Chengdu mainland's most liveable city, says Asia Development Bank
Chengdu is the most liveable city on the mainland, followed by Guangzhou and Ningbo, according to the Asian Development Bank.
Beijing ranked 18th, while Shanghai came in at 22nd. Lanzhou languished at the bottom of the study of 33 cities, with Harbin for company.
The bank used a measure called the Environmental Liveability Index, whose factors include water and air quality and solid waste and environmental management, with the latest data from 2011.
The index is higher in southeastern coastal cities and economically developed regions and lower in the north, northwest and less-developed regions.
Comparing the six major cities of Guangzhou, Wuhan, Beijing, Shenyang, Shanghai and Lanzhou, Guangzhou improved the most, with an increase in ELI of 45.4 per cent from 2000 to 2007 and 15.8 per cent from 2007 to 2011. Of these six cities, Guangzhou's liveability ranking went from second worst in 2000 to the best in 2011. Shanghai went from being the best in 2000 to the second worst in 2011. But the ELI of all six cities improved from 2000 to 2011.
In 2000, Guangzhou's water environment, water resources, air quality, solid waste and environmental management indicies were low. But the bank said there had been a consistent improvement between 2007 and 2011.
In the capital, water resource and air quality indicators remained poor because Beijing had low per capita water resources, high concentrations of nitrogen oxide and limited ability to remove these. "Beijing needs to strengthen water resource management and air quality controls," the bank said.
It warned that China continued to face many environmental challenges that could impede inclusive and sustainable growth.
"For example, 300 of more than 600 cities in the country suffer from water shortages,' the bank said. "Despite recent improvements, few cities boast pristine air quality and the level of inhalable particulate matter is serious in many areas."
Update: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Guangzhou's liveability went from the worst in 2000 to the best in 2011. Guangzhou's liveability was actually ranked second worst.