Beijingers were warned to stay indoors on Thursday as pollution levels across the capital hit the top of the scale, despite repeated assurances by the government that air quality was improving.
“This is as bad as it can get,” a spokeswoman for the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau told AFP.
“Level five is the worst level of air pollution. This is as bad as it has been all year.”
According to the bureau’s website, 15 out of the 16 pollution monitoring stations in urban Beijing registered a “five” for air quality rating.
AFP: Beijing air pollution ‘as bad as it can get,’ official says.
With one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, India is expected in the coming years to produce ever more of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. But many business owners in small industries either fail to understand the relevance of climate change or are unable to afford the changes necessary to become more energy-efficient. According to a World Bank study, India’s 4.5 million small and medium enterprises, with their obsolete technology, produce 70 percent of India’s industrial pollution.
Small-Scale Businesses Forestall a Green India – washingtonpost.com.
Ahmad Rafay Alam looks at the how Pakistan can create better cities as the urban areas increase to 50% in the next ten years. The writer looks at a wide range of issues such as water, public transport and urban planning & building regulations.
New Year’s resolutions for better cities – The International News
Striking a balance between human development, resource allocation and environmental protection amid rapid urbanization is a grim and unavoidable challenge facing the country, experts said Thursday.
The unprecedented surge in urbanization has greatly improved the lives of city dwellers, but also resulted in pollution, widening income gaps, depleting resources and unbalanced regional development, Shan Jingjing, a senior researcher with the China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said at the launch of the Blue Book on China’s Urban Development.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the country’s urbanization rate rose from 19 percent in 1980, to 44 percent last year. CASS deputy head Chen Jiagui said the rate is about three times the world average over the period.
Balance ‘central’ to urban growth – China Daily
Greening master plans for Sheung Wan, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei will be implemented in September, the Development Bureau says. It has proposed creating a directorate post to boost professional landscape architectural expertise within Government.
In a paper tabled to lawmakers, the bureau said at present, the New Territories’ green coverage ratio is 74% and that for urban areas, 46%. Another study for developing greening master plans for the remaining urban areas is in progress for completion in early 2009. In view of the public aspiration for more greening in the New Territories, the development of the region’s greening master plan will start in mid-2009.
5 greening master plans to launch in Sept – Hong Kong Government