Analyzing eco-cities by comparing European and Chinese experiences
Many cities have taken initiatives to become more sustainable or ecological cities. However, no definition of eco-city is generally accepted and few efforts have been made to actually measure achievements on a number of critical dimensions such as ecological policies, water management, energy saving, infrastructure policies, integrated urban management. In this chapter, eight Chinese and two European eco-cities are compared to determine the differences and common challenges faced in the transition process. The analysis of the Chinese eco-cities shows that their approach is often not integrated nor based on a strategic vision. Their study of ecocities often focuses on only one or two sectoral issues. Integrated approach could indeed be incorporated in the framework of urban management but it is essential to involve stakeholders at different levels in the implementation process. During this process, their initiatives should be facilitated in line with the eco- city objectives. Based on data collected from eight Chinese eco-cities and two European eco-cities it is concluded that the eco initiatives are often very sectoral and not based on an integrated strategy. Such a strategy could be part of an urban management approach, which would try to involve the relevant stakeholders.