The “Eco” and “Low-carbon”promise: a critical review of China’s experience

Tipo de Publicação: Capítulo de Livro

Balula, L. & Bina, O. (2015). The “Eco” and “Low-carbon”promise: a critical review of China’s experience. In F. Gipouloux (Ed.), China’s Urban Century. Governance, Environment and Socio-Economic Imperatives, (pp. 103-119). Massachusets: Edward Elgar. ISBN: 978-1-78471-508-3

In this inquiry we seek to critically review Chinese policy and practice of promoting ‘eco’ and ‘low-carbon’cities (ELCCs), viewed as the latest search for answers to persistent problems associated with three closely interdependent aspects of urbanization: development of space, treatment of scale and pursuit of efficiency (hereafter the’space-scale- efficiency nexus’). We examine this nexus through the disciplinary lens of planning and urban design, and  sustainable development theories. First, we identify the challenges and limitations of urban policy responses to the space-scale-efficiency nexus in China. We then discuss the Chinese agenda for ELCCs, aimed at addressing some of
the challenges, and we find that key problems in the patterns of urbanization and planning systems persist. Finally we explore the recent ‘regional turn’, with a specific focus on the idea of functional regions, suggesting that this might help Chinese ELCC pilot studies to address these persistent problems. The analysis builds on an extensive literature review carried out for the European funded project ‘Sustainable urbanisation in China: historical
and comparative perspectives, mega-trends towards 2050’ (UrbaChina).