International Review for Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development
Online ISSN : 2187-3666
ISSN-L : 2187-3666
Special issue on Sustainability Indicators and Analysis
How Eco are China’s Eco-Cities? An International Perspective
Xiaolong ZouYan Li
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2014 Volume 2 Issue 3 Pages 18-30


To tackle the problems and challenges posed by the rapid urbanization processes and to purse urban development in sustainable manners, the Chinese government has taken vigorous efforts in developing eco-cities across the nation. After reviewing the studies on concepts, frameworks and indicator systems of eco-city, we have observed a large amount of literature on the selection of indicators under a singular framework in China rather than having a quantity comparison from a broader scope. To obtain a quantitative sense of how well China’s eco-cities are doing compared to the best practices in the international arena, we have selected two cases from Japan and Germany. By examining their indicator quantities under the national eco-city framework of China, we have identified the gap between economic related indicator values, suggesting lower averaged economic values and energy efficiencies of Chinese eco-cities. Targets concerning the waste sector are also lower in China than in the other two cases. The environmental indicator values show lower quality than in the other two cases as well, and the social indicators manifest a specific methodological approach for measurements in China. Discussions and suggestions are made based on the outcomes of comparisons, hopefully to provide reference for the future development of eco-cities in China.

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© 2014 SPSD Press.
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