Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Chinese eco-city: City of dreams, Still on the drawing-board

IDEAS about tackling China’s myriad environmental woes, from soil erosion to polluted waterways, tend to come in outsize packages—hardly surprising, given the scale of the damage. Bold environmental solutions are as appealing to policymakers as they are to engineers who want to put their stamp on the cities of tomorrow. One such project is Dongtan, a planned eco-city on an alluvial island near Shanghai. Designed by Arup, a British design firm, to house 500,000 people on a 8,600-hectare (21,250-acre) site, it was billed as a low-carbon alternative to urban sprawl and a blueprint for other eco-cities. But four years on, not a single green building has gone up on the site.
The reason lies not in the spluttering global economy but in the political corridors of Shanghai, the powerful city to which Chongming island belongs. A prime mover behind Dongtan was a former Shanghai Communist Party chief, Chen Liangyu, who steered the land into the hands of Shanghai Industrial Investment Corporation, or SIIC, a state-owned developer, and lent his prestige to the project. Then, in 2006, Mr Chen was sacked for property-related corruption. He was later convicted and is under house arrest. The way big land deals are done in Shanghai has been changed. 

Dongtan eco-city, by Tourist Republic

more posts about eco-city:

Eco building idea from Alexander Remizov

Toward Low Carbon Cities: Madrid and London

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