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
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