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Urban Sustainability Measurement in China: Fostering a Race to the Top


Jan 30, 2018 - 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.


Columbia University, Low Library, Faculty Room

Sustainability is now widely recognized as an essential component for development in China, with the Chinese government setting ambitious environmental and social targets. However, the sheer pace of China’s economic growth makes establishing a sustainable development strategy a difficult task that requires purposeful decentralized action. This event will explore the importance of a standardized system to assess sustainability at the local level. We will present and discuss the recently launched China Sustainable Development Indicator System (CSDIS), an annual ranking of the sustainability performance of Chinese cities and provinces created jointly by the Earth Institute’s Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management and Beijing-based CCIEE, the China Center for International Economic Exchanges. Details of the system are available at urbansustainability.org.

The event will introduce the ranking and explore the value of measuring a broad but transparent set of sustainability indicators to encourage cities and provinces to begin a race to the top in environmental quality. The panelists will discuss how such systems can complement policymaking in China's local administrative system, the balance between the state and the private sector as well as sustainable development in China more broadly.

This event is free and open to the public; RSVP required. The panel will be followed by a reception with wine, beer, and hors d’oeuvres.


Introductory Remarks:
Steve Cohen, Executive Director, Earth Institute

Satyajit Bose, Lecturer and Associate Director of the Research Program on Sustainability Policy & Management

Weiping Wu, Professor and Director, Urban Planning Program, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation
Jonathan Krane, Founder & CEO of KraneShares
Dong Guo, Associate Research Scholar and Director of the Earth Institute China Initiative