- A tale of two low carbon cities    click here to open paper content464 kb
by    Ying, Sheng | sheng.ying@hotmail.co.uk   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
This paper examines two cases of low carbon cities in Shanghai. It analyses the development strategies and the problems. It also forwards measures to facilitate the building of low carbon cities in China.
Climate will shape us as how we shape the climate. The industrial revolutions embarked human beings to a milestone in human history. Industrialisation, informationisation and with more than half of the global population living in cities, human beings seem to have their reasons to celebrate their achievements. However, it also set a ˇ°carbon bombˇ± for mankind. The excessive use of fossil fuel and other unsustainable human activities have triggered a severe response from the nature mainly featured with global warming.

People begin to retrospect and many cities around the world have launched low carbon initiatives. As a pioneering city in China, Shanghai has started Low Carbon Economic Practice Area scheme which selects Chongming Dongtan Eco-city and Shanghai Lingan New City as the first pilot areas.

Dongtan Eco-city was boasted to build the first eco-city, constructing the first hydrogen energy electricity grid in China and producing low or zero carbon emission in the world. After 10 years debates and planning, the reality of an eco-city still seems to be a utopia, no any construction up to now, although having planned to finish the first phase in 2010. In Shanghai Lingang New City, 500 thousand square meters commercial residential apartments will be equipped with solar energy water heaters. Although gradually more and more buildings are being built, how many people will choose to live there is still a question, as the living cost in the low carbon city will be higher than living in conventional places. The global financial storm might be another hit.

With concrete case studies, this paper firstly introduces the low carbon cities strategy and construction in China. Then it proceeds with two cases of low carbon cities in Shanghai and analyses the difficulties in realising low carbon dreams in China which may be also the same difficulties for many other developing countries. When the current conventional developmental policies conflict with the concept of future towns - low carbon cities, the lag of understanding creates the lack of reality base for the low carbon cities. Lastly, it discusses measures to promote the low carbon cities construction in China. Good practice of building low carbon cities needs step-by-step processes and a combination of the local culture and wisdom.
low carbon cities, strategies, measures, Shanghai
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