On Holistic Planning in EcoCity Development: Today and in the Past
Cities are expected to play an increasingly important role in the future global energy system due to the rapid rate of urbanization. As a reaction to this, the concept of ecological cities, or EcoCities, has gained a foothold in the world and there are numerous commenced EcoCity projects worldwide. As an example, it is said that there are over 250 EcoCity projects in China alone. However, there is no definitive definition of what an EcoCity is per se and thus it is relevant to ask what lies behind the “eco” in these projects. EcoCity planning is generally recommended to be carried out through a holistic planning approach by incorporating a wide range of focus areas in the project. The holistic planning is often claimed to be the key to successful EcoCity projects. Therefore, this article has identified 10 focus areas and used these to evaluate EcoCity projects by analyzing how many of these focus areas that have been taken in consideration in the projects. The higher number of focus areas in consideration, the higher score and thus the higher level of ambition, i.e. the city is planned in a more holistic manner. The projects have also been analyzed by identifying the year of start and geographical location in order to compare whether the level of ambition is varying between different parts of the world and during different time periods and by that identify whether EcoCity projects are planned with a more holistic approach now than earlier.