An unidentified man flies a kite amid the newly redeveloped waterfront of Tianjin, one of five megacities under direct control of China’s central government. Nearly 300 Fortune 500 companies have branch offices in Tianjin’s Binhai New Area, on the Bohai Sea, site of perhaps China’s most ambitious eco-city project. (Photo by M. Burnham)

Innovations in Urbanization Resources and Affiliations 


A River Ran Through It: Case study of Yuhuan, disappearing Chinese island, & aspiring eco-city

Michael Burnham - November 1, 2011
In the summer of 2011, while working at CAUPD's Beijing headquarters, I helped develop a master plan for Yuhuan County, Zhejiang Province's easternmost municipality, about 300 kilometers south of Shanghai. My team and I spent nine days in Yuhuan, toured the Singapore-sized county, and met with local government officials. This paper, whose intended audience is urban planners and other sustainable development practitioners working in China, uses Yuhuan to explore the broader planning and policy challenges and opportunities China faces as it urbanizes. More specifically, this paper proposes how and why Yuhuan — and, presumably, other Chinese cities — should integrate sustainable development best practices from some of the world's best-planned “eco-cities.”