Reply To: Hong Kong to become China “Green City”?


Here’s main text from an email I sent back in January, after first hearing of the idea that Hong Kong become China’s green city: just had google for "green city" China; and not new idea. – seems, though, it tends to mean a city doing some env stuff, rather than one in natural setting with lots of greenery. But Dalian and Nanjing local govts (see below) maybe have some grasp of the idea; more, by the looks of things, than Donald and Henry. Give us something to compete with. Maybe UNEP to aim for, but think this is for govts to attempt. (see interview from Nanjing – try to imagine someone high in HK govt giving equivalent responses ) Spiel below. But just occurring to me, too – Hong Kong has bauhinia as symbol; also dolphin for handover. Nanning, Guizhou, aiming to be green city:  [I’ve been; not struck by greenery]

Henan capital, Zhengzhou is China’s model for the planting of trees in urban areas and is therefore called the "green city."

Green (here, meaning eco-friendly) cities to be built from scratch: British design consultancy Aruphas announced that it has been tapped by the Chinese government to lead the construction of an "eco-city" expansion to Shanghai. Dongtan, the expanded development near Shanghai’s airport, will eventually cover about 8,800 hectares — roughly the size of Manhattan island. Shanghai claimsthat the Dongtan project will be "the world’s first genuinely eco-friendly city," using recycled water, cogeneration and biomass for energy, and striving to be as carbon-neutral as possible. The first phase, a 630 hectare development including a mix of transport facilities, schools, housing and high-tech industrial spaces, will begin construction late next year, and is expected to be completed by 2010.

So what does it mean to be a "genuinely eco-friendly city?" Arup gives this overview:

Priority projects include the process of capturing and purifying water in the landscape to support life in the city. Community waste management recycling will generate clean energy from organic waste, reducing landfills that damage the environment. Combined heat and power systems will provide the technology to source clean and reliable energy. Dongtan will be a model ecological city, and its buildings will help to reduce energy use, making efficient use of energy sources and generating energy from renewable sources.

The express goal for the Chinese government is to use the Dongtan development as a template for future urban design. This isn’t the only green city project in China. In July, we noted that William McDonough had drafted a master plan for building the city of Huangbaiyu as a "cradle-to-cradle" model city. Phase 1 construction, with forty new homes built using advanced construction materials, should be completed by October. As McDonough’s plan is arguably at leastas "eco-friendly" as the Dongtan project is supposed to be — and is already well underway — Shanghai’s claim that Dongtan will be the first one is a bit dubious.

I’ve had slight involvement in project to build env friendly city south of Shanghai; some ideas in plan dodgy. Milton Keynes type place hardly real "green" to me Beijing, China’s capital city, has drawn up an ambitious plan to have its green land coverage increased to 40 percent by 2005 and 45 percent by 2010. Beijing Mayor Liu Qi announced the plan to build the capital into a "green metropolis" at a teleconference on afforestation Thursday. we already better that for greenery

I mentioned Dalian: Located on the picturesque Liaodong Peninsula, in the center of Northeast Asia economic zone, strategically within short distance from Japan, South Korea and the Far East regions of Russia, Dalian is, and has been, the most dynamic seaport city of Northern China. International trade has developed from these strategic areas to that of international proportions molding Dalian into a greater international center covering everything from finance to tourism now with new ever expanding parameters. After effectively transforming itself from that of a city of heavy industry in 1995 to that of a "Green City", Dalian is the first city in China to receive the "Global 500" award for human habitation and excellent living environment by UNEP – United Nations Environment Program.