Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City: Greener Urban Development in China

The Tianjin Eco-City is located some 140 km from Beijing, and is a product of collaboration between the Chinese and Singaporean governments to construct a sustainable and harmonious city that will be home to some 350,000 people and will generate its own power from green energy sources.

Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City

Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City

The rate at which China is adding new cities is simply mind-boggling and it is estimated that hundreds of new cities are being constructed across the country including the country’s famous “ghost cities.” But this development has rarely been sustainable. Chinese cities are amongst the most polluted in the world. In the gold rush to meet the massive housing demand for the millions streaming into the cities, there’s little regard for the protection of the environment. But some developers and urban planners are beginning to think green.

Amongst the thousands of urban development plans in China, there are a few green plans and even more elaborate Eco cities and smart cities. The Tianjin Eco-City is not the first Chinese eco-city however. One such vaunted smart city, the Dangton eco-city located in Chongming Island has seen construction come to a sudden halt over corruption and funding issues. It was a big blow to many who wished that the rapid Chinese urban development would embrace more sustainability instead of simply green washing massive construction and destruction of the environment with piecemeal green building initiatives.

The Sino Singapore Tianjin Eco-City promises a greater degree of success as it is an initiative by the governments of the two countries and it is also being built on a massive scale. Construction will be completed by 2020. The city will be carbon neutral with energy efficient buildings, “green trips” through greener transportation modes such as walking, cycling and the use of electric powered vehicles and efficient recycling of waste and water.  But the Tianjin Eco-City is an exception in a country where many such initiatives have been shoved aside for “more realistic” real estate and urban development projects. Chinese policy makers are however making efforts towards more sustainable urban development by funding several renewable energy initiatives in the country although it is still a drop in the ocean. Learn more about the Tianjin Eco-City here.

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