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Eco-city poised for leading role
By Rong Xiaozheng and Wang Yu ( China Daily )

 Eco-city poised for leading role

Workers hang a poster depicting the details of Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city. Du Yu / for China Daily

TIANJIN - The coastal city of Tianjin aims to set a global benchmark for eco-cities, officials said on Tuesday.

Zeng Peiyan, former vice-premier and president of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said that in line with the spirit of scientific development, the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city is expected to serve as a role model for harmonious co-existence between humans and nature.

Through the energy-efficient and environmentally friendly eco-city, Tianjin will offer valuable experiences for its counterparts from both home and abroad to follow suit, he said.

Tianjin major Huang Xingguo said the construction of eco-cities has become an issue of global concern and it is an unavoidable step for a city to achieve sustainable development.

Tianjin, as an identified economic center of North China, has been attaching great importance to raising energy efficiency, strengthening environmental protection, developing a low-carbon economy and cutting emission, Huang said.

The construction of the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city has fully demonstrated Tianjin's efforts and achievements in terms of building up an ecologically friendly city.

Tianjin has set up a slew of targets and measures to guarantee the construction of an eco-city, with explicit systems and benchmarks created to guide the specific design and construction steps, said Peng Sen, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission.

So far, the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city has seen more than 200 enterprises settling down within the community, with a total investment of 21 billion yuan ($3.14 billion).

"It is expected that by 2020, the eco-city will create 80,000 to 100,000 jobs, generating a total of 40 to 50 billion yuan of GDP," said Cui Guangzhi, vice-chairman of the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City Administrative Committee,.

Long overshadowed by Beijing, Tianjin now has an upper hand in terms of designing new mega housing complexes, thanks to its new eco-city.

As a flagship joint project between China and Singapore, the Tianjin Eco-city aims to better balance high-density urban living with environmental protection. Its construction is now on in full swing.

The Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City is an important cooperative project initiated by the governments of China and Singapore, accelerating the transformation of the economic development pattern, promoting an eco-friendly civilization, building a harmonious society and exploring a city's sustainable development.

The ecological city will take about 10 to 15 years to be completed. The permanent population of the city will be kept under 350,000 by 2020. The city's GDP will reach about 46 billion yuan, meeting its target of being "resource saving, environmentally friendly, economically booming and socially harmonious". It will become a unique international, modern, livable eco-city from the Tianjin Binhai New Area.

China Daily

(China Daily 09/29/2010 page14)

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