China, Singapore tackle climate menace with green city



TIANJIN – While climate change has become a common concern all over the world, China and its neighbor Singapore have forged an alliance – the China-Singapore Tianjin EcoCity municipality which has built the city of ecology in the salt-alkali wastelands near the Bahai Sea.

This year marks 15 years since the construction of Sino-Singapore Tianjin EcoCity – the world’s first green city developed through the collaboration of both countries in 2008. Over the past 15 years, the EcoCity has become a sustainable home on the once salt-alkali wasteland.

The Eco-City established an ecological value system of conserving nature, protecting it from carbon emissions, reducing pollution, expanding green  development and pursue economic growth.

In May 2013 when Chinese leader President Xi Jingpin visited the site, he pointed out that EcoCity should take into account the advancement of the city and most importantly seek harmony between people and nature and also observe economic activities.

The chairman of the Administrative Committee of Tianjin Eco-City Wang Guoliang mentioned that the project successfully met president Xi’s instructions as they have comfortably build green environment.

“We have successfully build the green city from scratch on the salty land. In the last decade we have transformed the president’s instructions into our entrepreneurship and implemented a strategy of ecology plus wisdom, and we successfully built a dynamic city,” said Wang.

To date, the city has seen a built-up area of 22 square kilometres, a green coverage area of 11 million square meters, and a proportion of nearshore waters of excellent quality, earning it the National Practical Innovation Base for Turning Lush Mountains and Clear Waters into Gold and Silver and an Exemplary Case of a “Beautiful Bay”.

The Eco-City has successfully balanced the relationship between ecological preservation and economic growth. It has devised the world’s pioneering set of indicators for an eco-city and introduced China’s first comprehensive standard system for zero-carbon demonstration units.

Additionally, it has spearheaded the implementation of a pilot project in Tianjin for valuing ecological products, while actively exploring and harnessing renewable energy sources such as solar, geothermal, and wind power.

Impressively, its carbon emission intensity per unit of GDP stands at impressive standard of 145.3 tons of CO2 per million US dollars, surpassing international benchmarks.

The Eco-City has strictly adhered to 100% green building standards, with a total green building area exceeding 24 million square meters. It has proactively explored and practiced zero-energy consumption buildings  to introduce the city’s first practical zeroenergy consumption smart building with an area of 3,500 square meters.

Furthermore, it has constructed the zerocarbon smart energy town, promoted the use of prefabricated and passive buildings, and attracted institutions involved in green building materials, equipment manufacturing, and design consulting, thereby forming a complete upstream, midstream, and downstream industry chain and witnessing an annual revenue close M40 billion in the green building industry.

The Eco-City has attracted a number of influential institutions and high-quality projects. In collaboration with Tsinghua University, the city has established the Institute for Electronics and Information Technology in Tianjin, successfully transforming over 30 high-tech innovative projects.

The Eco-City has deeply embraced the development philosophy of putting people first to persistently ensure and improve people’s  livelihoods while continuously enhancing their sense of happiness, fulfillment, and security. The resident population in the region has exceeded 130,000, with the number of students in schools and kindergartens reaching 35,000, which shows the growing attractiveness and influence of the city.

Wang said throughout the journey, the Eco-City has been steadily progressing, painting new blueprints and setting an example as a pioneer. Standing at a new historical stage, China and Singapore willjointly support the building of the Eco-City as a leading area for a green and low-carbon economy.

He also mentioned that efforts will be made to strengthen the introduction of high-quality industrial resources and create an upgraded version of China-Singapore cooperation that sets the direction and blueprint for future high-quality development.

“In the next phase, the Eco-City will continue to accelerate the building of green city, a smart and innovative city, a cooperative and open city and a vibrant and blissful city suitable for living, working, tourism, and leisure,” he added.

Meanwhile, China is embarking on reducing the use of coal in an effort to prevent and control atmospheric pollution. Liu Bingjiang, the Chief Engineer at the Ministry of Ecology and Environment noted that China has a huge consumption of coal which bring teeny pollutants emissions.

“Over 10 years we had an action plan to keep the sky blue and we increased energy consumption to clean energy through installation of hydropower, photovoltaic and wind energy,” said Liu.

In 2013, China’s GDP grew by 67 percent but the PM2.5 concentration dropped by 57 percent which was hailed by United Nations as dramatic improvement, (PM2.5 is a key indicator for air quality and 2.5 is the amount).

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