Free Essay: Contemporary Environmental Issue

Published: 2023-04-24
Free Essay: Contemporary Environmental Issue
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Ecology Asia Water Social responsibility
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1300 words
11 min read

Shenzhen is a city located on the Southern tip of the central Chinese mainland. The city acts as a link to Hongkong and mainland China. One of the most significant environmental issues that the city experiences is water pollution despite the billions spent in the fight to curb pollution (Chunxing & Long, 2018). Investigative reports from the news in the city explain that more than half of the rivers flowing through the city are polluted, black, and smelly. Water sampling is done regularly in the city, and the rating is done on a scale of one to five. Levels one to three indicate that the water is safe for consumption, while levels four and five mean that the water can only be used for industrial purposes, swimming, or aquaculture (Chunxing & Long, 2018).

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Since 2014, pollution has significantly increased, especially in the Buji, Shawan, Guanlan, and Xinzhou rivers (Chunxing & Long, 2018). According to news reports, those who live near the rivers endanger their lives in several ways, especially due to the exposure to expiratory diseases and the prevalence of mosquitoes (Chunxing & Long, 2018). Those who live near the polluted rivers experience health issues like sore throats, itching noses, and the burning of eyes. Even after several complaints to the government, water pollution in Shenzhen continues to intensify. The most significant contributing factors to water pollution in the city are rapid population growth and limited rainfall, which lead to the deposition of untreated sewage into the water systems.

The primary stakeholder in the water pollution issue in Shenzhen is the national government. According to the official figures, the government disbursed 4.7 yuan billion to manage water pollution between 2000-2005 and twelve billion yuan between 2005 and 2010 (Chunxing & Long, 2018). More than twelve billion yuan was spent from 2011 to date (Chunxing & Long, 2018). In 2005, the government promised to eliminate water pollution in the city in the next decade, and the primary remedy was to treat all sewage before being discharged into the rivers (Chunxing & Long, 2018). In the past ten years, Shenzhen, through its government, has constructed over thirty sewage treatment plants, but sewage pipelines are yet to be developed.

Current Population and Urban Design

Shenzhen city has one of the most creative housing designs in China. One of the city's creative strategies is the application of UNESCO's events. The town benefits architecturally from its geographical position since it is on the heart of the Chinese megalopolis (Chen & Kaufmann, 2018). Shenzhen also collaborates with Hong Kong to develop state of the art architectural projects, which has led o accelerated urbanism (Chen & Kaufmann, 2018). Some of the significant architectural buildings in the city built with precision are the Sky Club House, Mawan Mile, Design Society, Tai Chi Sales Center, Prince' building, Shenzhen Stock Exchange Headquarters, and Universiade, among others.

The neighborhood styles in Shenzhen are spectacular. For decades there has been rapid urbanization in Shenzhen, and the vast population led to the creation of urban neighborhoods. Most of the neighborhoods are gated and with privatized amenities, and the city has become one of the most well-established living places after years of development and innovations (Chen & Kaufmann, 2018). The city continues to experience intense spatial transformation by replacing downgraded neighborhoods with shopping malls, luxury housing, and offices. However, urban development ignores the affordability of housing and amenities of the lower class. Most villages in the area have an urban look since all streets are paved (Chen & Kaufmann, 2018). Some streets between buildings in some urban villages are narrow and are a risk for fire disasters.

Regarding Shenzhen demographics, census data is easily accessible since it is on the internet. The city's population is about ten million and spread across 1,991 square kilometers (Mao et al., 2010). The population growth over the last three decades can be attributed to high technology, logistics, and cultural industries. The city is a significant choice for expatriates due to job opportunities and open-mindedness. The average life expectancy in the city is seventy-eight years, according to data collected in 2016 (Mao et al., 2010).

There are various modes of transport that people use to go to work in the city. Public transportation is one of the conventional means used whereby citizens board buses, public bicycles, taxis, the national railway, metro, and tram, among others. Others use their personal vehicles for transportation to work.

There are varieties of recreational facilities in the city, which include surfing, cricket, ice skating, martial arts, and swimming, among others. Some of the activity spaces include golf courses, beaches, resorts, and beauty spas (Tianhong et al., 2010). Typical residents can enjoy the activities named above in the city. Sometimes, there are competitions in extracurricular activities like martial arts, surfing, and swimming, which local residents enjoy.

Future Sustainability Planning and Efforts

For the last three decades, Shenzhen has been vigilant on urban expansion and sustainable land use. By 2005, the land under construction in the city accounted for about 47% of the total land area of the city (Shen & Kee, 2017). Natural conditions primarily influence the spatial pattern in the city's architecture. The town contains natural land resources like rivers, lakes, mountains, and other physical features that significantly contribute to land use in the city (Tianhong et al., 2010). Apart from the city, there is a proliferation of urban villages where low-cost housing is available for the middle- and lower-class individuals. The urban villages are characterized by the increasing construction of buildings for diverse functions like industrial, public services, and residential purposes (Shen & Kee, 2017). Therefore, there is a range of activities that can be done on the urban villages, and the settlements are diverse and accommodate migrants. 2009 data indicated that there were more than 330,000 buildings in 318 urban villages in Shenzhen and that the land use in the city is diverse (Shen & Kee, 2017).

Shenzhen will look like Hong Kong in the next two to five decades. Being a megacity with accelerating urban development, Shenzhen will be a significant city with state-of-the-art projects. The city's high population growth will enable more development in the next 100 years.

The level of awareness among residents regarding environmental issues is high. The government advocates for environmental pollution, and both residents and industries are aware of the environmental laws of the city.

Shenzhen has a sustainability plan where the city is focused on being an example of societal satisfaction and civilization. The plan also involves transforming the city into a high-quality development center and innovation and lead in environmental protection and public service (Chunxing & Long, 2018). Currently, Shenzhen is China's leading city for sustainability policies. The city is strict on pollution policies, and there is an enforcement of new environmental standards that are mandatory for industries to follow. The sustainability plan encourages industries in the city to support high-tech development, and be climate-friendly by all means possible (Chunxing & Long, 2018).

There are several plans to add parks and open spaces in the city in the future. There is a plan to construct a thirty-billion-yuan theme park on the eastern side of the city (Chunxing & Long, 2018). The theme park will be an animation center.


Chen, T., & Kaufmann, H. J. (2018). Analysis of Urban Change in Shenzhen City Based on Landsat Archived Data. Journal of Computer and Communications, 6(11), 146-154.

Chunxing, C., & Long, H. (2018). Public Participation in Water Environment Control: the Status and Experience of Shenzhen, Southern China. Meteorological and Environmental Research, 9(4), 70-79.

Mao, X., Xu, R., Li, X., Wang, Y., Li, C., Zeng, B., ... & LIU, J. (2010). Fine grid dynamic features of population distribution in Shenzhen. Acta Geographica Sinica, 4.

Shen, J., & Kee, G. (2017). Shenzhen: Innovation and Governments' Roles in Reform and Development. In Development and Planning in Seven Major Coastal Cities in Southern and Eastern China (pp. 61-92). Springer, Cham.

Tianhong, L., Wenkai, L., & Zhenghan, Q. (2010). Variations in ecosystem service value in response to land use changes in Shenzhen. Ecological economics, 69(7), 1427-1435.

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