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White waste to green living

China Daily | Updated: 2011-08-14 07:47

 White waste to green living

The eco-city will accomodate many - from low income workers to business visitors to digital artists. Pauline D Loh /China Daily

One of the conditions in the selection of sites was that the eco-city must be built on non-arable land. Several choices were offered, but the final site was a parcel of land with polluted water and old saltpans near Tanggu in Tianjin.

The project would have to be practical, replicable and scalable to go in tandem with China's harmonious society vision that emphasizes connectivity between people and other people, the environment and the economy.

It was the right timing: There was an urgent need for sustainable urbanization in China as outlined in the 12th Five-Year Plan, and there was strong mandate from both the Chinese and Singapore governments for the eco-city project, with leaders from both countries driving the interest.

The Tianjin Eco-city taps into a hinterland slated to be the next new economic growth region after the Yangtze and Pearl river deltas. The "Bohai Rim" will encompass Tianjin Central Fishing Port, Binhai Tourism Area, Beitang, Dongjiang Free Trade Port Zone, Lingang Industrial Zone and the Nangang region.

The eco-city is a compact community with a 4 square kilometer start-up zone fully operational by 2013 and the rest of the 30-square km site completed in the next 10-15 years.

Meticulous master planning will make the city ecologically friendly in all aspects, starting with eco-cells connected by community walkways and a 12 km green spine named the Eco Valley that will run the length of the development as its main artery of connectivity.

All the key performance indices (KPI) are indicative. For example, the KPIs governing water are: Potable tap water, non-traditional water sources, sustainable water consumption, protection of water quality and hinterland wetlands. For energy, the KPIs are renewable energy, low carbon emission, low waste generation and non-toxic waste treatment.

All buildings in the eco-city must be in accordance to the highest green standards.

The sustainable community will have 20 percent renewable energy, 90 percent green modes of transport, 20 percent public housing and 100 percent barrier-free access.

The eco-city aims to offer a fully sustainable "work, live, learn and play" environment for all.

China Daily

(China Daily 08/14/2011 page4)

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