Government-backed Study Claims Most Chinese Cities Fail To Achieve Sustainable Balance

September 16, 2013 | Print | Email Email | Comments | Category: Business & Society, Environment

A new study from the Chinese Academy of Sciences claims as much as 80% of Chinese cities are failing to achieve a balance between economic growth, resource efficiency and sustainable development.

The study, published in a report entitled "Creating Prosperous and Livable Chinese Cities" and done in collaboration between Accenture and CAS, covered 73 cities and suggests mid-sized Chinese cities are in the best position to achieve that balance in the future.

The study includes the New Resources Economy Index, designed by Accenture, and categorizes Chinese cities into four groups. Twenty five 'Conventional' cities face the greatest danger, given their underdeveloped but resource-based economies, high emissions, and reliance on heavy industry.

Beijing and Tianjin are the two mega cities classified as 'Wealthy,' along with cities in the Bohai Rim and Yangtze River Delta regions. These enjoy leading rates of economic growth, but face deteriorating environments, characterized by rising levels of congestion, smog and waste, coupled with shortages of water and other resources.

The 'Balanced' group of cities achieves strong economic performance, environmental quality and managed emissions. Smaller cities dominate this group, but are joined by Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, three megacities in southern China.

The report suggests a range of actions that authorities can take to position their cities to achieve balanced and sustainable growth. These levers can be applied in different configurations depending on their particular local challenges. They include greater investment in and commitment to innovation.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences is China's highest academic institution in natural sciences and its supreme scientific and technological advisory body, and national comprehensive research and development center in natural sciences and high technologies. With over 50,000 staff, CAS has 12 branch offices, over 100 institutes, more than 100 national key laboratories and national engineering research centers, and 212 field stations throughout the country.

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