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1.Urban sustainability indicators re-visited: lessons from property-led urban development in China

Author:Xu, YQ;Keivani, R;Cao, AJ


Abstract:This paper proposes a bespoke urban sustainability indicator framework in the context of China's prevalent property-led urban development. Emphasising local characteristics and incorporating underlying institutions, it advocates a more nuanced, holistic and dynamic approach when addressing sustainability issues. Selection of indicators were based on extensive literature reviews and tested through an international expert survey comprising both China-based and overseas-based experts. The two groups of experts have shown divergent views, with the former prioritising economic and institutional aspects over environmental and social factors. It also provides transferable policy insights into developing countries more generally, given many similarities in broader development challenges. Discussion on recent literature and urban development reinforces the applicability of these tailor-made indicators to not only monitoring but also explaining and predicting urban changes. We argue it is necessary to recognise the centrality of property-led urban development in urban sustainable development, and the need for examining the complex relations between the property sector and urban sustainability via inclusion of institutional analysis and a multi-method approach combining quantitative and qualitative evaluations.

2.Green building cluster: Key to China's green building industrialisation?

Author:Xu, Y


Abstract:Green building has become a primary development goal in China, but how to promote the scaling development of the green building industry remains challenging. This paper overviews the development of the global green market and identifies that green building has already become a global trend with important business opportunities. It further utilises the concept of 'Industrial Cluster' (Porter 1990) and discusses its adaptation to green building cluster since the late 1990s overseas. Cases in Europe and America prove its multiple benefits to the cluster members, cluster management, industrial development and regional economic growth. An effective green building cluster combines the traditional building sector with emerging areas of opportunities, and adapts to the local industrial basis and development conditions, including demand, factor, context, and related supporting industries (Diamond Model by Porter 1990). It argues that by extending the industrial chain, developing new knowledge, products, services and business relations, as well as inducing scaling impacts within and out of the cluster, the green building cluster conforms to the primary requirement of sustainable development and industrial upgrading. This paper concludes that the green building cluster has the potential to identify new growth points and promote large-scale green urban development in China, which further contributes to the reform of the prevalent yet unsustainable urban development in China which is property-led, investment-driven and energy-intensive.
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