Alex at WorldChanging has a post on the necessity of making China climate-neutral - A Climate-Neutral China.
If we want to anticipate the future of cities, we should look to China. China is urbanizing at a rate unprecedented in history. Between now and 2030, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, Chinese cities are expected to add more than 350 million people, swelling to a total urban population of more than a billion. By then, China will have more than 220 cities with populations of more than a million (by comparison, Europe today has only 35 cities with one million+ inhabitants), and 24 emerging megacities with more than five million inhabitants.
Building that many cities is an almost incomprehensibly huge task. It will demand massive investments in housing, transportation, water and energy systems. In the next 20 years, McKinsey estimates that China will build as many as 50,000 skyscrapers (which might be thought of as "ten New Yorks"). It will build hundreds of millions of apartment buildings. It will design and build more than 170 completely new mass-transit systems, thousands of new major hospitals and universities, hundreds of thousands of parks, schools, fire stations and community centers. The boom China is expected to continue to go through, even in an economic downtown, boggles the imagination of North Americans and Europeans, who are used to thinking of cities as stable and slow to change.
All that new building could come at a massive cost, so it is critical that China's cities be compact, built green, powered by clean energy, and served by mass transit and sustainable food systems.