Today Pudong has joined Manhattan and the City of London as one of the world’s foremost business hubs.
Countless other Chinese cities are determined to follow in Shanghai’s steps. Cities have been the engines of China’s economic growth, contributing 70% of its annual gross domestic product. But they are also the stage on which China’s most intense social and environmental struggles are being played out.
The rapid expansion of cities and swelling of urban populations has been the most spectacular feature of China’s rapid economic development over the past two decades. China has become one large construction site: the stock of urban buildings has doubled in a mere five years, reaching almost 15 billion square metres in 2004. In 2005, Shanghai constructed more building space than exists in all the office buildings of New York City. Construction projects in China account for 30% of the global total.
China has become a global laboratory of urban change and an incubator of technological, design and policy innovations. Paradoxically, therefore, China’s urban mayhem has made it the epicentre of global debate on sustainable urbanisation.
Read more at Bangkok Post : Business news. LEO HORN-PHATHANOTHAI
Gargi Gupta from Business Standard weighs the pros and cons of the second master plan and MAP Chennai Region help the city overcome the problems of rapid urbanisation?
You know the truism about the best laid plans of mice and men? Nowhere does it apply more than in the area of urban planning, in India especially. But despite their plans going awry, architects, town-planners, civic officials, industry and citizens bodies continue to persist with the exercise.
The most recent one in this vein is the one floated by the Confederation of Indian Industries for the city of Chennai. Euphonically christened MAP Chennai Region, it proposes to develop a 5,000 square kilometre region around the southern metropolis, ringed by the cities of Marakkanam, Arakkonam and Pulicat
A city in the mapping – Business Standard – Gargi Gupta.
In Hong Kong, where land for construction is scarce and commerce has long ruled, preservation has usually given way to a tide of urban development. Few of the British expatriates and Chinese immigrants who came to the city with the moniker “borrowed place, borrowed time” saw it as a permanent home. But since the territory was returned to Chinese rule from Britain in 1997, its local identity has come to the forefront and heritage conservation has taken on the overtones of a populist struggle.
Rendering of the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s proposal for the Central Police Station (inset) and Victoria Prison
Recently battles have been waged over buildings that in most cities would have little historical appeal. In the past year, the demolition of two 1950s ferry terminals to make way for a highway and commercial property developments spurred demonstrations, hunger strikes and arrests.
“These recent heritage battles represent a desperate search for a cultural anchor,” says Lee Ho Yin, director of the architectural conservation program at the University of Hong Kong. “It’s part of Hong Kong people seeking their own identity and roots.”
A Borrowed Place on Borrowed Time – WallStreetJournal.com.
An icon of modern architecture, Chandigarh has been placed on the tentative list of the world heritage sites, which has been prepared by the UNESCO.
One of the most significant urban planning experiments of the 20th century, the city, which is the administrative capital of two states- Punjab and Haryana- was designed by French architect-planner Le Corbusier.
Chandigarh may soon join the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites – DailyIndia.com
Ecotourism is becoming more popular in China and Lila Buckley of the Globalist took a hands on approach to reasearching Eco-tourism for herself.
An interesting read about the growing trend of Eco-tourism in China.
read more at The Globalist
China will tighten funding rules for new projects to curb investment and worsening pollution in the world’s fourth-biggest economy, according to an official from the nation’s top economic planning agency.
China will “soon” reduce the amount of debt companies can use for projects in industries that have excess capacity, pollute heavily or use too much energy, said Luo Guosan, of the investment department of the National Development and Reform Commission. The official, interviewed on a government Website on Tuesday, didn’t detail the planned capital requirements.
Source: CCTV International
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.