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[CITIES] Is Beijing becoming more eco-friendly?

December 1, 2021

[CITIES] Is Beijing becoming more eco-friendly?

Imagine living in a city with plenty of green spaces, solar-powered buildings, and rooftop gardens, and more cyclists than parking spaces. Does it sound like a futuristic dream to you? Well, Beijing has been actively involved in green living practices and building green technology in recent years, which makes us wonder: Is the city becoming more eco-friendly? In short, yes. Read on to find out why.
More people are getting around by bike than by car
More people in Beijing are cycling now than ever before. In fact, the city has made an effort to make cost-efficient transportation more accessible to the public.
Since the beginning of this year, Beijing's total number of bike rides reached 638 million. On average, there are about 2.42 million trips by bicycle happening in the city each day, over 40 percent more compared to 2020. The city has even been promoting this growing trend by building cycling highways stocked with sufficient amenities along the route.
More vehicle charging stations are popping up citywide
While a typical vehicle produces an average of 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, an electric vehicle generates zero. It seems like Beijing has been privvy to this, with a growing number of EV charging stations popping up around the city -- roughly 230,000 as of this year, to be exact.
Not too long ago, Universal Studios Resort event saw 901 EV charging stations added to its parking lot, meaning even big name brands are jumping on the trend.
A Coal Ban went into effect here last year
Beijing has relied heavily on coal for electricity and heating in the past, but this is slowly changing.
The city’s battle against pollution started back in 2014 when the government announced plans to ban coal use within its six main districts by the end of 2020. In fact, the city’s coal consumption has decreased dramatically from about 12.8 million tons in 2015 to 1.8 million tons in 2020.
As a result, Beijing has seen a big drop in heavily polluted days, with last year having over 80 percent less polluted days than in 2013.
More and more green architecture
When we are talking about sustainable cities, green architecture is often a key factor in determining how eco-friendly a city is. Beijing has been pushing for a greener lifestyle for the future.
Initiatives range from building the city’s first carbon-neutral themed park to becoming the first country in history to host a Winter Olympics that uses 100 percent clean energy, all that signaling the city’s efforts to reduce resource use and to lower greenhouse emissions.

Learn more at the Beijinger, 18 November 2021, by Irene Li.

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