The Rise of China's Sustainable Eco-Cities

China's rapid urbanization has afforded it the opportunity to build new, environmentally friendly eco-cities. Its efforts may be a model for the rest of the urbanizing world. 

What's the Latest Development?

China's rapid urbanization has afforded it the opportunity to build new, environmentally friendly cities. One such city is Tianjin Eco-City. Located just an hour from Beijing by high-speed rail, it is full of new technologies meant to make city living more efficient and livable. One fifth of the city's electricity will come from emission-free sources like wind and solar power; buildings are equipped with sound and motion-sensing lights which automatically switch on and off, saving energy; GE will begin testing driverless vehicle networks; everywhere is walkable so people do not feel excluded from the city's neighborhoods. 

What's the Big Idea?

The future of humanity belongs to cities, which is especially true in China. More than half of the country's 1.3 billion people already live in urban areas, which at 690 million is more than double the entire US population. "In 1980, less than 20% of the Chinese population lived in cities. By 2030, this number is predicted to rise to 75%." As this trend continues worldwide, governments and industry must make cities better places to live. Ho Tong Yen, head designer of the Tianjin Eco-City, said "being green isn't a luxury, it's an affordable necessity. This city should be a practical, replicable, scalable model for elsewhere in China and the world."

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