Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

Beijing Related Abstracts

6 Addressing the Water Shortage in Beijing: Increasing Water Use Efficiency in Domestic Sector

Authors: Chenhong Peng


Beijing, the capital city of China, is running out of water. The water resource per capita in Beijing is only 106 cubic meter, accounts for 5% of the country’s average level and less than 2% of the world average level. The tension between water supply and demand is extremely serious. For one hand, the surface and ground water have been over-exploited during the last decades; for the other hand, water demand keep increasing as the result of population and economic growth. There is a massive gap between water supply and demand. This paper will focus on addressing the water shortage in Beijing city by increasing water use efficiency in domestic sector. First, we will emphasize on the changing structure of water supply and demand in Beijing under the economic development and restructure during the last decade. Second, by analyzing the water use efficiency in agriculture, industry and domestic sectors in Beijing, we identify that the key determinant for addressing the water crisis is to increase the water use efficiency in domestic sector. Third, this article will explore the two primary causes for the water use inefficiency in Beijing: The ineffective water pricing policy and the poor water education and communication policy. Finally, policy recommendation will offered to improve the water use efficiency in domestic sector by making and implementing an effective water pricing policy and people-engaged water education and communication policy.

Keywords: water use efficiency, Beijing, domestic sector, water pricing policy, water education policy

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5 Urban Compactness and Sustainability: Beijing Experience

Authors: Xilu Liu, Ameen Farooq


Beijing has several compact residential housing settings in many of its urban districts. The study in this paper reveals that urban compactness, as predictor of density, may carry an altogether different meaning in the developing world when compared to the U.S for achieving objectives of urban sustainability. Recent urban design studies in the U.S are debating for compact and mixed-use higher density housing to achieve sustainable and energy efficient living environments. While the concept of urban compactness is widely accepted as an approach in modern architectural and urban design fields, this belief may not directly carry well into all areas within cities of developing countries. Beijing’s technology-driven economy, with its historic and rich cultural heritage and a highly speculated real-estate market, extends its urban boundaries into multiple compact urban settings of varying scales and densities. The accelerated pace of migration from the countryside for better opportunities has led to unsustainable and uncontrolled buildups in order to meet the growing population demand within and outside of the urban center. This unwarranted compactness in certain urban zones has produced an unhealthy physical density with serious environmental and ecological challenging basic living conditions. In addition, crowding, traffic congestion, pollution and limited housing surrounding this compactness is a threat to public health. Several residential blocks in close proximity to each other were found quite compacted, or ill-planned, with residential sites due to lack of proper planning in Beijing. Most of them at first sight appear to be compact and dense but further analytical studies revealed that what appear to be dense actually are not as dense as to make a good case that could serve as the corner stone of sustainability and energy efficiency. This study considered several factors including floor area ratio (FAR), ground coverage (GSI), open space ratio (OSR) as indicators in analyzing urban compactness as a predictor of density. The findings suggest that these measures, influencing the density of residential sites under study, were much smaller in density than expected given their compact adjacencies. Further analysis revealed that several residential housing appear to support the notion of density in its compact layout but are actually compacted due to unregulated planning marred by lack of proper urban design standards, policies and guidelines specific to their urban context and condition.

Keywords: Sustainability, Density, Beijing, urban compactness

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4 Distributional and Developmental Analysis of PM2.5 in Beijing, China

Authors: Alexander K. Guo


PM2.5 poses a large threat to people’s health and the environment and is an issue of large concern in Beijing, brought to the attention of the government by the media. In addition, both the United States Embassy in Beijing and the government of China have increased monitoring of PM2.5 in recent years, and have made real-time data available to the public. This report utilizes hourly historical data (2008-2016) from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing for the first time. The first objective was to attempt to fit probability distributions to the data to better predict a number of days exceeding the standard, and the second was to uncover any yearly, seasonal, monthly, daily, and hourly patterns and trends that may arise to better understand of air control policy. In these data, 66,650 hours and 2687 days provided valid data. Lognormal, gamma, and Weibull distributions were fit to the data through an estimation of parameters. The Chi-squared test was employed to compare the actual data with the fitted distributions. The data were used to uncover trends, patterns, and improvements in PM2.5 concentration over the period of time with valid data in addition to specific periods of time that received large amounts of media attention, analyzed to gain a better understanding of causes of air pollution. The data show a clear indication that Beijing’s air quality is unhealthy, with an average of 94.07µg/m3 across all 66,650 hours with valid data. It was found that no distribution fit the entire dataset of all 2687 days well, but each of the three above distribution types was optimal in at least one of the yearly data sets, with the lognormal distribution found to fit recent years better. An improvement in air quality beginning in 2014 was discovered, with the first five months of 2016 reporting an average PM2.5 concentration that is 23.8% lower than the average of the same period in all years, perhaps the result of various new pollution-control policies. It was also found that the winter and fall months contained more days in both good and extremely polluted categories, leading to a higher average but a comparable median in these months. Additionally, the evening hours, especially in the winter, reported much higher PM2.5 concentrations than the afternoon hours, possibly due to the prohibition of trucks in the city in the daytime and the increased use of coal for heating in the colder months when residents are home in the evening. Lastly, through analysis of special intervals that attracted media attention for either unnaturally good or bad air quality, the government’s temporary pollution control measures, such as more intensive road-space rationing and factory closures, are shown to be effective. In summary, air quality in Beijing is improving steadily and do follow standard probability distributions to an extent, but still needs improvement. Analysis will be updated when new data become available.

Keywords: Distribution, Patterns, Trends, PM2.5, Beijing

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3 Regional Barriers and Opportunities for Developing Innovation Networks in the New Media Industry: A Comparison between Beijing and Bangalore Regional Innovation Systems

Authors: Cristina Chaminade, Mandar Kulkarni, Balaji Parthasarathy, Monica Plechero


The characteristics of a regional innovation system (RIS) and the specificity of the knowledge base of an industry may contribute to create peculiar paths for innovation and development of firms’ geographic extended innovation networks. However, the relative empirical evidence in emerging economies remains underexplored. The paper aims to fill the research gap by means of some recent qualitative research conducted in 2016 in Beijing (China) and Bangalore (India). It analyzes cases studies of firms in the new media industry, a sector that merges different IT competences with competences from other knowledge domains and that is emerging in those RIS. The results show that while in Beijing the new media sector results to be more in line with the existing institutional setting and governmental goals aimed at targeting specific social aspects and social problems of the population, in Bangalore it remains a more spontaneous firms-led process. In Beijing what matters for the development of innovation networks is the governmental setting and the national and regional strategies to promote science and technology in this sector, internet and mass innovation. The peculiarities of recent governmental policies aligned to the domestic goals may provide good possibilities for start-ups to develop innovation networks. However, due to the specificities of those policies targeting the Chinese market, networking outside the domestic market are not so promoted. Moreover, while some institutional peculiarities, such as a culture of collaboration in the region, may be favorable for local networking, regulations related to Internet censorship may limit the use of global networks particularly when based on virtual spaces. Mainly firms with already some foreign experiences and contact take advantage of global networks. In Bangalore, the role of government in pushing networking for the new media industry at the present stage is quite absent at all geographical levels. Indeed there is no particular strategic planning or prioritizing in the region toward the new media industry, albeit one industrial organization has emerged to represent the animation industry interests. This results in a lack of initiatives for sustaining the integration of complementary knowledge into the local portfolio of IT specialization. Firms actually involved in the new media industry face institutional constrains related to a poor level of local trust and cooperation, something that does not allow for full exploitation of local linkages. Moreover, knowledge-provider organizations in Bangalore remain still a solid base for the IT domain, but not for other domains. Initiatives to link to international networks seem therefore more the result of individual entrepreneurial actions aimed at acquiring complementary knowledge and competencies from different domains and exploiting potentiality in different markets. From those cases, it emerges that role of government, soft institutions and organizations in the two RIS differ substantially in the creation of barriers and opportunities for the development of innovation networks and their specific aim.

Keywords: Institutions, Organizations, Emerging Economies, Beijing, Bangalore, regional innovation system, innovation network

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2 High-Resolution Spatiotemporal Retrievals of Aerosol Optical Depth from Geostationary Satellite Using Sara Algorithm

Authors: Muhammad Bilal, Zhongfeng Qiu


Aerosols, suspended particles in the atmosphere, play an important role in the earth energy budget, climate change, degradation of atmospheric visibility, urban air quality, and human health. To fully understand aerosol effects, retrieval of aerosol optical properties such as aerosol optical depth (AOD) at high spatiotemporal resolution is required. Therefore, in the present study, hourly AOD observations at 500 m resolution were retrieved from the geostationary ocean color imager (GOCI) using the simplified aerosol retrieval algorithm (SARA) over the urban area of Beijing for the year 2016. The SARA requires top-of-the-atmosphere (TOA) reflectance, solar and sensor geometry information and surface reflectance observations to retrieve an accurate AOD. For validation of the GOCI retrieved AOD, AOD measurements were obtained from the aerosol robotic network (AERONET) version 3 level 2.0 (cloud-screened and quality assured) data. The errors and uncertainties were reported using the root mean square error (RMSE), relative percent mean error (RPME), and the expected error (EE = ± (0.05 + 0.15AOD). Results showed that the high spatiotemporal GOCI AOD observations were well correlated with the AERONET AOD measurements with a correlation coefficient (R) of 0.92, RMSE of 0.07, and RPME of 5%, and 90% of the observations were within the EE. The results suggested that the SARA is robust and has the ability to retrieve high-resolution spatiotemporal AOD observations over the urban area using the geostationary satellite.

Keywords: Beijing, AOD, SARA, AEORNET, GOCI

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1 Language Developmental Trends of Mandarin-Speaking Preschoolers in Beijing

Authors: Nga Yui Tong


Mandarin, the official language of China, is based on the Beijing dialect and is spoken by more than one billion people from all over the world. To investigate the trends of Mandarin acquisition, 192 preschoolers are recruited by stratified random sampling. They are from 4 different districts in Beijing, 2 schools in each district, with 4 age groups, both genders, and 3 children in each stratum. The children are paired up to conduct semi-structured free play for 30 minutes. Their language output is videotaped, transcribed, and coded for the calculation of Mean Length of Utterance (MLU). Two-way ANOVA showed that the variation of MLU is significantly contributed by age, which is coherent to previous findings of other languages. This first large-scale study to investigate the developmental trend of Mandarin in young children in Beijing provides empirical evidence to the development of standards and curriculum planning for early Mandarin education. Interestingly, the gender effect in the study is insignificant, with boys showing a slightly higher MLU than girls across all age groups and settings, except the 4.5 years same-gender dyads. The societal factors in the Chinese context on parenting and gender bias are worth looking into.

Keywords: Language development, Beijing, preschoolers, mandarin

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