an Article about Eco-cities, 2012

How do we learn to stop building new eco-cities, and love our old cities
Li Hu

It is clear to the world that China has experienced a phenomenal growth both in terms of its urbanization and wealth over a very short period of time in recent history. It is generally predicated that by 2025, more than 350 millions people will migrate into cities, and by 2030, more than 1 billion people will be living in cities.

These data leads to an easy and seemingly undisputable conclusion – we need more cities. And the fact is that between 1975 and 2000, China had indeed created 457 new cities. Furthermore, in the first decade of 21st century, there is a new twist added to this city-making in China, the “Eco-City”. The name suggested it is a perfect fit for the current Chinese government agenda of ever-increasing GDP building, and environmental movement of ecology or sustainability.

Building a new city usually initiates a chain of industries and transaction to be involved, starting from the land sale, road construction, power and water infrastructure, waste processing, and not to mention, countless square meters of space to be built and to be sold. All of these easily add up to a great amount of number to the Gross Domestic Product, or GDP to help the local government to fulfill the demand from the central government. And often these new cities are started by a local leader, and demanded to be finished within his/her time in power, usually in 5 years of time. Un-imaginable but often true.

Tags: eco-cities