Nanchang taking real action to achieve low-carbon dream

Updated: 2011-11-17

  Nov. 15, (Xinhua) - In a low-carbon city, the scene of a forest of buildings rising through heavy haze above roads jammed with cars can only be found recorded in documentaries.

  That is the dream of Chinese cities, many of which are burdened with poor air and traffic congestion. Nanchang, the capital of the eastern Jiangxi province, is taking a pioneering and concrete step toward achieving that ideal.

  The city issued a detailed plan for the transformation to a low-carbon city at an ongoing five-day low-carbon forum and exhibition held in Nanchang ending Tuesday. A low-carbon city features relatively rapid economic development and low-level of both energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

  According to the plan jointly compiled by Nanchang's government and the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Nanchang will invest 81.7 billion yuan (12.9 billion U.S. dollars) in the next five years in seven fields including solar power, LEDs, tourism and low carbon traffic networks. The plan also includes a one-square-kilometer low-carbon community and low-carbon hospitals.

  It proposes a 38-percent decline in carbon dioxide emissions per unit of Nanchang's GDP by 2015 from 2005 levels, and a 45 to 48 percent reduction by 2020.

  "AIT will introduce its ideas, designs and technologies in the project," said Brigitte Bach, head of Energy Department of AIT. "After the program is successfully completed, private cars will be much less useful and the city is much less concentrated with several centers," she said.

  She said residents will not use air conditioners or heating in their apartments any longer as building materials will keep indoor temperatures at comfortable levels and stable all year long.

  The move is part of the city government's drive in the next five-year development plan, which promises that people can get to grocery stores or gyms within five minutes and get to schools or transport stations in 10 minutes. They will only need to walk to accomplish 70 percent of their daily chores.

  "The guideline aims to promote the city as a pilot to a model so as to provide experiences for other Chinese cities that are in the rapid process of urbanization," Bach said.

  "Low-carbon development in Nanchang will not be for show, and the progress will be seen and truly beneficial to the people," said Liu Hua, chief economist with the Nanchang Municipal Communication of Development and Reform.

  "The low-carbon project in Nanchang can be a model in balancing economic development, energy consumption and environment for other Chinese cities, especially those undergoing rapid growth in the western regions," said Xie Fengjun, professor with the Nanchang Hangkong University.


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