TIAN Chengchuan: "China's Innovation in Urbanization: Using Low Carbon Community Pilot as Example"

On February 17, 2016, Dr. Chengchuan TIAN, the director of the Division of Strategic Research and Planning, Department of Climate Change, NDRC, China, gave an enlightening talk on low carbon development projects in China.  Given projected population growth and carbon emissions, Dr. Tian explained that low carbon urbanization is an integral part of creating an “innovative development path” for emerging economies that incorporates efficient carbon usage.

Dr. Tian detailed new low carbon initiatives in China, including low carbon provinces and cities, industrial parks, communities, and towns.  He explained the overall concept as well as the core principles of three types of low carbon communities: new urban, existing urban, and rural.  These principles are based around existing national development strategies and incorporate environmentally friendly planning and construction.  Further, these principles emphasize contextually and geographically appropriate planning methods, and are intentionally supportive of innovative ideas and practices.

Dr. Tian also delineated the construction processes and indicators of low-carbon communities.  Following, he explained several key elements of successful low carbon community pilots.  These include energy saving measures, recycling, and reflection of local culture.  Further, low carbon community pilots are consistently assessed to provide a feedback loop of effectiveness and areas for improvement.  In addition, for rural communities, low carbon urbanization will ideally eradicate poverty and improve public service in those areas.  In closing, Dr. Tian explained how this model well help lower overall carbon emission in China, generate new references and templates for developing countries, and create new business opportunities for sustainable and socially responsible real estate development.

Speaker: TIAN Chengchuan 田成川
Climate Change Department, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)

Chengchuan Tian is a Research Fellow of the Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School, and a Postdoctoral Fellow of Peking University. He is the director of the Division of Strategic Research and Planning, Department of Climate Change, NDRC, China.  Dr. Tian has been engaged in strategic planning and policy making on climate change for many years, and has been involved in the National 11th, 12th, and 13th Five-Year Plan drafting work.

China's Innovation in Urbanization: Using Low Carbon Community Pilot as Example
Low Carbon Community Pilot is an innovation in China’s low carbon development and urbanization. This is an important attempt to change the traditional concept and mode of urban development, and the program will reduce carbon emission from many territories, including building, transportation, energy, water, solid waste systems, etc.  It has been implemented since 2014, and there have since been 1000 new low carbon communities in China.

Recommended reading list

China's Policies and Actions on Climate Change (2015)
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China's Policies and Actions on Climate Change (2015) (in Chinese)
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Low Carbon Development: Sustainable Development Strategies for Poverty Regions (in Chinese)
国家应对气候变化规划(2014-2020)
China’s National Plan on Climate Change (2014-2020) (in Chinese)
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Strengthen Actions on Climate Change-China's Contribution (in Chinese)
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Guidelines for the Construction of Pilot Low Carbon Communities (in Chinese)