The Stream, January 17: China’s Infrastructure Initiative Could Help Develop Resilience for Cities in Asia

The Global Rundown

Cities in Asia grappling with growing populations may benefit from China’s infrastructure initiative. Minnesotas governor unveils a $1.54 billion dollar infrastructure plan. Researchers associate an outbreak of bird deaths in Lake Michigan to algae and warmer waters. The EU launches a plastic strategy to combat plastic waste. “Day Zero,” the day Cape Town, South Africa, may cut water to residents, has been moved forward.

“Changing the paradigm in terms of how our cities live and build with water – as they’re also facing a changing climate – is the number one challenge.” —Lauren Sorkin, regional director for Asia Pacific at 100RC, referring to how China’s “Belt and Road” initiative to invest in global infrastructure projects may help cities in Asia build their resilience. The Asian Development Bank currently predicts that the region needs to spend $1.7 trillion from now until 2030 to meet its infrastructure needs. Reuters

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By The Numbers

55 percent Proportion of plastic bags the EU wants recycled by 2030. The EU has launched a strategy designed to change plastic use behavior in Europe and modernize plastic production and collection. The Guardian

$1.54 billion Proposed infrastructure budget by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. $998 million of this budget would be allocated for clean water, state buildings, affordable housing, and other projects in Minnesota. Reuters

In context: What not to ignore about water infrastructure.

Science, Studies, And Reports

A study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the U.S. Geological Survey found that warmer water in Lake Michigan could lead to more bird deaths. The warmer water encourages the growth of toxic algae, leading to outbreaks of botulism that affect the birds. Wisconsin Public Radio

In context: Record heat in 2016 broke lake temperatures too.

On The Radar

The city of Cape Town, South Africa, has moved the date it may cut water to residents forward to April 21, according to the city’s website. Storage levels in the dams that supply the city are down to 28.7 percent. Bloomberg

In context: Cape Town’s “day zero” approaches.