VI. ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING: A NECESSITY FOR AN EMERGING INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC CENTRE IN THE 21st CENTURY
D. Towards sustainability
1. Strengthening environmental management
The Shanghai Environmental Protection Regulation established the undertaking of total-volume control and the initiation of the pollution discharge licensing system. In recent years, with the implementation rate of 'three-simultaneity' of large- and medium-size construction projects reaching 100%, the operation rate of pollution harnessing facilities is higher than 80%.
(a) Optimizing industrial structure; reducing structural pollution
Around 40% of factories in Shanghai are located in the urban area. During the Eighth Five-Year Plan period, 750 factories were moved out, allowing the tertiary sector to be transplanted in. Under this process, industrial enterprises obtained capital for technological upgrading and capacity-building of environmental harnessing. Furthermore, a proper industrial policy was introduced which encourages the manufacture of products with hi-tech content, high export value and high economic efficiency, coupled with low wastes output, low material consumption and low transportation volume. Through such efforts, along with promotion of the development of the tertiary sector, the urban function of Shanghai is being re-shaped, not only conforming to the general need to slow down the process of urbanization, but also reducing the output of pollutants.-
(b) Relying on technological progress and prompting clean production
In Shanghai, energy consumption for every ten thousand GDP decreased from 4.2 tons of standard coal in 1990 to 1.85 tons in 1995. The emergence of the encouraging tendency of relying on scientific advancement to influence economic development is helpful in extricating the dual predicaments of environment and development caused by a resource-based economy: Baosteel Company, through improving production technology and strengthening management, has successfully decreased the energy consumption for every ton of steel from 0.99 tons of standard coal to 0.78 tons, which is the second-best level in the world (in Japan the figure is 0.77), and increased the utilization rate of recycled water from the planned 95% to 95.8%, which is also amongst the foremost in the world. The comprehensive utilization rate of solid waste reached 100%. With the exception of TSP, all other atmospheric variables in the factory area meet the national first-class standard. It has become a model in the promotion of clean production.
The urbanization process in Shanghai epitomizes the desire of a developing country like China to get rid of impoverishment and backwardness, yet the conflict between the environment and development in such a process also epitomizes the historical record of urbanization in China After a long journey of torture and bitterness, the signs of a sustainable future begin to appear.
Facing the emerging urbanization torrents, the implementation of a sustainable strategy demands proper planning and rational organization besides adherence to the above-mentioned effective measures. Rational allocation of productivity leads to general benefits; ill-allocation brings endless problems and defects. This has deep significance in the future urbanization of Shanghai. The rise and fall of the international metropolis of the past, the misdirection of industrial structure and organization will be an eternal reminder that appropriate planning, optimum functional zoning and strict adherence to maximum control are necessary in either urban renewal or the construction of various development zones. In Pudong New Area, this principle has particular significance because the state of the eco--environment directly influences the success of its economic thrust, and its entrance into the 21st century. Therefore, only strict standards will suffice in achieving ideal environmental quality - first class air quality, second or third class water quality, 100% waste disposal and noise controlled according to the national standard. These environmental objectives form the basis of eco-harmony in Pudong New Area which will be export-oriented, multi-functional and modernized.
Water is the source of life, and a basic living necessity for human beings. But water pollution has endangered the health of 120 million people living in the Huai River Basin, and degraded the wealth of the land fish and rice around the Tai Lake Plain. Rivers flowing through cities are not only arteries of urban economy, but also give a natural and glamorous attraction and lure to cities. The comprehensive harnessing of the Suzhou River will build the elementary image of an international metropolis, and revive the sustainability of Shanghai.
Since stepping into modern urbanization 150 years ago, Shanghai has always the recipient of nationwide attention as a pioneering city. Today, in a time when science and technology are likely to reduce the regional differences in socio-economic development, whether or not Shanghai is able to regain its former glories and international reputation will be decided by its ability to achieve sustainable development.