Balancing economic development and construction waste management in emerging economies: A longitudinal case study of Shenzhen, China guided by the environmental Kuznets curve

Zhikang Bao*, Weisheng Lu, Ziyu Peng, S. Thomas Ng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A common dilemma in emerging economies is how to balance economic development and environmental protection. This dilemma is particularly evident in the construction industry, which materializes housing and infrastructure for economic development while generating huge amou of construction waste, which, if not properly managed, could lead to serious environmental degradation. This study aims to explore useful strategies for balancing economic development and construction waste management (CWM) in emerging economies. It does so by adopting a mixed-method approach organized in a longitudinal case study of Shenzhen, China; an emerging economy that has successfully balanced the two goals. Firstly, based on quantitative data, an environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) is developed to indicate Shenzhen's dynamic evolvement of economic development and CWM over time. Then, qualitative research is conducted to understand the experiences behind Shenzhen's EKC evolvement. These experiences are distilled into: (1) strong economic support, (2) strong government interventions, (3) a thriving recycling market, (4) advanced recycling technologies, and (5) making use of major events as a catalyst. This study provides a useful reference for the dilemma of economic development and CWM in emerging economies and for deployment of proper strategies to address this dilemma.

Original languageEnglish
Article number136547
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume396
Early online date20 Feb 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2023

Keywords

  • Construction waste
  • Construction waste management
  • Economic development
  • Emerging economies
  • Environmental Kuznets curve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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