China’s booming economy and infrastructure build-out is developing during a time of transitioning paradigms. Ongoing migration from rural areas to urban centers will continue to redefine the country’s demographics. Additionally, what were once the traditional mainstays of industrialization and development — principally the dependence on fossil fuels and their ancillary carbon emissions — are now recognized to carry significant risks within the political, economic and public health arenas alike.
It is within this context that China must develop its national infrastructure. As with all industrialized nations, transportation is paramount to the country’s economic vitality. It is a credit to the Chinese government that the connectivity between mass transit and better living is so strongly reflected in its national goals.
Lisa C. Dickson, PG, is a principal scientist and area manager for Kleinfelder/S E A Consultants, one of the nation’s leading civil and environmental engineering and architecture firms. Over the past 15 years, Dickerson has worked on complex projects within the transportation, military and municipal sectors. She currently manages the firm’s sustainability program.