02 | 2016 | New Urban Living

In this edition of GC Ticker we will offer insights into the current developments in China’surbanization process and take a closer look at the approach to fight increasing housing prices.It will also examine how the country is managing to increase urbanization and modernizationwhile trying to improve the quality of life for Chinese citizens. Furthermore we will provideyou with new information about how the Chinese government is facing the new challenges.

We hope that you enjoy reading!
Yours Sincerely, Bettina Schoen-Behanzin


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Cover Story 1 - The Flaw in Ranking Cities

How the Current Urbanization Model is working against Chinese Cities


Truth is, the education system often eliminates individuality and creativity, which is terribly ironic, given that those have become the most important resources in today’s innovation driven economy. The flaw in the system is that everyone is treated equally, but people are all different. Standardized tests are unfair, because they favor the students who respond to linear ways of learning and disadvantage those who differ from this model. Many students spend a lot of time trying to improve their results within a system of testing which will never recognize their natural talents. The same is true for cities.



Cover Story 2 - Fragmenting Urban Fabric


Housing Market and Social Exclusion in Shanghai



With the fast-paced growth of urban population and economy, the housing market in Shanghai has been developing rapidly since the 1990s. By implementation of 8th-12th Five-Year Plans, which Shanghai municipal government formulates every five years as a guidance of development, 460.7mn square meters of housing floor area was completed between 1990 and 2014. The city’s built-up area increased from 248 in 1990 to 999 square kilometers in 2014 meaning that the urbanized area of Shanghai has quadrupled in size within 25 years.

As a manifestation of rapid urbanization and the promotion of homeownership, the house prices have continued to skyrocket. Shanghai Statistic Bureau reports the average house price for overall Shanghai was RMB 21,501 per square meter in 2015, while in inner city, i.e. area inside the viaduct of inner ring road, the price was an average of RMB 72,066 per square meter; almost twenty times more expensive than it was in 2000. Shanghai has been listed as one of the world’s most expensive cities to buy a home.

Due to soaring housing prices, low and moderate income households not only missed an opportunity for asset accumulation, but also faced an increasingly unaffordable housing market. This situation resulted in tremendous social discontent. The other aspect is that the commercialization of housing destroyed the original homogeneous neighborhood pattern, which instead aggravates the social stratification as well as social exclusion.


Cover Story 3 - A City’s Circulatory System


The Growth of Transportation Systems in Chinese Cities


China is undergoing the most rapid period of urbanization in human history, and Chinese cities are growing at breakneck speeds. The population of major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin have doubled or even tripled over the past half century. Even more dramatically, even a former fishing village like Shenzhen has transformed into a major metropolis with a population of over 10 million people in a little under four decades.

If cities were bodies, then transportation systems would be the circulatory system. Healthy cities with well-built transportation systems allow for strong connectivity and the efficient transport of goods and people; poorly managed transit options lead to congestion, unnecessary sprawl, and air pollution. The growth of these transportation systems will play a major role in shaping Chinese cities and the lives of people who live in them.

Several trends have dominated transportation growth in China: the rise of personal automobiles, the growth of subways, the development of bus rapid transit systems, and the decline of biking and walking.


Cover Story 4 - Going Green - Inside and Out


A New Trend Set to Storm the Property World


Air is not invisible anymore; at least not in China. People are so concerned about the quality of air indoors, air purifiers have become the hottest electronics on the Chinese market. They are regarded as one of the few things that stand in between the poisonous haze outdoor and having clean air indoors.

This is just one example of the concerns people nowadays have about what can be found in their living environment. A new trend is coming with strong momentum: a pursuit for a people-centered built environment that nourishes occupants’ health and wellbeing.


Cover Story 5 - To Energy Effiiency and Beyond


The Development Opportunities for Sustainable Constructions in China


During the three decades after reform and opening up, China has witnessed the fastest urbanization process in the world. China's urban population has increased from 170mn to 710mn in 2012, with the urbanization rate growing from 17.9% in 1978 to 52.6% in 2012. By 2020, China will become one of the high-income countries. According to the growth trend, China's urbanization rate will continue to grow in the next one or two decades towards 75% or 80%.

Cities in China have more pressing needs for sustainable buildings. According to research by Chinese Department of Construction Science and Technology Division, energy consumption of the buildings in China has increased year–on-year currently accounting for about one-third of the total energy consumption. In recent years, China has been at the peak of its building wave, with the annual floor space built being 1.6- 2 billion m2, exceeding the sum of annual completed construction area in all developed countries, among which more than 97% are high-energy-consumption buildings.


Cover Story 6 - People-Centric Urbanization

Mr. Frederic Asseline on China’s Urbanization and the EC Link Project


By 2025 more than 200 Chinese cities will be home to at least one million residents. By 2030 China’s urban population will be close to one billion. The speed at which Chinese urban areas develop present unique opportunities for creating global models for the sustainable, low carbon cities of the future.

The Europe China Eco Cities Link project (EC Link) was launched as a sub-forum event of the Eleventh International Conference on Green and energy Efficient Buildings. The project is supported by the European Commission Directorate General for Development Cooperation, and by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Rural Development (MoHURD) in China. The technical assistance provided by EC-Link aids the MoHURD in shaping a national ecological and low-carbon framework, and helps Chinese municipalities with their own ecological, low-carbon urban development.

Mr. Frederic Asseline is the program director for the EC Link project. He has expertise in renewable energy, energy efficiency, urban energy, infrastructure finance and sustainable urban development. GC Ticker team had the opportunity to find out more about the project, the potential for German companies to collaborate, his views on New Urban Living and many more issues.


In the Spotlight - Individualization Gaining Momentum in Automobile Engineering System


Interview with General Manager at Brose Chongqing Automotive Systems, Dr. Wolfgang Beuck.


China’s rapid urbanization can be seen throughout the country. Cities like Chongqing are trailblazers in China’s west. Along with urbanization, the automotive industry has seen extensive year-onyear growth, surpassing the US as the world’s largest automotive market, while Chongqing has been positioned as an important site for China’s automotive production. With the slowdown of the automotive industry globally as well as in China the German Community in China is particularly interested in how this will affect the future. Dr. Wolfgang Beuck moved to China in 2007 and has been working for Brose since 2011, establishing the Chongqing plant that same year as General Manager. With extensive knowledge of the Chinese automotive industry German Chamber Ticker team had the opportunity to discuss these topics and many more with Dr. Beuck.


Feature 1 - Further Clarifiation of the PRC Property Law by the PRC Supreme People’s Court


The various forms of ownership in movable and immovable property (real estate) are governed by the PRC Property Law (“PPL”). It was promulgated on 16th March 2007 and comprehensively addresses the creation, change, transfer and termination of ownership in both movable and immovable property.

With the steady economic growth and increased living standard in China, disputes relating to property rights also considerably increased. As many Chinese laws, the PPL also contains quite a number of rather general or vague stipulations. This made the work of the People’s Courts sometimes difficult. For example, the PPL grants co-owners of property pre-emptive rights to purchase the property under equal conditions but fails to provide the recognition criteria of equal conditions. \

On 22 nd February 2016, the PRC Supreme People’s Court (“SPC”) promulgated the Interpretation of Several Issues relating to the Application of the PRC Property Law (“Interpretation”). The Interpretation took effect on 1 st March 2016. The Interpretation clarifies several important issues including co-ownership, bona fide purchase and immovable property ownership registration. We summarize below the most important items.


Feature 2 - Reconfiuring the Silk Road


The Multifaceted China-MENA Relationship


Aided by consistent double digit economic growth, China has gained prominence in the global arena over the past few decades. The country’s exports have increased from USD 970bn in 2006 to USD 1.9 trillion as of November 2015. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in particular has become a major trading partner for China.

As Beijing implemented its ‘Going Out’ strategy for economic growth, China became more commercially and diplomatically engaged in MENA. Recent developments such as rising Chinese investments in Iran’s energy sector and broader efforts to sell more Chinese goods and services to the MENA region have underscored China’s increasing presence in the vast area stretching from Morocco through the GCC to Iraq. In turn, with China’s stature in the region growing, some MENA countries are responding by ‘looking east’ for an alternative partner.


Feature 3 - Red is OK!


China’s Economic Slowdown Forces Leaders to Sharpen their Strategy Implementation


In this economic environment of slowing market growth, perhaps more restrictive rather than easing policies in the short-term and continued bureaucratic inefficiencies, small and medium-size, but also large enterprises must rely on their own initiatives to succeed in China.

The concept Strategic Management, called Strategy Compass is based on the Japanese model “Hoshin Kanri” (compass needle) and combines the approaches of balanced scorecard, the competence models of organizational development and lean management principles of Toyota Production System (TPS).


More than Business 1 - Why Moving ‘down and out’ is Positive

Leading the Journey to Responsible Business


The historic agreement reached at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21) to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees offers a case in point. Incremental efficiency gains in existing transportation systems are insufficient to meet the 1.5-degree target, prompting vehicle makers, technology providers, financiers, regulators and city planners to ramp up collective efforts at disruption and innovation for radical de-carbonization. Another example is the fast growing pool of cities and organizations advancing a Circular Economy in which costly and scarce resources stay out of landfill at the end of a product’s use cycle by circulating continuously in closed loop systems that conserve or even increase their productive value over time. Experiments in material fabrication, product design, and reverse logistics underpin the early advances of the Circular Economy and suggest entirely new types of alliances, business models and profit streams.


German Chamber Ticker Editorial Team


Olivia Helvadjian

Senior Communications Manager & Chief Editor

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