Interesting set of projects in China...
British to help China build 'eco-cities'
Sunday November 6, 2005
British engineers will this week sign a multi-billion contract with the
Chinese authorities to design and build a string of 'eco-cities' -
self-sustaining urban centres the size of a large western capital - in the
Arup, the London-based consulting firm that has already signed up for one such
project near Shanghai, will announce it has clinched a deal to extend the
concept into a string of cities around China.
The eco-cities are regarded both as a prototype for urban living in
over-populated and polluted environments and as a magnet for investment funds
into the rapidly growing Chinese economy.
A signing ceremony is expected to take place in Downing Street this week
during the state visit of the President of the People's Republic, Hu Jintao.
The Shanghai Industrial Investment Company - a partly state-owned corporation
quoted on the Hong Kong stock market - will sign on behalf of the Chinese.
Peter Head, the Arup director in charge of the first eco-city, at Dongtan near
Shanghai, said: 'We are going to help establish a model of how a sustainable
city works, but it must also be a viable financial proposition in the long
term to attract international investment.'
The Dongtan development, on an island in the mouth of the Yangtze river near
Shanghai, aims to build a city three-quarters the size of Manhattan by 2040.
The first phase will accommodate some 50,000 people. It is on target to be
open by the time of the Shanghai Expo trade fair in 2010.
Up to four more eco-cities will be built, though exact locations have not yet
been revealed. Experts believe that the real challenge will be to build them
in China's interior, in regions that have been polluted by heavy industry and
depopulated by the movement of millions of Chinese people to the booming
Head said: 'It is part of a new awareness of the environment by the Chinese
government. They realise that with their growing population and economy they
have to overcome the problems of environmental pollution and resource
The eco-cities are intended to be self-sufficient in energy, water and most
food products, with the aim of zero emissions of greenhouse gases in transport
Head said: 'It is no gimmick. It is being led at the highest levels of the
Chinese government. They are very committed to developing a new paradigm of
One international property group, Dublin-based Treasury, has already signed up
with SIIC for a €1 billion investment in the Dongtan project. Arup hopes to
announce other investors and give detailed costings of the project by the end
of the year.