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Green Urbanization in China
Transcript of Green Urbanization in China
By Jennifer Yung
ES140 - Natural Disasters
On April 1, 2012, a Chinese woman on her way to work suddenly felt the earth beneath her crumble and, in an instant, found herself plunging into an abyss of scalding hot water. The woman had unknowingly stepped into one of the many sinkholes appearing in China’s megacities. The emergence of sinkholes in China is part of a larger set of environmental issues related to rapid urbanization taking place all over Asia.
What is Urban Greenery?
Urban Greenery or Green Urbanization is a movement around the world to incorporate more green areas within large cities to address and balance the environment. Especially within cities where there are many people, buildings, and factories, greenery is important. Green Urbanization may include lawns, roof gardens, solar panels, and vacant lots turning into areas to grow food.
Green Wall of China
Due to the desertification of the Gobi Desert, China has started a project called the "Green Wall of China." The plan consists of planting a wall of trees to stop and prevent further desertification of the Gobi Desert reaching and taking more rural homes in China.
In 2011, Asia was home to 3.9 billion people (or about 56 percent of the world’s population) with more than 40 percent living in urban areas. As the region continues to grow economically, more people are moving to cities seeking opportunity.
Urbanization in the People's Republic of China has increased at an extraordinary speed. By the end of 2012, the mainland of China's urban population totaled to 52.6%! This totals to more than half of China's population today! China now faces many problems due to the increase influence and impact of urbanization. Three major problems include
Overcrowded Great Wall of China
Since 2006, China’s CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use and industrial processes (cement production) have been larger than the emissions of the USA. With approximately 8% higher emissions than those of the USA, China now tops the list of CO2 emitting countries.
Desertification is a type of land degradation in which a relatively dry land or region becomes increasingly arid. The land loses its bodies of water, vegetation, and wildlife. The land is no longer able to be cultivated and used for farming. Desertification is can be caused by many factors such as climate change or human activities. Due to the large carbon emission in China, the increase of desertification from the Gobi desert has caused many rural Chinese farmers to lose their lands and move inland to cities; another reason for the increasing overpopulation in cities.
The Gobi desert in central China gobbles up 3,600 square kilometers of grassland each year, creating powerful sandstorms, robbing farmers of food-producing land, and displacing people from their homes. China's desertification even affects neighboring countries such as Japan, North Korea and South Korea.
How do we get back to greenery?
Many rural Chinese workers are drawn to factory jobs because factories guarantee jobs for the poor. Conditions are extremely poor. With so many factories in China, carbon dioxide commission level is high.
China's Shocking Factory Working Conditions
Desertification Gobi Desert
Green Urbanization in China
China still has a long way to go with Green Urbanization. Today, China is still focused on Urbanization in order to catch up with other first world countries such as the United States and England. However, the Chinese government is very aware of their environment and the dangerous health impediments it has caused its citizens.
China's Urban Greenery
China’s 12th Five-Year Plan identified seven strategic industries that could drive healthy economic growth while reducing China’s dependency on environmentally destructive industries and fossil fuels. These are:
information and communication
low-emissions transportation and logistics
China's Smart Grids
A smart grid is a modernized electrical grid that uses information and communications technology to gather and act on information in order to improve the efficiency, reliability, and sustainability of the production and distribution of electricity.
Last October, China’s State Grid Corporation (SGCC) enlisted French telecom firm Alcatel-Lucent to help develop smart grids in a deal that is part of the more than $600 billion investment that China is spending on smart grids over this decade.
Blueprint for "The Great City."
Movement towards more Green Buildings
China's "The Great City"
The Great City
The blueprint shows that the distance from any location in the city to any other location will be a 15 minute walk. This will eliminate the need for most automobiles. Another key to the city's low-carbon profile is the fact that it will be built around a regional transit hub connecting Great City to Chengdu and surrounding areas via mass transit (though the goal is to have most of the people who will live in Great City work there as well).
Expected to be up and running in 2020, Tianjin Eco-City is one of these real-life sustainable communities that China is planning to build across the country. Tianjin Eco City spans 30 square kilometers and showcases many energy-saving technologies.
Smart Grids for many cities in China
Green Wall of China