The Sustainable Cities Program is interested in efforts to:
- Support planning and implementation of urban development projects, and promote development of related policies at all levels of government regulation;
- Demonstrate high quality bus transit systems and promote development of related policies at the national and provincial government levels;
- Support large scale building retrofits for higher energy efficiency, scale green building development and renewable energy application in buildings, and promote stringent building energy efficiency standards at national and provincial levels;
- Educate and inspire decision makers and build local capacity for sustainable urban and transportation planning, and high energy-efficient building system implementation.
The goal of the Sustainable Cities Program is to reduce carbon emissions and air pollution in new and existing Chinese cities by promoting sustainable urbanization, green transportation, and energy efficient building systems.
More than 350 million people will move to China’s cities in the next 15 years. Without proper urban planning, design, and construction focused on sustainable development, China may be forced to rebuild its infrastructure not long after it is put in place, leading to tremendous waste of energy and resources. In addition, with rising living standards, China’s building energy consumption will continue to increase. A further cause for concern is that more of China’s new cities and developments are adopting U.S. urban development patterns: sprawl, 10-lane expressways, and mega-blocks.
Fortunately, China’s national government and an increasing number of local leaders recognize the drawbacks of this approach and are looking for a low-carbon development alternative. Our work is aimed at promoting sustainable urban development patterns that encourage compact, mixed-use, and transit-oriented development, as well as green transportation systems. In addition, we aim to make the building sector more energy efficient by promoting green building and renewable energy.
To reach this overarching goal, the Sustainable Cities Program works with the national government and municipal governments to: (1) establish pilots and demonstration programs to provide concrete examples of sustainable urban development; (2) draw upon pilots to train local planning and design staff and inform policy development at the municipal, provincial, and national levels; and (3) provide high-quality training programs for officials, local experts, and students.