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Planning for sustainability in China's urban development: Status and challenges for Dongtan eco-city project

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Abstract

With the rapid urbanization in China, the country faces significant challenges in sustainable urban development and actively explores novel ways to expand urban areas while conserving natural resources. Radical changes in city planning are being made to switch to sustainable development, with new cities being designed to be ecologically friendly guided by principles like carbon neutrality and self-sufficiency. This paper introduces the development of the Dongtan eco-city project on Chongming Island, Shanghai and describes how it addresses issues including energy, water, waste, transportation, ecosystem, and social and economic development in its design. The lessons and challenges of eco-city development based on the Dongtan experience are also discussed. If the vision of a zero-carbon emissions sustainable city is successfully realized, Dongtan will serve as a model for developing similar cities across China and the rest of the developing world. Currently, the development of this project is behind schedule and whether the eco-city plan will materialize or not is in question. Even though the project remains mostly on the drawing boards, the planning and preliminary development of Dongtan eco-city have generated significant enthusiasm for green buildings and influenced plans for other sustainable urban development projects in China.

Graphical abstract: Planning for sustainability in China's urban development: Status and challenges for Dongtan eco-city project

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Article information


Submitted
15 Jun 2009
Accepted
04 Aug 2009
First published
01 Sep 2009

J. Environ. Monit., 2010,12, 119-126
Article type
Perspective

Planning for sustainability in China's urban development: Status and challenges for Dongtan eco-city project

H. Cheng and Y. Hu, J. Environ. Monit., 2010, 12, 119
DOI: 10.1039/B911473D

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