What factors determine whether a community will choose the pathway to sustainable development in China?

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Wei, J, Zhao, D & Marinova, D 2010, 'What factors determine whether a community will choose the pathway to sustainable development in China?', Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, vol. 15, no. 9-10, pp. 831-850.

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In this paper, we divide the communities in Central China into four groups, namely ecological high-poverty communities, non-ecological high-poverty communities, sustainable communities and non-ecological low-poverty communities. We use 2000 and 2006 data for 498 counties to conduct analysis and comparison between sustainable and unsustainable communities in order to define determinants of the development pathways to sustainable communities. The comparison of the variable means between the groups of ecological high-poverty communities and non-ecological high-poverty communities in 2006 indicates that there is no significant difference in the dimensions related to economy, society and environment, with the exception of average output value per industrial enterprise.

The non-ecological low-poverty communities are more likely to have a higher proportion of secondary industry, higher total industrial output value, higher average output value per industrial enterprise and higher intensity of infrastructure construction, compared to the sustainable communities. The factors that determine whether the communities will choose the pathway to sustainable communities are found to be landscape, social conditions of secondary industry and agriculture and economic development level. Hence, the policies that aim at promoting sustainability for the unsustainable communities will have to focus on different strategies and actions for non-ecological high-poverty and non-ecological low-poverty communities.

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