Which way forward? Building a water security system for China's city of the future

Authors: Wenjing Zhang*, University of Melbourne
Topics: Urban Geography, Water Resources and Hydrology, China
Keywords: Urban water security, Eco-philosophy, Water management, Eco-liveable cities, Urban planning,China
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 6
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Eco and livable cities have aroused great enthusiasm in global South countries as symbols of sustainable urban development. As the supporting infrastructure, water security has been identified as a vital indicator in realizing the sustainable turn to eco-liveable cities. This paper analyses how an existing water regime is used to fulfil the needs of urban development through an analysis of a Chinese future model city — Xiong'an. The new city illustrates the practices under the eco-philosophy: an eco livable city built to relive development and ecological pressure, finalized by the centralized urban planning that influences water system through engineering-heavy governance regime, creating novel hydro-social configurations. The analysis summarized that the practices of realization on eco-liveable cities, pins down at a practical level to maintain water quality standards. In so doing, building the water security system for the new city contradict with its own eco-philosophy as creating water insecurity for other urban areas that questions the proposed sustainable transition in the current urban development. This study links urban planning and the paradox created on the water security system to enrich current debates around water security and inform water struggles between cities in the urban-region.

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