Challenges to Urbanization in Tianjin

Although already at 11 million residents, Tianjin is expected to see a surge in population by 2030. Photo by Bill Benson

A recent episode of the CNN series, Future Cities, highlights the challenges Tianjin, China faces as it follows a recognizable urbanization model. Currently the city houses 11 million residents with more on the way. According to Richard Quest, the host of the show, by 2030, one billion people will be living in Chinese cities. This means an additional 350 million people will migrate to Chinese cities, extending the boundaries of urbanization and putting a new pressure on resources.

But Tianjin does not have any intentions on stopping urbanization, as it sees such a process part of improving economic development and reducing poverty. In fact, Chinese projects that aim to tackle the challenges of urbanization look towards large-scale eco-cities on the peripheries of major urban centers.  Such projects pledge to environmental consciousness through utilizing renewable sources of energy and non-traditional water supplies that take pressure off existing resources.

Though the rates of urbanization in China are undeniable, recent efforts to tackle urbanization have fallen short. We recently covered China’s ghost towns, villages of skyscrapers built to serve a privileged niche group, unattainable to those who are truly in need.

What do you think about China’s eco-cities? What is a successful model to meet the challenges of urbanization in developing countries?

Click the image below to watch the video from Future Cities on Tianjin.

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