With close to 1.5 billion citizens, including a middle-class that is estimated to grow from 12% in 2010 to 50% of the population by 2021, China’s changing patterns of consumption and migration are of global significance. As people earn more money, access to health, education, and capital increases creating new opportunities for improving quality of life. It also means huge numbers of people are consuming more protein-based foods, buying more consumer goods, traveling more, demanding more energy and water, etc. China is unquestionably on a fast economic development trajectory, but at what risk? Can the country’s ecological infrastructure keep up? What systems and initiatives are in place to ensure the sustainability of ecosystem services, particularly water resources, that so much of this development relies on?
Since 2010, CLiGS has worked in the Upper Mekong Basin in Yunnan Province, the Yangtze River Delta in the metropolitan area surrounding Shanghai, and the Lijiang River in Guangxi Province, exploring the implications of various economic development strategies on the ecological infrastructure systems of the region, namely water systems, and what opportunities and strategies are available to manage these more sustainably.
- Partnered with American Institute of Architects Housing Knowledge Community to explore the challenges and strategies for sustainable housing development in Yunnan Province
- XMNR 2014 cohort team explored the challenges to sustainable housing in Yunnan and opportunities for partnership between the American Institute of Architects and Chinese partners
- XMNR 2014 cohort team assessed network development opportunities and challenges in Yunnan Province
- XMNR 2014 cohort team assessed role and opportunities for heritage and luxury tourism for sustainable development in Yunnan Province
- XMNR 2013 cohort assessed the feasibility of developing a watershed management simulation tool and game for Erhai Basin in Dali Prefecture
- XMNR 2012 cohort developed guidelines for sustainable hotel operations in Xizhou Village
- Examined impacts of tourism development on cultural terraced landscapes in Longsheng Region of Guangxi Province (2011)