New Year’s resolutions for better cities – Pakistan

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

VietNamNet – Southern hub knocking over its growth targets

Ho Chi Minh City gross domestic product (GDP) in 11 months increased nearly 12 per cent in comparison with the 11.5 per cent gained last year. The report anticipates that the city’s GDP by year’s end will reach 12.6 per cent, a record for the past decade.
Experts have said the city’s economic growth saw equal contributions from its key sectors: services, industry and development investment.

At a session to review the city’s socio-economic situation in 2007, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said that economic restructuring remained problematic, skilled and specialised human resources were still far less than demand and administrative reforms had yet to be fully implemented.

“The city’s traffic jams, flooding and social evils are escalating and need to be resolved,” he said.
VietNamNet – Southern hub knocking over its growth targets.

Balance ‘central’ to urban growth

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

5 greening master plans to launch in Sept in Hong Kong

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

China Must Go Green, and Soon

When it comes to environmental issues like global warming, America and China behave like a couple in a bad marriage, playing the blame game. But to tackle the problem of global warming, neither country can go it alone.

The University of California at Berkeley held a recent “marriage counseling” conference titled: “China’s Environment: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It?” It brought scientists, environmentalists, journalists and venture capitalists from both sides together, to come up with solutions.

China’s air, water, energy, urban and rural spaces were discussed, as well as how its population is affected by environment-related diseases. Although it’s a cliché that “the color of water in Chinese rivers is somewhere between dark grey and black,” the fact that China adds two coal-based power plants per week is astonishing. Kirk Smith, professor of global environmental health at UC Berkeley, concludes that “the cleanest cities in China are about the same as the dirtiest American city.”

China Must Go Green, and Soon – New America Media – Jun Wang 

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