China Envisions Environmentally Friendly ‘Eco-city’ – Calum Mccleod

 News  Photos 2007 02 16 Ecocity-Large

USA Today takes a look at Dongtan, the new zero-emissions development planned for Chongming Island at the mouth of the Yangtze River:

The British design firm hired by SIIC to design Dongtan says the city will be practical and commercially sensible ” high-tech, economically vibrant, a model for urban planners everywhere ” not a green utopian boondoggle.

“The main grid of the city will be for walking and cycling, not cars. There will be public transport within (550 yards) of each home,” says Peter Head, director of Arup, the British firm designing Dongtan. “With no (gasoline) or diesel engines, Dongtan will be a quiet place. So you can open windows and ventilate buildings.” [Full Text]

Billed as the world’s first “eco-city,” Dongtan will occupy an area roughly three-quarters the size of Manhattan and be powered entirely by renewable energy with grass planted on rooftops for insulation.

Not everyone is buying the pitch: “River Runs Black” author Elizabeth Economy tells the newspaper she thinks the project has potential but also points out China “is littered with expensive demonstration projects that have not been replicated.”

See The Independent for a more detailed (if less skeptical) take on the project.

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