Low-carbon and sustainable transport in Qingdao: A strategic study

Urbanization has been rapid for the coastal city of Qingdao in China’s eastern Shandong Province. By 2020, the city will have a population of 12 million people. Working with Qingdao Municipal Government, WRI China/EMBARQ China assessed Qingdao’s current measures to pursue low-carbon transport in four inter-connected areas: transport policy, institutional structure, finance and perception and awareness. This working paper includes 5 recommendations to help Qingdao achieve the sustainable development of its transportation sector.

Read the executive summary in English.


Executive Summary

Urbanization has been rapid for the coastal city of Qingdao in China’s eastern Shandong Province. The Qingdao Municipal Government has set ambitious goals to reduce carbon emission intensity by 45% by 2020 from 2005. Both the 12th Five-Year Plan and Qingdao’s Urban Master Plan portray a drastic transformation that the city will be undergoing: by 2020, the city will have a population of 12 million people, compared to 8.7 million in 2012, and two new urban centers will be created to accommodate the future growth. Rapid economic growth, urbanization, and motorization will fuel a growth in negative externalities associated with urban transport.

  • By 2010, the average speed of travel had sunk from 29.7 in 2002 to just 21.7 km/h. Severe traffic congestion was causing annual losses of 1.8 billion CNY (or 3% of the city’s GDP). Meanwhile, CO2 emissions from the transport sector made up about 21% of the city’s overall CO2 emissions.
  • By 2020, the city's travel demand will have risen from 4.7 million person trips per day in 2010 to 9.4 million. Total daily vehicle kilometers traveled will increase from 29.4 million km in 2010 to 90 million km. The mode share of private vehicles will rise to 40% if no intervention measures are taken. By 2020, transport-related CO2 emissions will make up at least 29% of total emissions, becoming the fastest growing source of emissions. This will make it increasingly difficult for Qingdao to meet its sustainable and low-carbon goals. 

Existing problems and those that will arise in the future will pose challenges to Qingdao. How can it strike a balance between economic development and sustainable development?








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