China: Technology, Innovation and the Environment

Pollution in China
Pollution in China

Since the beginning of its economical opening — when the first 5-year plans were devised in 1979 — China has being growing at an incredible speed, with its GNP numbers jumping from 44 billion dollars to 1.6 trillion dollars in just 20 years.

Such growth has pushed the Chinese manufacturing industry into devouring huge amounts of natural resources in a alarming way: in 2004, China — the 8th largest economy in GNP scale — consumed 8% of all the oil, 31% of all the coal, 10% of all the electricity, 30% of all ore, 30% of all steel, 19% of all aluminum, 20% of all the copper and 40% of all cement produced in the world.

Adding such demand for natural resources to low efficiency means of production (the power-generation, steel and chemical industry in China spends 40% more energy in comparison to developed countries) and we get one of the most polluting countries in the planet: according to the World Bank, 6 out of the 10 the most polluted cities in the planet are in China.

Worries about the quality of life of its people — as well as with its the capacity of continuing to grow in a sustainable way — has recently lead the Chinese Central Government to changing its development macro-strategy for the next five years: new initiatives (both state-run and private) of development zones/projects will emphasize on environmental and sustainability issues. Sectors such as Information Technology, financial and tourism will be stimulated, and special incentives will be given to create investments on technology, Innovation and the Environment.

Itamar Medeiros

Originally from Brazil, Itamar Medeiros currently lives in Germany, where he works as Lead Product Design Strategist at SAP and promotes User Experience Design as visiting lecturer at Köln International School of Design. Working in the Information Technology industry since 1998, Itamar Medeiros has helped truly global companies in several countries (Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, The Netherlands, Poland, United Arab Emirates, United States) create great user experience through advocating Design and Innovation principles. During his 7 years in China, he championed the User Experience Design discipline as User Experience Manager at Autodesk and Local Coordinator of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) in Shanghai

5 Responses

  1. November 18, 2007

    […] and an economic growth mode with serious, hazardous emissions have posed stark challenges for the sustained growth of Chinese economic society. Faced with such a grave situation in energy saving and emission reduction, Chinese scientific and […]

  2. December 28, 2007

    […] economic growth, averaging about 10 percent over the past five years, is raising demand for automobiles and has boosted production from about 100,000 vehicles a year in […]

  3. May 31, 2008


    great post…I look forward to reading more! thanks alot!…

  4. November 29, 2008

    […] reform and opening up the urbanization of China has increased rapidly, with the number of cities in China reaching 655 by […]

  5. January 5, 2011

    […] the country has had up to 2 billion square meters of development annually. Since 2006 , China uses 40 percent of the world’s cement and steel, the main ingredients of the construction industry. Around 40 percent of building land is created […]

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