Urban development is a spatial reflection of humans’ pursuit of their own development, and also a spatial reflection of the relationship between humans and nature or of human civilization. To promote the upgrading of eco-cities with the concept of green development, the core issue is to understand and deal with the dependence relationship between humans and both natural environment and social environment correctly. Only in this way can the goals of high-quality urban development and ecological civilization construction be achieved.
Whether it is past, present or future, the quality of urban development depends largely on humans’ cognition and positioning to the city, and more on the city's construction planning. With the accelerated development of global urbanization and the increasingly prominent urban diseases, from the perspective of a broad ecological theory, it is an era proposition to build an ecological society in which people and nature, people and people, and people and society coexist harmoniously, and promote the upgrading of eco-cities with the concept of green development.
First of all, eco-cities are essentially different from traditional contemporary cities. Ecology is no longer a purely biological concept, but a comprehensive and holistic notion, which has far exceeded its natural meaning. First, we should deeply grasp the concept of green governance and the essence of ecological city. It is necessary to find out the core concepts, elements and problems of green governance, explore the mechanism for establishing the concept of green governance. The establishment of green governance mechanism is ought to be listed as the primary task of green governance. Second, we should fully grasp the requirements for the construction of a beautiful and livable ecological city. Integrate green governance concepts with ecological cities. Insist on highlighting the form of eco-cities, the interweaving of landscape and city, the symbiosis of nature and prosperity, allowing greens to permeate every corner of the city, combining city and forest together to receive a blend of them; reshape a beautiful form of scenery, which has both artistic conception of natural landscape and splendor of the humanity landscape, both the inside information of a single brick, and the shock from the earth landscape, scenery is so tightly combined with the city that people can feel it everywhere; in addition, it is necessary to dig deep into the details of urban culture, vigorously inherit the urban context, and add culture to eco-cities’ construction. Third, using the two-mountain theory as a guide, correctly grasp the relationship between the elimination of old energy and the cultivation of new energy. Innovate to build a green industrial system and a low-carbon city path, handle the relationship between governance and development correctly, combine green governance concepts with urban development, promote cross-integration and upgrading of green, low-carbon technological innovation and traditional industries, support the revolutionary upgrading of ecological construction, ecological transportation, ecological manufacturing, and actively explore new urban formats.
Secondly, complete the ecological development system and build an urban ecological government. To promote the upgrading of eco-cities, we must solve the problems about the integrity, long-term and sustainability of economic and environmental development from the institutional and governing capabilities, and establish an ecological government from the perspective of the entire cycle of ecological social development. First, improve the institutionalized design related to ecological development, including improving the design of green production institution, building a green technology innovation system, incorporating environmental protection costs into prices, promoting the production of green technologies, processes and products, and cultivating new economic growth points; improve the design of green system to make it a new consumption orientation; improve the design of green financial institution and strengthen the ability of financial service system; further improve the constant supervision system of ecological environment, and ensure a development of ecology with the help of the forced mechanism. Second, improve the working mechanism of ecological development. Incorporate indexes and targets for the upgrading of eco-cities into the government's ruling assessment system, make political leaders responsible overall and each department clear of and fulfill their own responsibility, and form a hierarchical working mechanism in which departments coordinate with each other. Establish performance evaluation system for resource conservation, as well as environment construction and protection, complete relevant institutions and technical methods, and perfect mechanisms for supervision and restriction. Third, establish a multi-cooperative construction, in which social organizations participates to build an ecological city government, with the help of synergistic effect. How active the social organizations are is an important manifestation of urban vitality and ecological civilization. An ecological government needs to build a constant and open docking mechanism with social organizations to strengthen the establishment of social collaborative governance; institutionalize the negotiation between government and social organizations; substantially build and continuously improve the interface between government and social organizations through institutional regulations. Fourth, the modernization of urban governance system and capacity is an important condition for the upgrading of eco-cities. Accelerate the improvement of government service and administration, implement smart city management, make full use of modern information technology and big data, integrate and analyze all key information of the city's operating system to make decisions more precisely and effectively, thus help the government achieve a healthy social development with higher quality, more efficiency, more fairness and more sustainability.
Next, integrate the concept of green development into the scientific urban layout to achieve the normalization of the smooth operation of eco-cities. A key point to eco-cities’ development is to realize the functional complementarity of various regions, various units, and various infrastructures through an organic combination in space. First, city itself can never be the only focus. It is necessary to establish an urban-rural fusion where the two build together, live together, and prosper together; also, they are mutually connected, restricted, and influenced. As for the scientific planning of eco-cities, the spatial structure of urban-rural integration needs to be built on the principles of urban-rural integration, industrial-agricultural integration, convenient production, and convenient life, so that urban and rural areas are organically integrated and mutually complemented. Second, ecological functional regions should be divided rationally. We should focus on long-term development and potential exploitation, make overall plans and comprehensive arrangements to enhance the ecological carrying capacity of the economic society, give top priority to the protection of human settlements and natural ecology. When zoning ecological functions, not only do we need to avoid the adverse effects on residents that may be caused by economic activities and industrial or domestic pollution, but ensure a proper contact among industrial areas, commercial areas and residential areas, as well as residents’ living requirements like entertainment and recreation. Zoning of ecological functions should follow the principle of emphasizing main functions and giving consideration to others, in order to realize the coexistence of multiple functions. When combining the functionally sections into a complete area, we should consider the types of ecological service functions, which means not only differences, but also connectivity and relative consistency among sections should be taken into account. For example: promote the formation of “community + living areas + business areas” ecological circle, minimize unreasonable liquidity, and avoid further urban disease aggravation. Third, the priority for industrialization development is an important support for economy and environment to form a positive succession. We should pay attention to the establishment of the ecological industrial chain and the cooperation or transfer between upstream and downstream industries. Also, it is important to adjust the unreasonable layout of the old city, strengthen the ecological layout of the new city； improve the quality of urban settlement, upgrade the economic industrial structure, and govern urban pollution sources.
Finally, we should foster a new urban format that are oriented toward green and low-carbon development, create ecological industry competitiveness, and provide momentum for the economic prosperity of eco-cities. First, the industries required by the eco-cities must be in a format that is compatible with green and low-carbon development. Adhere to the direction of ecological industrialization and industrial ecology, and exert the win-win value of ecological benefits, economic benefits and social benefits. Promote the transformation of traditional economy to an efficient and sustainable ecological economy, promote the upgrading of the industrial structure to a green and low-carbon ecological format, and promote the transformation of production and lifestyle to environmentally friendly and resource-saving. Production determines consumption, and consumption adversely affects production. Promoting green consumption is one of the important measures in the process of urban ecologicalization. It gives full play to the guiding and demonstrating role of the government in green consumption, and guides consumers to change from traditional consumption patterns. Green consumption advocates consumers to choose green products that are not polluted or helpful to public health, pay attention to the disposal of waste to cause less pollution; and guides consumers to change their consumption outlook to a more healthy and eco-friendly way, focus on environmental protection, energy saving and sustainable consumption while pursuing a comfortable life. The government can also formulate a series of policies to encourage companies to develop, produce, and introduce green products, and constantly expand the market share of them. Other positive measures can be carried out as well. Second, attach great importance to the upgrading of “secondary industry + ecological model”, optimize the second industry with ecological ideas, and realize the production of new energy. Industrial transformation requires green development as the source of power, focusing on the development of ecological industries, ecological constructions, ecological transportation, ecological energy, etc., upgrading traditional industries, energy-saving and environmental protection industries with new technologies, promoting the strategic ecological adjustment of the economic structure with the comprehensive use of new and renewable energy. Through the ecological development of the city's secondary industry, we can cultivate new industrial formats, which may become new growth points for future economic development. Third, vigorously develop an ecological service industry whose tertiary industry take ecological culture, ecological tourism, ecological education, ecological finance, ecological logistics, and ecological supply as genes. Strengthening the leading role of the tertiary industry, will not only promotes the construction of circular economy in the city and realizes energy saving and emission reduction, but also affect the way people live and consume, and make the ecological city more charming, competitive and energetic.
Urban development is a spatial reflection of humans’ pursuit of their own development, and also a spatial reflection of the relationship between humans and nature or of human civilization. The development of eco-cities is inseparable from the improvement of ecological systems and the construction of ecological governments; the healthy operation of eco-cities requires the integration of green concepts and scientific layout, the direction of green and low-carbon development, the purpose for sustainable economic prosperity, and the competitiveness mainly results from ecological industries. Promoting the modernization of national governance system and governance capabilities is not only a profound change, but also a solution in the face of new tasks in the new era. In particular, the current high-quality development of cities in China and the realization of ecological civilization are inseparable from the improvement of urban modern governance system and the upgrading of governance capabilities. Only through the construction of eco-cities, can we maximize the sustainable development of cities, improve the quality of them, thus lay a solid foundation for achieving the goal of a comprehensive well-off society.