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UNNC scholars seek global sustainable development solutions


Dr. Wu Deng and Dr. Ali Cheshmehzangi

22nd August: Two UNNC academics’ scholarly book was granted the China New Development Award by Springer Nature for its exceptional contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of “sustainable cities and communities”. Together with other nine winning titles, it was selected from over 800 books published in 2018 by Springer Nature’s publishers, Springer and Palgrave Macmillan and authored by China-based researchers.

The book, entitled “Eco Development in China: Cities, Communities and Buildings”, is co-authored by Dr. Wu Deng and Dr. Ali Cheshmehzangi of the Department of Architecture and Built Environment. It offers a comprehensive introduction to eco-development in China, as well as a useful reference for future projects around the world over the coming decades.

“With international projects like Sino – Singaporean Tianjin Eco-city, China is actually at the forefront of eco-city development," says Dr. Deng. "According to a global survey conducted by the University of Westminster, China has the largest number of eco-cities, followed by the US". The book also uses the CSET building (located at UNNC) as one of the early green building cases in China.

Based on a selection of case studies, the book highlights how specific initiatives and green features are applied and practiced, providing a comprehensive guidance to China’s - and its international partners - strategic direction and planning trends. It may also appeal to Western readers who have had limited access to information about eco-development in China. “China’s pathway to sustainable development will be followed by many other countries and this means a major global duty for China,” Dr. Cheshmehzangi comments.

The book discusses the importance of the interplay between city, community and building. “We used to consider these three independently, but they are interwoven. For example, owning a number of green buildings does not necessarily or automatically make a sustainable district,” explained Dr. Deng. The book thereby proposes a solution to combine the co-effect of the actor constellations, breaking the separation between the spatial levels.

 “China is undergoing the largest scale of urbanisation in history and at an unprecedented pace,” said Dr. Deng. “Despite the environmental pressure, rapid and enormous urbanisation has also provided opportunities for policy makers, city planners, architects and urban researchers – think about the chances for all these policies, strategies and pilot projects at both national and local levels.”

Dr. Deng and Dr. Cheshmehzangi are UNNC associate professors, focused on sustainable urbanism and architecture. They collectively dedicated their book to the future of China’s sustainable development.

The book is published by Palgrave Macmillan and supported by UNNC’s Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies and the Faculty of Science and Engineering.


Posted on 6 September 2019