What’s next for Beijing?

“Thanks to an unprecedented set of restrictions on cars and factories for the Olympics… the skies over Beijing have been cleaner than ever… but the weather isn’t even the most popular topic of conversation. The bigger issue for many, and the question that’s been biting at everyone for years, how will Beijing stay beautiful after the Olympics are over?”

“What’s a one-party government with its hand in the auto industry, and a public increasingly discontent with pollution, to do? An odd-even car ban has proven to be great for Beijing in short term. And it’s already left behind a healthy legacy: strong public debate over the environment that the government has no choice but to heed, at least in part… still, it’s unlikely the car ban will stay in place. To say nothing of the impact to the auto industry, cars are too important to the middle and upper classes, and those classes are too important to the government… and just as well, a car ban is neither as fair nor as sustainable as measures that alter demand and supply. If Beijing simply bans half its cars every day… it would only be delaying bigger problems down the road. It will be a long, hard road, but it doesn’t need to be crowded or dirty.”

1. 10 ways Beijing (and other cities) can keep its skies blue and roads gridlock-free, TreeHugger.

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September 17, 2008 · 0 Comments
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