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Towards low-carbon cities in China: integrating greenhouse gas management in urban planning
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9616-635X
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0297-598X
2014 (English)In: Resilience – The New Research Frontier, Trondheim: Norwegian University of Science and Technology , 2014, 150-164 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Low-carbon development has been proposed as one of the key national environmental strategies by the central government of China. There are hundreds of Chinese cities that have set low-carbon goals and there are many types of plan within the urban planning system. However, these plans face great challenges. For example, the current urban planning approach focuses on spatial arrangements while it has difficulties in recognising the complexity of GHG metabolism. As another example, urban planning lacks stakeholder involvement and cooperation which contributes to the failure to monitor GHG emissions. This study compares the situation in China with that experienced in Stockholm, Sweden and proposes an approach to improve low-carbon planning. This approach involves integrating GHG accounting into urban planning based on Industrial Ecology knowledge. Using lessons learnt from the Eco-Cycle Model 2.0 in Stockholm, the study highlights the intimate relationship between energy consumption and GHG emissions in Chinese cities, which requires integrating energy systems thinking and GHG thinking into the urban planning process. A life cycle perspective is needed in urban planning to integrate parallel energy consumption and GHG emissions budgeting in different urban sectors. Furthermore, a GHG metabolic approach may become a broad platform for communicating low-carbon development among different stakeholders in a city.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Trondheim: Norwegian University of Science and Technology , 2014. 150-164 p.
Keyword [en]
Low-carbon city, urban planning, GHG metabolism
National Category
Environmental Management
Research subject
Industrial Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-174074ISBN: 978-82-91917-34-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-174074DiVA: diva2:857552
Conference
Proceedings of the 20th International Sustainable Development Research Conference Trondheim 18-20 June 2014
Note

QC 20150929

Available from: 2015-09-29 Created: 2015-09-29 Last updated: 2015-09-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Low-Carbon City Initiatives in China: Planning Approaches, Dilemmas and Opportunities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Low-Carbon City Initiatives in China: Planning Approaches, Dilemmas and Opportunities
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In order to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, tackle climate change and move toward sustainable development, the central government in China has proposed low-carbon city development as the national strategy and relevant initiatives have been taken by local governments. This thesis analyses current low-carbon city programmes and planning approaches in China, identifies limitations and proposes a metabolic approach that could be used to account for physical resources, monitor GHG emissions and involve stakeholders in the planning process.

There are currently two parallel programmes for low-carbon initiatives in China: the “Low-Carbon City” programme and the “Low-Carbon Eco-City” programme. Around thirty cities in the Coastal, Central and Western regions of China have been selected as the national pilot areas for these programmes. This widespread distribution marks a change the previous priority set on development in the Coastal region, meaning that more cities have opportunities to explore low-carbon pathways and obtain support from the state. The large number of cities involved shows China’s determination to transition to low-carbon development in different city contexts. The selected cities have set up local administrative groups to manage low-carbon development and have established integrated approaches to reduce GHG emissions from urban sectors such as energy, transportation, buildings and waste. Some plans have been developed by the cities themselves, while others have involved international cooperation. However, because of limited knowledge on low-carbon city development, an absence of established standards and procedures and the Chinese top-down planning system, low-carbon planning faces specific challenges, such as lack of information about GHG flows, GHG monitoring and stakeholder involvement.

To overcome these challenges and improve low-carbon city approaches in China, this thesis proposes a holistic approach to low-carbon city development, by integrating Industrial Ecology into urban planning. Such work would benefit greatly from adopting a metabolic approach, within which a metabolic approach-based standard is used to understand low-carbon city from GHG flows; a DPSIR framework is used to address root causes of GHG emissions; and an Eco-Cycle Model is used to describe urban metabolism and account for physical resources, monitor GHG emissions and involve stakeholders in the planning process.

The thesis also recommends better collaboration between relevant government departments and stakeholders. Moreover, instead of simply transferring approaches developed elsewhere, international cooperation needs to combine the local context and knowledge in China with international knowledge and experience. In return, experiences from China can help improve low-carbon city approaches in other parts of the world.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. vi, 43 p.
Series
TRITA-IM-LIC, 2015:01
Keyword
Low-carbon city; Urban planning; Metabolic approach
National Category
Other Civil Engineering
Research subject
Industrial Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-174076 (URN)978-91-7595-693-0 (ISBN)
Presentation
2015-10-20, E2, Lindstedtsvägen 3, KTH, Stockholm, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20150929

Available from: 2015-09-29 Created: 2015-09-29 Last updated: 2015-09-29Bibliographically approved

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Zhou, Guanghong

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