Environmental implications of urbanization and lifestyle change in China: Ecological and Water Footprints

Since the open door policy in 1978 China has undergone enormous economic and social changes making China to be one of the largest economies and consumers of resources in the world. The pronounced differences in income and lifestyles especially between urban and rural China were also part of China's economic rebirth. This paper explores current trajectories and scenarios for urbanization and lifestyle changes and other important socio-economic trends in China. The implications of these changes are analysed for Beijing in particular and then compared to China for the year 2020. These changes by 2020 are modelled using input–output analysis in combination with the Ecological Footprint and Water Footprint.

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