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China Rethinks Cities

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Science  20 May 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6288, pp. 916-918
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6288.916

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China is rethinking its urbanization. Although the rapid growth of the nation's cities helped lift hundreds of millions of people out of rural poverty, the breakneck pace has created urban sprawl, car-dependency, massive traffic jams, skyrocketing emissions, sedentary lifestyles, and cityscapes lacking character or individuality. In February, national authorities adopted new urbanization guidelines that should, over time, lead to more compact cities with denser networks of narrow streets, more pedestrian and cycling lanes, better public transport, mixed-use zoning, and more green space. Planners and developers don't have to look outside China for examples to follow. Many neighborhoods within China's major cities provide home-grown examples of urbanization done right.

  • * in Guangzhou, China