Saturday, February 05, 2011

Urban Sprawl in China - in Picture

CNBC on "The Rise of China's 2nd and 3rd Tier Cities" on February 4th, 2011.

Image published in the Guardian on February 3rd, "China: The year in environment - in pictures" caught my eye..

Already number one for carbon emissions, China earned another environmentally dubious accolade in July when it was declared the world’s biggest power consumer. Part of the reason is the spectacular urbanisation seen in this night-time satellite image of the country’s north-east, where the illuminated cities of Beijing (population 12 million) and Tianjin (7 million) form giant man-made stars. China's use of coal, oil, wind and other sources of power more than doubled in the past decade, according to the International Energy Agency. In 2009, it reached the equivalent of 2.26bn tonnes of oil, creeping past the US, which had been the world's biggest energy user since records

Coal trucks snarl up National Highway 207 in north China's Hebei province at the height of what became known as the “world’s worst traffic jam”. Lasting 11 days and stretching more than 60 miles, the congestion forced drivers to sleep in their cabs for several nights as they made progress at the rate of half a mile a day. The primary cause was road works on an exceptionally busy stretch of road between China’s coal heartland of Inner Mongolia and the ports and power plants of Shandong and Tianjin. Rising demand for energy has increased the number of trucks on this transport bottleneck. Congestion and traffic pollution are growing problems on China’s roads as car ownership surges. Beijing is among the worst affected cities. The number of vehicles in the city has increased from 1m to 4m in the past 12 years

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