Eco-Cities in China

11 Mar

According to the UN, approximately 42% of China’s population live in cities. However, with increasing urbanisation, the number if people living in cities is, without doubt, going to grow. Urbanisation influences lifestyle changes which involve huge energy demands, therefore increasing greenhouse gas emissions. For this reason, the Chinese government is investing in ‘green city’ initiatives. 

One of the largest green cities will be Tianjin Eco-City. This city is a joint development between the Chinese and Singaporean governments which is being built on what was a toxic waste land. The aim is to home 350,000 people in the Eco-City by 2025. 

The Eco-City will use green transport which includes public transport such as advanced light rail transit systems, trams and buses. Bike tracks will also be implemented in order to encourage cycling to get around the city. Shops, schools and other services will also be  within walking distance. The target is to have 90% of traffic within the city being public transport.

The cities will also include green buildings which are powered by clean, renewable energy. An example of this is office towers which use solar power for heating and the wind for cooling. Eco-cities are expected to cut energy use by 48%. Water will also be conserved by recycling rainwater and desalinising seawater, it is expected that 58% less water will be used due to these processes. It is also predicted that 89% less waste will be produced. 

A green lifestyle will be encouraged through incorporating lots of public, green, open spaces. All homes should be within two minute walking distance of a public park and land outside the city will be reserved for farming. Wildlife habitat will be protected and conserved. It is hoped that the Eco-City will provide sufficient jobs for at least 50% of the Eco-City’s residents within the eco-city, to minimise the need for them to commute on a daily basis out of the city to work and back into the city to go home. Housing within the Eco-City will be affordable, with at least 20% of housing being public housing, in order to encourage interaction between people with all different incomes.

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The World Bank (2011) China’s Green Cities [Online] Available at http://Http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTSDNET/0,,contentMDK:22816322~menuPK:64885113~pagePK:7278667~piPK:64911824~theSitePK:5929282,00.html [Accessed 11/03/14]

Newsupload2010. (2011). China’s “Green City” under construction – ABC 110622. [Online Video] 22/06/2011. Available at http://Http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaknRxATxJc [Accessed 11/03/14].

MacLeod, C. (2012) ‘China builds most ecologically friendly cities.‘. USA Today [Online] 15/07. Available at http://Http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2012-07-15/china-building-green-cities/56219286/1 [Accessed 11/03/2014].

Triska, Z. (2011) ‘Tianjin Eco-City In China: The Future Of Urban Development? (PICTURES)‘. Huffington Post [Online] 13/01. Available at http://Http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/13/tianjin-eco-city_n_806972.html#s221887 [Accessed 11/03/2014].

Business Insider (2012) China Is Building A Huge Eco-City Where No One Will Need To Drive [Online] Available at http://Http://www.businessinsider.com/china-is-building-a-nearly-car-free-city-2012-11?op=1 [Accessed 11/03/14]

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