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Friday, August 8, 2008

A New Green City for China

**Be sure to read the update with Interview 1, Interview 2, and videos. **
Shanghai has a growing population, heavily polluted air, dirty water, and power shortages. But just a short ferry ride away is a wild-life preserve that will soon become its first green city.

Dongtan, which according to Business Week, "About the size of Manhattan, Dongtan aims to be energy self-sufficient using a combination of wind, solar power, and biofuels." The design is being done by Arup Group, out of London, with Alejandro Gutierrez as the Project Designer. Peter Head is the Project Director, and Roger Wood is the Project Manager. The final customer is Shanghai Industrial Investment Corporation (SIIC), and they will be making the final decisions. Cheap? No. 100% Free. Trade stocks for free on Zecco.com. The Free Trading Community. www.zecco.com

According to Gutierrez, as quoted in Wired Magazine, Dongtan will be "...a city powered by local, renewable energy, with super-efficient buildings clustered in dense, walkable neighborhoods; a recycling scheme that re-purposes 90 percent of all waste; a network of high tech organic farms; and a ban on any vehicle that emits CO2." Of course, many of these buildings will have green roofs! Water Barrels and Storage

Because this is such an interesting topic, Arup has agreed to be interviewed about the Dongtan project. My goal is to bring you the details of this emerging and fascinating story! Green roofs are going to be a part of this major endeavor, and I predict it will only help their popularity.


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10 comments:

rehevkor5 said...

So... let me get this straight... they're turning a wildlife preserve... into a city... and that's good how, exactly?

Anonymous said...

Finally some good news about china... Good move !!!!

markun said...

Nice little movie about some people looking for Dongtan: Searching for Dongtan

JOsh Beauregard said...

so a nature reserve is going away to make a city.
The chines gov really has no scruples about eviction for a new project.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with building green cities... but on a NATURE RESERVE? Are you kidding me?

Building green cities entails lots of greenhouse emissions. Yje Nature Reserve is no doubt covered in trees able to reduce the emissions. They should be left there and the 'green city' built somewhere more sustainable. Or should that be somewhere LESS UNSUSTAINABLE...

TasHammer said...

Dongtan is very close to Shanghai if it is only a 30 minute ferry ride so the notion of sequestering such a large area of land and keeping it green even permaculturish sounds like a good idea.
Remember that Shanghai is huge and pollutes to high heaven.
Of course one has to wonder who will benefit but one realizes that the Party Officials and private enterprise will not be taking any extra benefit - it is a socilaist state after all, (muffled cough).

Dave Lankshear said...

I thought Dongtan had some areas that were of ecological significance and others that were actually wasteland, covered in plastic trash and rubbish that drifted across from the mainland?

So putting a show-piece eco-city might actually improve the island, and setting apart some of the island as parkland will create some economic value in the parkland, hopefully assuring a permanent status and secure area for the birds.

My thing is, as we are so close to peak oil we need to see shining examples of how to live without cars, and we needed it 20 years ago. Peak oil AND global warming together make eco-cities a desperate race against time. If Dongtan can be built well, and become a show-piece then perhaps we can learn to give up the suburban dream which will fast become a nightmare after peak oil, and get stuck into making cities that are "more European than European". New Urbanism, eco-cities, and massively rezoning existing cities, retrofitting energy systems, creating sewerage nutrient capture systems for local farming and upgrading public transport will not be matters of trendy greenwashing but matters of SURVIVAL after peak oil hits. The faster Dongtan and other cities can be built to lead the way, the better.

ben keeney said...

i don't know about the "wildlife preserve" comments. are you sure you don't mean "undeveloped greenspace?" which, so close to a dense urban environment could only support a few species of wildlife?
i am sitting in china right now, and i bet this idea could work. chinese cities are usually pretty good about not sprawling, and an island is a good framework to assure that a contained urban fabric is maintained. recycling, passive solar stratigies, and low/no co2 vehicles are already a pretty big hit. believe it or not, the urban areas of china are already more sustainable than many american "everybody drives two hours to work everyday" "cities." not to mention that the cities in china are usually twice as big and twice as crowded than other cities throughout the world. what this new city will require to stay afloat is an eye on slumlord developers that just plop out highrise condos, even if they have green roofs. i say let's go ahead and build this city if we can have quality assurance on construction, infrastructure, and materials (low voc's, etc).

Anonymous said...

all these great initiatives are a distraction from the real issues that need to be addressed. pollution (land, air, water, over fished waters, biodiversity loss, deforestation, desertification, droughts, famine, social injustuces within and between countries,...are all the consequence of an accumulative lifestyle that pitches individuals, communities, ethnic groups, companies, countries, TNCs, mankind againts one another.

building 'green cities' will fail the test of continuity, their utopian objectives are a far cry from solving the root problems. they only aim to mitigate not solve the physical representations of human nature. societies are shaped not by structures (in their origins) but by abstract traits which use physical materials to establish their dominance.

eco-cities will be the outcome of a change in perceptions first (well thought out) and then their injection into already existing human settlements and from then on, will evolve into the climax state common in nature. its a process of learning and adjustments, not a multibillion dollar jamboree. such should serve existing rural and urban developments.

WRGII said...

I would like to echo the comments of the last poster. While I applaud China for their desire to "something" about the atrocious state of the environment, I am not about to let them off the hook for their other issues. Human rights abominations are an everyday occurrence, as well as no real commitment to cleaning up the environment. When I was in Shanghai in January 2008, I was told by a government official that unplanned demonstrations were up and that the issue was the environment. The people have had enough and hopefully things will change. Respecting human life and the dignity of each person is the first step to a properly ordered society.