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 

Government bans urban dwellers from buying farm houses

The Chinese central government is reiterating that urban dwellers are banned from buying residential land or houses from farmers. Contrary to a recent report, the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources says land owned collectively by villagers’ committee will not be allowed to be used for commercial residential projects.

Houses built on rural land can only be sold to rural residents or villagers. The ministry also adds those vague properties are also banned from renting to urban residents.

CCTV International.

Busan to Have 117-Story Building(The Korea Times)

Busan Metropolitan City will launch a big project to build a 117-story resort building. According to Busan Urban Development Corporation (BUDC), it will enter into an agreement with “Triple Square Consortium (TSC)’’ on Tuesday to construct the super large resort building at Haeundae, the biggest beach in the country.

If the agreement is completed, TSC will dig ground for the construction, which is scheduled to end in December next year. A total of 1,540 billion won will be invested for the 511 meter-tall building in the land size of 584,000-meter square.

Busan to Have 117-Story Building(The Korea Times).

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