As China’s urbanisation policies shift from a quantity-based to a more quality-based focus, there are questions raised on people’s awareness and contribution to reduce environmental degradation. Earth Institute’s recent research on China’s urban environment suggests that public awareness among the Chinese shows an upward trajectory. They further analysed people’s willingness to pay (WTP) for environmental quality improvements. The survey found the sustainability issues most important to the sample population were education, health, air quality, and government accountability, out of which air quality was the highest priority. The research suggests that this area can serve as starting point to increase collaboration between the public and government on solving urban issues. One of the ways suggested to do this is through opinion surveys, to help local governments gauge how well existing policies and programmes are addressing the concerns of the public.