Sustainable Cities™

Tianjin: A model Eco-city in the Eastern World

The Tianjin Eco-City project aims to serve as a legacy for future generations by creating an environmentally friendly, economically viable, and energy efficient urban area. As climate change becomes an increasingly alarming global issue, this project could serve as a valuable model in creating future sustainable developments throughout Asia and the world at large.

Photo credit: Surbana Urban Planning Group

Born through a partnership between the governments of China and Signapore, the Tianjin Eco-City project demonstrates the committment of both countries in addressing climate change, energy conservation, environmental preservation, and sustainable development. The project site is situated just 40km from Tianjin city centre, and 150km from China's capital, Beijing. Expected to be completed by 2020, the project will comprise of innovative technologies, concepts, and designs and will cost a total of 50 billion yuan (US $9.7 billion).

The project will take a human-orientated approach and follow 22 quantitative indicators that will guide the eco-city's development. One such indicator includes per capita public green space, which should be at least 12 square metres per person by 2013.  Another indicator strives for 20% of energy utilized in the eco-city to be renewable, including solar and geothermal. These various indicators fall under four key approaches, including good natural environment, healthy balance in a human-made environment, good lifestyle habits, and developing a healthy and efficient economy. 

 Surbana Urban Planning Group

All buildings in the eco-city will meet green building standards and be barrier-free, an important component for China's aging population. With 20% of the project's housing being subsidized, residents in the eco-city will vary in income levels and professions, creating a diverse social atmosphere. The project's aim is to develop a strong eco-culture among residents, where 90% will walk, cycle, or take transit. Per capita daily domestic waste generation per person will not exceed 0.8kg and 60% of waste will be recycled by 2013.

In order to assess the project's eco-friendly features, Ho Tong Yen, CEO of the Tianjin Eco-City project, will be among the first to live in the development. As a resident, he will assess the strengths and weaknesses of the project and seek improvements where necessary. In the following quote by Ho Tong Yen, he expresses his interest in utilizing the eco-city project as a learning tool.

"I think that in time to come, this will be a model that many people will study, some cities will replicate certain aspects of the concept we have developed here. They may not replicate Eco-city in its whole but I think as long as some ideas are replicated elsewhere, then I think we would have made a very big contribution to sustainable development."

The Tianjin Eco-City project strives to create an urban area with a balanced harmony between humans, the economy, and the environment. Through this significant committment between the governments of China and Signapore, cities of the eastern world could be facing a brighter and greener future. 

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014