Eco-city of the future takes shape

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 June, 2011, 12:00am


A futuristic city, a model for the world to deal with the challenges presented by high-density urban living, is taking shape on the coast of Bohai Bay, 40 kilometres from Tianjin's city centre. The Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City (SSTEC) is the second major project Singapore and the mainland have worked on after Suzhou Industrial Park. The goal is to create a liveable, efficient and compact city, which can be developed in an ecologically sound and environmentally sustainable manner.

Covering an area of 30 square kilometres, the eco-city includes a city centre with commercial and residential facilities, public transport networks and public open space. Construction of the three-square-kilometre start-up phase of the project started in September 2008, and is expected to be completed by 2013. The entire project is expected to be completed about 2020, with a projected population of 350,000.

The centre of the eco-city will be located on the southern bank of a canal with 1,000 years of history.

It has been planned for a variety of commercial, cultural and recreational uses. These will allow for a varied live-work-play atmosphere close to the natural environment, and provide easy public access to the waterfront.

The eco-valley running through the city will be a key public open space serving as the main ecological green spine, and connecting the major transit nodes, residential areas, community facilities and commercial centres.

SSTEC's two commercial sub-centres will also be located in the northern and southern parts of the city. Dedicated business parks and social amenities, such as schools and hospitals, will also be built.

The eco-city will specialise in tertiary and service industries, and be an educational and research and development centre for environment-related technologies. There will also be subsidised public housing and an easily accessible non-motorised public transport system linking various parts of the city. At present, construction of the roads, landscaping works and basic infrastructure in the start-up area have largely been completed, while various residential, industrial and commercial developments are under construction.

The set of new projects announced include six major investment deals and partnerships, with a total investment of 500 million yuan (HK$599.14 million), involving multinational companies such as General Motors, Panasonic and Philips.