To build a “safe, healthy, harmonious and sustainable” ecosystem in urban areas, the potentials of ecology, economy and society should be fully realized and the quality of developments in the city should be enhanced. Only in this way can we build a modern system of urban governance within the country and improve the overall capacity in both national and urban governance.
Ecosystem, in a broad sense, refers to the interdependent relationship between life, production, and our mankind. It also includes the relationship between economic activities and social developments, seeking for dynamic equilibrium among all factors. Ecosystem originates from the theory of Ecology. Today, however, the theory has already altered its traditional focus on the relationship between organisms and its surrounding environment, including abiotic environment and biological environment, now highlighting the scientific interactions between life and environments in a broad sense. The ecosystem of human society and the ecosystem of nature are not only interlinked, but share the same pursuit of dynamic equilibrium and ecosystem sustainability. The relationship between human beings, between man and nature, between economic activities and ecological environment, and between material needs and spiritual pursuit, all need the guidance of communities with a shared future. Production, life and ecology, which all belong to the "three living" system, are interdependent to each other and all aimed at symbiotic co-prosperity and mutual promotion.
In a broad sense, the city itself can be seen as a complete ecological system, composed of the natural environment, society, economic activities and its residents. In the modern society, urban management does not only belong to the city government, which was in charge of administration. Nowadays, a "muti-governance" system has been built in urban areas. Government agencies, enterprises, social organizations, community residents, as well as other relevant stakeholders, share their rights through open participation and cooperation. In the way of co-construction, co-governance, and cooperation, they strive to bring out the most benefits in urban public areas. Goals in urban governance must be in line with the requirements of safety, health and harmony. Meanwhile, the sustainable development of economic and social environments must be guaranteed, and the life of the public in urban areas can then be greatly improved.
The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has brought the idea of "the harmonious coexistence of man and nature" into the basic policy of developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, pointing out that "the construction of ecological civilization is the Millennium Project of the Chinese nation's Sustainable Development". The core of ecological civilization is the harmonious relationships between human, nature and society, in hope of creating a virtuous circle, while bringing out all-round sustainable developments and common prosperity. The idea of ecosystem must be persisted with and applied in the construction in the system of urban modernization governance within our country. The ecological civilization construction should be considered as the general direction, while "the urban ecosystem destiny community" as the guide, and "the muti-governance" as the core method.
By carrying out the concept of "safe, healthy, harmonious and sustainable" urban ecosystem governance, we can fulfill the requirements and achieve a win-win situation in economy, society and environments. We must give full play to ecological and environmental benefits, which has become both an important force and key to high-quality urban developments. Eventually, the goal of urban governance for a better human life can be realized.
The "Security" of Urban Ecosystems is Key to the Effectiveness of Urban Governance
From an ecosystem perspective, the "security" in terms of urban governance includes four aspects, which are the social stability, the rule of law and public security, urban ecosystems and biodiversity security, as well as public security against natural disasters. Prerequisites for urban governance includes the stability of politics and society, economic developments, the evolution of reforms, developments of the opening up of cities, improvements of democracy, as well as the perfection of laws. The leading role of the Party is the political guarantee for social stability. Strengthening the social infrastructure at the grassroots level is paramount to social stability as well. Different aspects of construction should be focused at the same time, including the "party building + service", "management + governance", "big data + technology", "common situation + emergency", etc.. Only in this way can we have systematic governance, which can offer ecological and comprehensive services, preventing and resolving social conflicts at the source.
Laws are the most fundamental guarantee for the modernization of urban governance systems and governance capacity, which should be seen as an important feature of modern civilization. The city government is required to follow the law, which must be effectively complied with in legislation, enforcement, justice, etc.. Enterprises, citizens, along with the entire society are required to follow the order of law and never act against its requirements or regulations. Only if we build a secure environment with the guidance of law, can residents live in peace and work with joy, which is in line with the manifestation of urban governance.
Undesirable ecosystems can pose great threats to human security, both directly and indirectly. On the one hand, pollution in air, water and soil, along with other ecological pollution caused by human activities, should be dealt with, because we must prevent them from becoming hidden dangers to the safety of ecological environment in urban areas. On the other hand, there are indirect challenges from production to consumption, such as the lack of safety in fake or inferior food, as well as the low quality of commodities in urban commercial circulations. Their qualities can have a direct threat to the safety of citizens, so the urban governance must strengthen the control the product quality in circulations.
The safety of ecological environment is closely related to the construction of city parks, city greening, the sanitation of urban environment and the efficiency when coping with waste, etc.. During urbanization, we need to tackle with problems in natural environments, keep a stable circulation of resources, fulfill the metabolic function between urban areas and nature, and maintain the healthy operation of the ecosystem. Only in these ways can we eventually realize the needs of resident for nature. A city, which possess the ability to protect the public against natural disasters, is capable of protecting the life and property of residents during natural disasters, such as earthquake, flood and rainstorm.
Therefore, to fully ensure the security of urban ecosystems, it is necessary to achieve social stability and to follow the rule of law in city management. With a beautiful and ecological environment, as well as the ability to prevent natural disasters and detect emergencies beforehand, urban residents can fully enjoy their colorful and modern life, seeing the city as the home which is rich in both material and spiritual resources.
"Health" is an Important Characteristic to the Measurement of Urban Ecosystem
According to the concept of urban ecosystem, urban governance should establish three systems with the goal of maintaining the "health" of urban areas. The first system refers to disease prevention and medical support, which are based on public welfare and human life. The second one focuses on ecological environments, including air, water, soil and waste in urban areas. Laws and regulations must be strengthened in the sake of public health, while reforms ought to be carried out in order to improve the prevention and control of diseases for urban residents. Prevention, control and treatment of major epidemics, the medical insurance and relief system for major diseases, as well as the systematic provision of emergency supplies, should be the major focuses for the construction of a "healthy" urban ecosystem.
To achieve better health of urban residents, on the one hand, the urban ecosystem should emphasize on its ability to prevent or control the basic diseases for the purpose of protecting residents. During the same time, it should also strive to enhance the capacity of providing basic medical treatment in a more thorough way. On the other hand, a quicker response to emergencies and a better ability to deal with the prevention and treatment of major epidemic are also important. The "healthy" state of an urban ecosystem can not be separated from the proper management of our relationship with ecological environment. Nevertheless, the core is to build a high-quality ecological environment, while making top-level planning in the three major areas of urban natural ecosystem, including atmosphere, water and soil. The key measures for ecological and environmental protection should be clear, scientific and reasonable, while the prevention and control processes can take effect at the same time. Only in these ways can we finally realize a healthier state in a benign cycle of natural ecosystems in urban areas.
“Harmony" is the Dynamic Equilibrium of the Urban Ecosystem
In the concept of urban ecosystem, "harmony" is not only related to humanity, but also has cultural connotations of fairness and inclusiveness. Meanwhile, it also emphasizes on a balance between the development of urban economy, human social activities and nature. In a urban ecosystem, we should not only pursue the harmony between individuals, citizens and society, material and spirit, but also seek the harmony between man and nature, as well as economy and environments.
Specifically, it is reflected in the relationships between individuals, between citizens and the government, between people and society, as well as between man and nature. A humanistic society must be people-oriented and always take the need of residents into consideration, which can be revealed from customary norms, moral norms and legal norms. A humanistic society is also "harmonious". Urban residents should have a sense of ownership, also known as the spirit of citizenship, which encourages mutual tolerance, mutual care, harmony and affinity.
A harmonious society should be fair and inclusive, emphasizing on good governance, social equity, healthy environments for business and social welfare. For instance, enterprises should not only be seen as one of the main forces of urban public governance, but also the citizens of urban enterprises. They must fulfill their social responsibility. The Harmony within a society can be revealed from the government’s efforts in creating a healthy business environment for enterprises. Furthermore, the active interactions of enterprises in urban governance also plays a key role. By paying taxes in accordance with the law, creating job opportunities, participating in public welfare undertaking, enterprises can also bring out the harmony of society. Meanwhile, they should also provide diverse platforms, including creating more sources of incomes, covering social insurance to protect the rights and raising the interests of employees. In turn, employees can create economic benefits for the development of enterprises. Thus, the harmonious relationship between enterprises and employees will lead to a win-win situation for both sides.
Urban governance should meet the requirement of "harmony" in the ecosystem, and the city government should be able to achieve high credibility and transparency in public services, including the elimination of differences between residents with household registration and non-household registration, as well as the treatment of different citizens. In urban society, the harmonious relationships between man and nature, economy and environment require us to adhere to the concept of green development, following the idea of "ecology is resources, ecology is productivity". Based on the scientific understanding of nature and respect for the natural law, we should integrate economic and social developments with the construction of ecological civilization, striving to achieve a win-win situation between economic and environmental benefits.
"Sustainability" is the Source Power to Realize the Goals of Urban Governance With the Concept of Ecosystem
In the ecological system of city, "Sustainability" emphasizes on the long-term ability to improve developments in the city, This fundamental ability not only needs to take both urban resources and industrial structures into consideration, but also establish a dynamic mechanism, which can provide continuous supplies and recycling systems, maximizing the city developments in the long term. The concept of ecological priority and green development are the directions and paths of social and economic development in China. Sustainable development requires the integration of ecological, economic and social benefits. By putting them into an whole, we can therefore increase the speed of urban economic growth, while pushing for the development of population, resources and environment at the same time. In order to create a livable city, we must take it as an all-rounded ecosystem, which can provide guidance to urban governance. Furthermore, we must see "sustainability" as the inherent and inevitable requirement. Only in these ways can our city improves significantly both in economy and ecology.
Specifically, ecological economy should be carried out as the first step. The city should give its priority to the development of ecological economy, realizing the green, low-carbon and recycling system in the industrial structure. We should actively build an eco-economic system, which mainly consists of industrial ecology and ecological industrialization. First, we should dynamically adjust the structure of industry and establish an "eco-chain" both horizontally and vertically in the industrial model of city. Technological innovation, which aims at green and low-carbon systems, should be integrated with traditional industries. By updating the technologies and industries, we can provide more opportunities for the the transformation and upgrading process of ecological construction, ecological transportation and ecological manufacturing, actively exploring new forms of business in urban areas.
Second, we should build an eco-agricultural development system, combining it with cross-border and cross-industry industries. With the abundant supply of new ecological products, we can actively expand the bases of eco-organic produces around urban areas, taking active measures to stimulate and fulfilling consumers’ needs among the general population. Meanwhile, a dynamic database of the city's ecological resources and environments should be established, in the hope of carrying out ecological rehabilitation of the polluted resources and environment. With these diverse ecological resources, our city will one day become a value reserve which is filled with "mountains of gold and silver".
Third, the eco-service industry should be greatly developed, especially in regard to the needs of urban modernization, along with other business forms such as logistics, professional markets and service outsourcing, etc. Based on the characteristics and different advantages of urban areas, we should upgrade the existing structures in industrial bases, science bases, central business districts, as well as other economic sectors, forming an ecological circle and avoiding homogenization and fragmentation. Fourth, industries should be adapted to the local conditions and developed from a long-term perspective. Policies should be formulated in line with the uniqueness of each district. One enterprise or even one program can follow a specially-made policy, which takes the specific condition of city into consideration and provide custom-made services for each enterprise. We should see the market as our direction, supports enterprises of different industries and ensure the high quality and sustainable developments, realizing a win-win situation in both economy and the environment.
The modernization of governance system and capacity of one country should not only be seen as a profound reform, but also a new requirement in the face of new tasks in the new era. The goal of high-quality development and eco-civilization can not be separated from the perfection of the urban governance system and capability. Therefore, the concept of urban ecosystem is put forward to achieve the goal of "safety, health, harmony and sustainability", solving problems from the ecological perspective and improving governance from the perspective of system engineering. By enhancing the modern governance system of the city, we hope to realize the goal of urban governance and promote the modernization of the productive forces and economy. With the optimization of approaches on urban governance, the government can better push for all kinds of reforms and serve the country and the party with great loyalty.