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Across China: New lifestyle in Tianjin Ecocity

2015-10-13 21:10

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Tianjin's Ecocity, once nothing more than a saltmarsh and sewage treatment area, is now home to more than 20,000 residents, thanks to strategic cooperation with Singapore that began in 2008.

In Singapore this week, Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli and Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean co-chaired the 12th meeting of China- Singapore Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation, along with meetings to discuss the progress of Tianjin Ecocity and Suzhou Industrial Park, both important bilateral projects. Ecocity hosts more than 2,300 enterprises worth over 100 billion yuan (15.8 billion U.S. dollars), dominated by hi-tech and creative enterprises such as animation. Kindergartens, schools, shopping centers and hospitals are no further than 500 meters from any home, distributed according to the density of population, avoiding traffic congestion and meeting the demands of residents, said Feng Guodong, deputy head of the Ecocity community service center, in Tianjin's Binhai New Area.

As China's first green development of this kind, Ecocity only has green buildings. Solar photovoltaic cells, wind turbines and ground source heat pumps dominate the city's power supply with an aggregate installed capacity of 17.8 megawatts. After seven years, Ecocity covers an area of 12 sq km, at a cost of more than 80 billion yuan.

By 2018, if everything goes according to plan, Ecocity will cover 30 sq km and have a population in excess of 350,000. In constructing the city, researchers have identified 26 quality standards to be used in the construction of future ecocities elsewhere. "The support and experience of Singapore cannot solve all our problems, but we hope to change the environment first and then influence people to build a city with a unique style," said Xu Datong, head of the China-Singapore Tianjin Ecocity Management Committee.

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