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Action Three:The Ranking of Urban Ecological Safety Index

Nowadays, the process of urbanization is along with various urban problems, such as housing tension, traffic jam, environmental pollution, air pollution, resource shortage, urban water logging, food insecurity, water resource pollution, youth unemployment, increasing ecological refugees, and higher frequency of cancers and contagious diseases. These problems not only influence people’s life and survival, but also seriously restrain the sustainable development of urban society, economy, and environment, and become the potential factors for social unrest and instability. It forces people to review the urban development pattern, planning, construction, management and lifestyle that centralize industrial civilization, and to learn from the experience of international urban development to explore the plausible way to realize the sustainable development of cities. The notion of urban ecological safety emerges as the time requires. Urban ecological safety system is an artificial compound ecological system composed with society, economy, and natural environment. Urban ecological safety means effectively using ecological characteristic techniques and cultural patterns to construct reasonable urban ecological system structure, up-level urban ecological system functions, improve the material circulation and rational cycling of energies within the system, and coordinate the harmonious relationship between human and nature, to enable human beings to adapt themselves in the way and degree of urban utilization to the development of ecological system, and eventually realize a rational-structured, highly-functioned, and ecological safety urban running system. In order to arouse the awareness of ecological safety of countries and improve the construction of urban ecological safety system, UN-Habitat and IESCO jointly launched the “Youth Empowerment and Urban Ecological Safety Programme” at the 24th Session of the Governing Council of UN-Habitat held on April 15, 2013. It includes the following five main tasks: (a) to release the State of China Annual Urban Youth Survey Report; (b) to carry out ecological skills and employment training in the global scope; (c) to conduct Urban Ecological Safety Index Ranking within the framework of UN-Habitat; (d) to set up “UN-Habitat Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award (includes: Youth Leadership Award; Green Invention and Innovation Award; Urban Ecological and Safety Award; Youth Entrepreneurship Award and Social and Cultural Innovation Award)”; and (e) to launch UN-Habitat UE new media on mobile terminal. The executive unit of this programme is UN- Habitat Youth Empowerment and Urban Ecological Safety Committee. An important content of the Youth Empowerment and Urban Ecological Safety and Action programme is designing the Urban Ecological Safety Evaluation Index System. The system is targeted at large-scale, medium-scale, small-scale cities in the world. 

The design of the index should reflect the comprehensive, integral, and pragmatic features of sustainable cities, and cover the three dimensions of urban economy-society-nature; It should also reflect the healthy and fragile nature of ecological safety and human health, and absorb the key elements and factors in international ecological safety research, to make the index can fully reflect the feature of sustainable urbanization, emphasize the notion of urban safety, and be suitable for the development demands of cities. Adopting Urban Ecological Safety Evaluation Index System can provide a standard for horizontal comparison of the ecological safety of international cities, and also provide objective and scientific assessing tool to tell the ecological safety situations and its ecological evolution trend of the target city. 

 

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