The CSTB is investing in the creation of sustainable cities in China

City of Jingzhou: future eco-city. Photo: CSTB

The CSTB is collaborating with two partner institutions in China to develop sustainable cities in the country. Eventually, about 10 eco-cities will spring up and become pioneer cities.

The Chinese government is implementing an ambitious policy to rebalance the distribution of its population on its territory. Because the country’s coast is urbanized and saturated, the initiative aims to attract new populations to existing rural towns and create the conditions for an environmentally respectful economic and social development. Two partnerships have been forged between Chinese urban management organizations and the CSTB.

  • One brings together the Chinese Society for Urban Studies (CSUS) and the CSTB. It was signed in March 2017 in Beijing and involves consulting and cooperation in building sustainable cities.

  • The second partnership was signed in June 2017 by the China Eco-City Academy (CECA), responsible for implementing national urban policy, and the CSTB, for the practical development of about ten eco-cities on pilot sites.

To guide the sustainable urban development of Chinese cities, the CSTB brought together experts from different fields—energy, environment, water management, risk mitigation—and teamed up with urban planners, including David Mangin, who received the 2008 Grand Prix de l'Urbanisme, the French urban design award, and Florence Bougnoux, his associate, a specialist in sustainable cities, eco-neighborhoods and eco-cities from the architectural firm SEURA.

Under the leadership of the CSTB, discussions take place with the CECA and local authorities through local workshops, each dedicated to the development of two or three eco-cities.

To date, four cities have benefited from the guidance of the CSTB: Jingzhou to the west of Shanghai in Hubei Province; Jilin and Panshi north of Beijing in Jilin Province; and Qingyun in Shandong Province in the northwest of the country.

This common work around low-carbon urban development fits into an “eco-city” project based on nine criteria of the Chinese “eco-city” label managed by the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban and Rural Development.

In addition, these four cities are pursuing HQE™ development certification.

A fifth city is joining the efforts: Foshan, in Guangdong Province.

Objective: Sustainable Cities

The design of urban projects, driven by the CSTB, includes several themes to turn current cities into eco-cities. This involves:

  • Sustainable development: Application of France's Factor 4 for the reduction of CO2 emissions; preservation of natural resources and biodiversity, and use of local resources.
  • Quality of life and health: Cleanup of the water of nearby rivers and lakes, and flood risk management. Air quality is also a key concern.
  • Mobility: Reduction of car use by increasing the availability of public transport and encouraging travel by foot and bike.
  • Waste treatment: Reduction of waste by sorting and recycling.
  • Energy savings, measured at the scale of the building, city and region, with criteria related to the development of a low-carbon strategy or the use of renewable energy.
  • Another major issue: Development of an attractive identity that promotes the economy, cultural heritage and local resources to develop tourism and attract people to eco-cities.