Yes, China is doing something about its mess of new cities.
CC Huang of Energy Innovation had a broader perspective on the potential use of these guidelines. “Our guidelines are designed with every city in China in mind. We find them to be the minimum requirement for any city in general. Not just any special eco-city or smart-city that is put on a pedestal. Right now, these guidelines are what we found to be foundational and necessary.”
I asked CC Huang about the potential for these guidelines to become the new marketing in front of another round of greenwashing campaigns. “One wonderful aspect of the marriage of green and smart is a lot of these smart technologies will require data collection and data monitoring,” she replied. “So if you look at installing a building management system in addition to building a green building with green technology there’s a much higher chance that greenwashing will not occur.”
In pursuit of what the Chinese government is calling “Eco-civilization,” China is looking for a new framework to create more energy efficient, less polluting, and better designed cities to assuage the urbanization disaster they’ve been creating over the past three decades. Eco-cities, low-carbon cities, smart cities, sponge cities, and many other trendy named types of urbanism are all being liberally implemented across the country, and CDBC hopes that their new guidelines could someday be used to hold it all together.
“We have considered what is feasible in China,” Huang said, “and have very comprehensive examples from both the US and Europe to say, ‘This is the way to do it’ and it’s been done very successfully already.”
Living in an overpriced, cramped apartment on the 32nd floor of a soot-caked, smog shrouded high-rise that’s sticking up out of the top of a shopping mall and surrounded by elevated highways currently seems to be the “white picket fence” of the Chinese dream. But maybe it won’t be this way for long.
This article was originally published on Forbes at New Urbanization Guidelines Set To Fix China’s Cities.
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