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UPDATED: September 10, 2012 NO. 37 SEPTEMBER 13, 2012
A Low-Carbon City

Nanchang, capital of central China's Jiangxi Province, is a rich cultural city with a long history. It connects China's three major economic circles of the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta and the west coast of the Taiwan Straits. It is an important traffic hub and a modern manufacturing base. To rein in the many side effects spurred by rapid development, the city is now engaged in a campaign to change its mode of development. Meanwhile, it is actively seeking to carry out extensive and in-depth cooperation with domestic and foreign partners to create a low-carbon economy.

China's urban construction mode is problematic, marked by high emissions, high pollution and high consumption. Therefore, the transition to a low-carbon economic mode is now a critical demand for China's urbanization.

In early 2010, Nanchang was the only provincial capital city to be designated as a pilot location for the development of a low-carbon economy. Before this, the low-carbon city pilot program between China and Britain had already started, and Nanchang was also the only pilot city in China. These two programs will finally pave the way for the construction of the Boyanghu Lake ecological economic zone.

Nanchang has taken the lead in pushing forward green programs. It carried out pilot programs to assess local officials' performance based on green indexes. Citizens there are encouraged to travel in a low-carbon way. A total of more than 7,500 public bicycles have been offered to the public, and around 35,000 citizens have rental cards.

According to the plan for a low-carbon industrial park, a series of domestic and foreign environment-friendly enterprises and projects have chosen Nanchang for their industrial bases.

The city pays much attention to international cooperation. It has close communication with international organizations like the World Wildlife Fund and the World Meteorological Organization. Meanwhile, it has consulted with countries such as Austria, Britain, Germany and the United States on low-carbon economy.

As a major cooperation program in China's low-carbon urban construction, a low-carbon city development plan was jointly issued by Nanchang and the Austrian Institute of Technology, which conducted comprehensive analysis for the city's policies and measures in constructing a low-carbon city. It is a guideline for an overall low-carbon city construction, a big step forward in the development of a low-carbon future.

The plan has put forward several low-carbon cooperation programs. For example, large-scale low-carbon communities will be built in the city. The demonstration, replication and implementation of this program will include more local residents in the low-carbon efforts. A smart transport system will be set up, which can adjust traffic flows to optimum condition. The two countries will also jointly build a first-class low-carbon hospital in the city.

From individual pilot programs to regional implementation, Nanchang has just taken the first step in constructing a low-carbon city. We hope the city will continue to improve and serve as an example for the rest of the country.

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