Weekend reading, early edition: on shale gas, factory audits and urban vitality

I know it’s not really the weekend yet, but since I will be away enjoying good music and sun over the next few days, I’ll leave you with some good reading for the weekend to come. All China, I’m afraid.

Behind the scenes at factory audits
Factory audits are very common at Chinese factories for foreign companies producing in China as a way of managing risk and ensuring that local circumstances follow whatever guidelines the company has set down in its supplier code. But, how do you know what is really happening? The New York Times published a long read this week uncovering how audits at Chinese factories sometimes do work (I’m hopeful that this isn’t happening everywhere….).

I’ve posted previously about Steven Zhang’s website where he shares his factory stories. His latest post is on factory owners’ environmental consciousness.

Shalegas in China
There’s a lot of discussion currently in the Netherlands whether or not to approve trial exploration of shale gas. Shale gas field are under development in a lot of other countries already, including in China. So, both ChinaFile and the Wall Street Journal published articles this week on how the China developments are going so far.

Comparing Almere & Tongzhou
I have a long list of unread articles waiting to be read on my RSS-feed from the UrbaChina-website. But, I’m highlighting this one I spotted, because of the – for me – unusual juxtaposition of two cities: Almere in the Netherlands and Tongzhou in China. The post highlights a PhD dissertation from TU Delft in which the writer explores the relationship between space and society as a way of studying urban vitality in so-called new towns.

Happy reading!

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