Things are going pretty badly in Chinese urban areas; last year, more than half of 500 cities failed to meet national air quality standards and almost 1/3 of non-industrial sewage went untreated. Even worse, in 193 other cities, there was no sewage treatment at all. But there's hope on the horizon. The Chinese government has been trying a new way of doing things, what it calls a "circular economy". There are few details about what exactly it is that they are doing, and I could be reading too much into this, but there are reasons to believe that it is along the lines of what enviro-thinker William McDonough
was describing in Cradle To Cradle
(great book, highly recommended!). McDonough and Michael Braungart's book has a new title in its chinese translation: "Cradle to Cradle: Design for the Circular Economy". It looks like parts of China have taken this to heart...Wang said the three cities - Guiyang in Southwest China's Guizhou Province, Rizhao in East China's Shandong Province and Zhangjiagang in East China's Jiangsu Province - are experimenting with a circular, or recycling, economy under the administration's instruction.
Guiyang's legislature even passed a regulation on developing the circular economies, which is the country's first of its kind, Wang said.
In addition, the administration is helping the National Development and Reform Commission to design policies that are expected to develop circular economies across the country, he added.
To encourage cities, the administration has so far labelled 47 as national models for environmental protection. This scheme started in 1997.
More than 100 cities are asking to take part in the programme.
::Pollution blights many cities in China