China Environmental News Digest

Daily updated Environmental news related to China

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Resources, environment top concern in urbanization drive

Nov. 9 (Xinhuanet) -- China has to be resource-efficient and environment-friendly in its urbanization process, a city planning expert with Ministry of Construction has said.

"We have to change our traditional mode of economic growth and urban development, boost recycling-based economy and protect our ecological environment in order to build resource-saving and environment-friendly cities," said the ministry's chief planner Chen Xiaoli on Wednesday.

China's ongoing urbanization process, which will last for many years to come, will divert large flocks of rural dwellers to cities and bring drastic changes to its social structure, given its huge population base, said Chen.

"In a country with 1.3 billion people, every 10-percent rise in urbanization rate moves 130 million people from the countryside tocities -- about the entire population of Japan," she said. "If China's urbanization drive advances by 20 percent, the number of migrants is close to the population of the United States."

If China could find a sound and efficient way of urban development under such circumstances, it will make important contribution to the entire humanity by boosting the sustainable development of the global economy, Chen said at an international conference on sustainable urban development that opened Wednesday in Nanning, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

China's urbanization rate rocketed to 41.8 percent in 2004 from17.9 percent in 1978, the year it started to reform and open up to the outside world. In the meantime, the country's urban population rose from 170 million to 540 million and the number of cities increased from 193 to 661.

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