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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

China's new Eco-City a vision of our architectural future

Green city Tianjin blooming near Beijing

The Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city seeks to address the challenge of sustainable development in a holistic and balanced manner. This aim is underpinned by the concept of man living in harmony with his fellow man, with the economy and with the environment. Arising from this, the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city has the following distinguishing features:

1. Energy Efficiency and Use of Clean, Renewable Energy

The use of clean fuel and renewable energy such as solar energy and geothermal energy will be pursued and account for at least 20% of the energy utilised in the Eco-city in the longer-term.

2. Green Buildings

All buildings in the Eco-city will conform to green building standards to ensure efficient energy usage. An energy-conservation and environment-friendly mindset will also be cultivated in its residents.

3. Green Transportation

An efficient and easily accessible public transport system will be developed. Green trips, which include public transportation, cycling and walking, will be promoted in the Eco-city. The target is for at least 90 per cent of the trips within the Eco-city to be via walking, cycling or public transport.

4. Ecologically Friendly

The development of the Eco-city will proceed in harmony with the natural environment. Existing wetlands and biodiversity will be preserved. There will be lush green spaces and recreational spaces sensitively interspersed throughout the city.

5. Water Management

Water recycling and efficient use of water resources will be one of the Eco-city's features. The Eco-city is located in an area of low rainfall. Water from rivers flowing through the region will not be able to meet its needs. To overcome this constraint and to reduce its reliance on external water sources, the Eco-city will draw a significant part of its water supply from non-traditional sources such as desalinated water and recycled wastewater.

To provide a quality living environment for residents, tap water will be potable and in line with PRC and international standards.

6. Waste Management

Integrated waste management will be implemented in the Eco-city. The "3Rs" of waste management - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle - will be adapted. The conservation of resources and reduction of waste generation will be encouraged through public education programmes. Where possible, non-organic waste will be recycled and reused, while organic waste will be used as biomass for energy.

7. Economic Vibrancy

The Eco-city will specialise in tertiary and service industries and be an educational and R&D centre for environment-related technologies. This will help drive its economic development and help provide good employment opportunities for its residents.

8. Social Harmony

The Eco-city will emphasise the development and strengthening of social harmony among its residents. There will be subsidized public housing, so that people of different income and social strata can live near to and interact with one another. Communal amenities and facilities will be widely accessible. The Eco-city will be barrier-free to cater to the needs of the elderly and the mobility-impaired.

9. Heritage Conservation

The development of the Eco-city will respect local heritage. For example, the profile of the Ji Canal, a canal with 1,000 years of history, will be retained.

Tianjin Eco-city Dates and Milestones

24 Jan 11

Ministerial Committee Visit to the Tianjin Eco-City

7 Jan 11

Tianjin Eco-city Investment Promotion Seminar

23 Jul 10

3rd Joint Steering Council Meeting

5 May 10

5th Joint Working Committee meeting to review analysis of the KPI framework

24 Aug 09

2nd Joint Steering Council Meeting

03 Jun 09

4th Joint Working Committee meeting to review urban design schemes

28 Sept 08

Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Eco-city.

03 Sept 08

1st Joint Steering Council Meeting.

01 Jul 08

3rd Joint Working Committee meeting to review the detailed plans for the start-up area.

08 Apr 08

The 2nd Joint Working Committee meeting, which was held in Singapore, endorsed the draft Master Plan, which was then released by the Tianjin Municipal Government for public consultation. Work begins on the Detailed Plan for start-up area (4 sq km).

31 Jan 08

The 1st Joint Working Committee was held in Tianjin and co-chaired by Minister Mah Bow Tan and PRC Minister for Construction Wang Guangtao. The meeting endorsed in-principle a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the Eco-city.

18 Nov 07

Singapore and China jointly decided to select Tianjin as the location for the Eco-city. PM Lee Hsien Loong and Premier Wen Jiabao signed a Framework Agreement on the development of the Eco-city on 18 Nov 07.

Oct 07

The PRC proposed four candidate sites for the Eco-city - Tianjin, Tangshan, Baotou and Urumqi. The location of the Eco-city was narrowed down to Tianjin and Tangshan.

Apr 07

Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong broached the proposal for the PRC and Singapore to jointly develop an Eco-city in the PRC with Premier Wen Jiabao, who readily agreed.

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