Economic Development and Environmental Sustainability
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2016 43th Issue: Yuqing Wang: environment is a key consideration in the future

Introduction: Yuqing Wang, IEEPA Senior Counselor, former Deputy Director of the State Environmental Protection Administration, President of the China Environmental Science Society.

American economist, Nobel laureate in economics, Joseph Eugene predicted the two biggest world events in the 21st century. One, the high-tech industry in U.S., and two, China's urbanization. China currently has more than 700 million people living in cities and towns all year round, and in the next 10 to 20 years, China's urban population will increase about 1% a year, which will have a major influence worldwide.

China has the greatest potential for urbanization development in the coming decades . The key to improving the quality of urbanization, and improving living standards, is modernization of people.

But every issue has two sides. Because of improper planning and infrastructure construction lag, as urban population grows, many Chinese cities face increasingly harmful "urban disease". This includes traffic congestion and environmental pollution, which create challenges to sustainable development. Many city governments began to explore and rebuild their city to find its natural balance during which the construction of ecological cities is the most distinctive, and has the most practical significance.

The soul of a city is orientation

Ecological cities operate under the Ecology and Sustainable Development Theory. The Urban Development Model under the restriction of the natural environment, is an open, complex artificial ecosystem. It should have the four characteristics of being harmonious, effective, sustainable and coordinating. These are reflected by coordination of city¡¯s internal structure and function , coordination of city with the surrounding rural development, coordination of population scale and land area, and coordination of all system functions for metabolism.

In the influence of market economy and the desire of people to improve their own conditions, many problems the city government facing are difficult to handle, but from the perspective of environmental protection and ecological city construction, city orientation must the first consideration.

City orientation is like the soul of a city. To a great extent, it determines the direction of urban development and whether it succeeds or fails. When orientating a city we must give priority to four factors: first, the natural conditions, including natural environment and natural resources of the urban area; second, the city's regional location, for example, whether the city is the provincial capital city or important transportation junction ,or at the center of the region, etc; third, the city's historical and cultural heritage, which is more and more important in the development of modern cities ; fourth, the city's industrial structure and foundation, which is the economic condition of urban development. City ¡®s function orientation should seize city ¡®s characteristics, make full use of its own advantages, and should not be pompous and pointless.

planning determines a city¡¯s future

Urban planning determines city¡¯s future development and layout, and is the blueprint of the urban development and urban construction management. This must be the leading work of the city.

But many problems still exist within urban planning. First, scientificity problem of planning. This is an important concept that will allow humans and nature to live in harmony and build a resource-conserving, environment-friendly society. Second, an important guiding ideology is that planning should follow natural law and economic law and be predictable. Third, the authority and stability of planning .The programming and modification of planning should be in accordance with the law be, rather than changes as the leadership does; Fourth, there is the executive force problem, exclude interfere of various factors such as ephor will, strengthening coordination between departments, and implementing the plan effectively.

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