Sunday, September 3, 2006
The land use decisions that China make today will affect how the world's most populous nation, indeed the world, will look like for years to come. Enormous land and water projects such as the Three Gorges Dam will transform both growth urban and rural growth, as well as the environment, in myriad ways. Meanwhile, the push for urbanization will soon make China's factories the world's biggest source of greenhouse gases.
Meanwhile, China's cities are becoming more and more like the West. The Chinese premier has warned local government leaders, who have been given more power in recent years, to guard against urban sprawl and the excessive use of resources. And the most famous feature of China's cities under the Communist regime -- the bicycle -- may soon be the thing of the past.