Shenzhen Low Carbon City | Shenzhen is not really a popular tourist destination. Shenzhen can be compared with the Silicon Valley in the U.S. Lots of tech companies did settle here. Regarding things touristy: the 10 million people metropolis got Mount Wuton, some nice beaches and a few historic sites (such as Dapeng Fortress and Splendid China). That is usually not enough to get the attention of western travelers. Especially with China’s air quality index for big cities literally hitting new records from bad to worse each year. But Shenzhen is an exception. Against all odds the local government pushes this city hard in its fight against pollution. Strict air quality standards were rolled out in 2014. And the results are stunning. In 2017 Shenzhen is ranked #3 in the list of China’s cities with the lowest level of air pollution, only beaten by Sanya and Haikou, still ahead of Lhasa in Tibet. How could that happen?
No more ‘Airpocalypse’ in Shenzhen
Shenzhen was one of first batch of the so-called “Low Carbon Cities”. The Communist Party called it a “new concept of urban development”. Nine years after this programme began, Shenzhen is attracting attention for having reduced its average air pollution by around 50%. There is a long list of environmentally friendly innovations such as electric buses and cabs, a new carbon trading scheme for firms, and the closure of polluting industries in the region. But that would not be enough. The most effective weapon is perhaps stricter enforcement of air quality laws, with teams of inspectors visiting unsuspecting factories. Shenzhen’s Environment Commission punishes violators severely. If a company is really discharging pollution these days, it will become the subject of inspection on an hourly basis. Just try to imaging this. You pollute the air and your local major is fining you heavily right at your front door some 10 times per day. We got a theme alert here! We found the first politicians we would seriously vote for!
History of Shenzhen
Shenzhen was a relatively small market town of just 30,000 people a few kilometers north of Hongkong. That changed in 1980. Shenzhen was given city-status with the goal to establish China’s first SEZ (Special Economic Zone). Just 35 years later Shenzhen hit a milestone: In 2015 it counted a population of staggering 10,78 million. Shenzhen became the fastest-growing city in the world during the 80s, 90s and 2000s. Today Shenzhen is a major financial center – home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and the headquarter of numerous high-tech companies. It also has the worlds 3rd largest container port. For readers interested in more detailed articles about this hot topic: go to Shenzhen low carbon city at -> Virgin.com
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