Ex­perts pro­mote con­cepts of green liv­ing in city spa­ces

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By TANG ZHI­HAO in Shang­hai tangzhi­hao@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Build­ing a green liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment is not just about parks and trees, ac­cord­ing to ex­perts at the Ninth Global Con­fer­ence on Health Pro­mo­tion in Shang­hai onMon­day.

“A green life­style in ur­ban ar­eas is not only about tak­ing walks in parks, but also about main­tain­ing good health and en­joy­ing a low-carbon life,” said Gong Peng, pro­fes­sor of global change ecol­ogy at Ts­inghua Univer­sity.

“Ci­ties can be greener if peo­ple eat healthy food, think pos­i­tively, haveasense of hap­pi­ness and sup­port each other.”

China has re­ported sig­nif­i­cant growth in ur­ban­iza­tion pro­cesses in the past decades. The ur­ban­iza­tion rate of per­ma­nent res­i­dents in the coun­try grewby 1.33 per­cent to 56.1 per­cent last year, with the num­ber of ur­ban res­i­dents in­creas­ing to 771 mil­lion.

How­ever, rapid ur­ban­iza­tion has led to a se­ries of is­sues, with­many ci­ties feel­ing over­whelmed.

“We are fac­ing many en­vi­ron­men­tal prob­lems, such as air and soil pol­lu­tion, which have a di­rect im­pact on peo­ple’s health,” Gong said.

Chi­nese citieshave tak­en­dif­fer­ent ap­proaches to im­prove stan­dards of ur­ban liv­ing to guar­an­tee a healthy en­vi­ron­ment for their res­i­dents.

“We have made sig­nif­i­cant break­throughs in pro­tec­tion and pol­lu­tion treat­ment of water re­sources,” said Qu Hai, mayor of Chen­zhou, Hu­nan prov­ince. Chen­zhou is renowned for its 1,000-year his­tory of min­ing and metal smelt­ing.

The city now has 90 coal mi­ne­sand326non­fer­rous­metal mines, down from 576 and 747 mines re­spec­tively in 2005.

Ex­perts at the con­fer­ence also pro­moted the con­cept of ver­ti­cal city con­struc­tion, aimed at help­ing large ci­ties cope with an in­creas­ing num­ber of res­i­dents through amore ef­fi­cient use of land space.

A ver­ti­cal city refers to an ex­tremely tall ar­chi­tec­tural struc­ture with mul­ti­ple lay­ers and func­tions, in­clud­ing busi­nesses, en­ter­tain­ment, art and cul­ture venues, and res­i­den­tial spa­ces, ac­cord­ing to Xia Jun, lead de­signer of the Shang­hai Tower.

“As an in­ter­na­tional city, Shang­hai has to adopt a ver­ti­cal city de­vel­op­ment strat­egy,” Xi­a­said. “Ver­ti­calde­vel­op­ment and the con­cept of green liv­ing donot con­flict with­ea­chother.”

At 632 me­ters tall, Shang­hai Tower is the sec­ond-tallest build­ing in the world and cov­ers a to­tal floor area of 578,000 square me­ters.

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