URBAN DEVELOPMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES
Beijing’s permanent population has increased from 13.8 million in 2000 to 21.7 million in 2016 while the built-up area has increased from 488 km2 in 2000 to 1400 km2 in 2016. Urban green space accounts for about 821 km2 , corresponding to 21 m2 per inhabitant. By the end of 2015, there were 339 registered municipal parks with 290 of them providing free access to the public.
Beijing municipal government initiated a mega urban greening project in 2012. In the first phase of the project, 54 million trees were planted on 6,700 ha of land between 2012 and 2016. The second phase of the project started in 2018 and 600 ha of new tree plantations will be added in 2018.
High population density, rapidly expanded built-up areas, and increased private car ownership have contributed to severe smog problems in Beijing, particularly in winter. In 2013, only 176 days were classified as days meeting air quality standards. In 2017, 226 days were classified as attainment days.
Increase of flash flooding and heat island intensities are other negative impacts resulting from the rapid urbanisation in Beijing. The government and residents share a common goal to make the city more liveable.
NBS IN FOCUS
Addressing the smog problem through strategically locating trees near pollution sources such as main transportation arteries, power plants and open land and selecting tree species that have low emission rates of biogenic volatile organic compounds to avoid secondary pollution
Alleviating flash flooding in urban areas through increasing the storm water retention capacity of existing and planned tree planting sites
Addressing urban heat island intensities through a comprehensive analysis of impacts of existing and planned tree plantations on urban residents’ thermal comfort
Enhancing the liveability of the city through improving the biodiversity of existing plantations and increasing the supply of cultural ecosystem services from current and planned urban tree plantations to urban residents
- Developing best management practices (BMP) in urban greening to inform Beijing as well as other Chinese cities
- Involving a broad range of stakeholders including citizens, NGOs, schools, private sector and administrators in NBS projects
- Educating school children on the importance of natural elements in urban environments
- Technical guidelines for planting new urban tree plantations, including site selection and preparation, species selection, planting arrangement, and maintenance
- Technical guidelines for improving the provision of ecosystem services of existing urban tree plantations
- Protocols for measuring and quantifying the important ecosystem services before-and-after the planting and improvements
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