ABSTRACT

In 1986, the Chinese government instituted the Land Administration Act commodifying and internationalizing the right of land use in urban China. As a result, profit oriented property companies have been created in Chinese cities with a mandate to develop commercial estates, rapidly converting the closed communist capital into a metropolis of the globalized economy. While this process has enhanced the local economy, it has also rendered Beijing susceptible to property speculations, resulting not only in physical growth but also in pressures on the urban environment. Although it ranked among the most liveable cities of the world in the pre-communist era, Beijing is among the top ten most polluted today, suffering from decreasing green areas, heat island effect, vehicular atmospheric pollution, water scarcity and, not least, energy inefficiency.