This paper is based on research in Chinese cities. It addresses the issues related to urban environmental performance and sustainability in emerging Chinese cities. The result shows that: (1) To basically control the degradation of urban environment the minimum per capita GDP should be about 1000 USD in China. This amount is only one third of that in the developed world; (2) The average share in GDP necessary for environmental investments is 2.9%. Such an amount would help to avoid further urban environmental degradation in Chinese big cities. 1.7% of GDP would be necessary for medium-sized cities. These environmental investments will have a positive impact on local economic growth and social progress; (3) Cities are in different stages from non-sustainability to sustainability, and the major characteristics of cities in these different stages will be presented in this paper; (4) It is obvious that significant differences in urban environmental management exist in cities that were identified and which are at different stages of urban sustainability; (5) Directions for improving urban environmental management and sustainability in China will be recommended.

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Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS)
IHS Working Papers
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS)

van Dijk, M. P., & Zhang, M. (2008). Urban environmental and economic performance linked to sustainability: Evidence from
big and medium size Chinese cities (No. IHS WP 15). IHS Working Papers. Retrieved from