the recent planning of eco-cities in China. The issues of integrating eco-city planning into the existing statutory planning systems in China will be highlighted.
Over the recent years, one sees the surging trends in various Chinese Cities to call for the planning and development of ''eco-cities''. The objectives are to apply sustainable planning and design principles in the building of new communities. Hence one also finds many planning projects coined .sustainable communities・, .eco-towns・, .eco-cities・, etc. This phenomenon is particularly marked in China where the rate of urbanization has led to an unprecedented number of new communities being planned on the drawing boards.

Yet a close assessment of these projects points out that most of these planning projects have been, unfortunately, planned based on superficial understanding of the city activity systems and with minimal technical knowledge on the consumption of our global resources. Moreover, conventional planning approaches in Chinese cities tend to focus primarily on physical forms, massing and locations of the various components of the built environment --- and yet very limited references were made, as part of the planning process, on the ecological carrying capacity; how the planned communities would demand the use of our scarce resources in terms of energy, food, water, clean air, etc; and how to reduce resource consumption and waste emission.

The planning for sustainable communities and eco-cities in Chinese cities must call for unconventional approaches, new decision making process, and innovative planning paradigms.

This paper discussed the approaches used and lessons learned in the planning of three different 'eco-cities' in China in Beijing, Tangshan and Changsha. The author will highlight the exploratory approached adopted over the project course from the planning for a city region of over 1,200 sq. km down to the urban design proposal for 5 sq. km core urban district. The perspectives adopted over the planning process and the challenges faced will be outlined.

This paper also discusses the challenges faced during the planning process resulted by the limitations imposed by the current statutory planning regulations and planning systems in China. The strategic issues of how to implement the visions behind the eco-cities through new decision processes and new statutory planning tools will also be discussed.

End of Abstract
Eco-cities Sustainable Development CXhina Planning Systems
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