China’s rapid industrial development has resulted in serious environmental problems for a country where environmental regulations have lagged behind its astronomical industrial growth. Forbes magazine reported that in 2006, all 10 of the 10 most polluted cities in the world were in China, and the pollution has caused serious health problems across the country. These problems take form in air pollution - due to increased energy consumption, soil problems and river cessation - due to overgrazing and expansion of agricultural land, and severe water pollution.
A few stories have popped up in the past few days that indicate a shift in thinking within the Chinese architecture and design community. We hope that Chinese officials follow their lead, because to date - true to form - legislation has lagged behind design innovation.
*The Climate Group plans to develop 15 to 20 low carbon cities in China as part of the organization’s drive to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and battle climate change. In addition to working with large cities, the group seeks to engage what it described as “second” and “third-tier” cities and views the smaller municipalities as greater opportunities for development.
According to Wu Changhua, the director for Greater China of The Climate Group, the organization is already talking with seven to to eight cities, and plans to urge local governments and businesses to help foster the concept. Guiyang in China’s Guizhou province, which has crafted a strategic plan to make the city more eco-friendly, is working with the group and undertaking five energy saving programs, according to Wang Chengbo, director of The Climate Group’s Chinese City Leadership Program. [via GreenBiz]
*The Chinese paints and coating industry was not hit by the worldwide economic downturn until September last year, and it’s expected to recover by early next year with the help of greener products, according to marker research from Frost & Sullivan. China, which is the world’s second largest paints and coating market after the US, saw overseas orders decrease by more than 20 percent while the market share for green paints and cleaners - those that use fewer or no harsh chemicals or can help achieve resource efficiency - are expected to see high growth from now until 2011, in spite of the economy. Output for the overall Chinese paints and coating industry is expected to start seeing double digit growth rates again in 2010. [via GreenBiz]
*Studio SHIFT and SWA Group were selected to design Miyi Tower on the Anning river. The Los Angeles based firms are planning to transform the area of New South Town in Sichuan Provence to include a high-density residential and cultural hub and a neighboring water purification plant. The project’s goal is to trasform the heavily polluted river into a viable ecosystem. [via Inhabitat]