Complete Property Market Updates of Singapore

April 30, 2008

HDB-style living in Tianjin eco-city

Filed under: 1 — Propertymarketupdates @ 1:45 am

The $5.8b project is the biggest S’pore-China venture in 15 years

A LANDMARK project to build an ecologically sustainable city from scratch in Tianjin will see a touch of HDB living in northern China.

It will feature an LRT station within walking distance of flats, which will also be close to amenities such as eateries and schools – all familiar sights in HDB estates here – to cut down on the need for transportation.

Many other Singapore touches are likely as the flagship Tianjin eco-city is being modelled on some of Singapore’s HDB new towns.

A bold masterplan for the eco-city is being made public today by the National Development Ministry.

China news reports say investments of at least 30 billion yuan (S$5.8 billion) will be pumped into the project.

It is the most significant cooperative project between the two nations in about 15 years. And leaders in both Singapore and China believe that it could serve as an important blueprint for similar future eco-friendly projects.

Speaking to reporters earlier this week, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said the eco-city would have a ‘clear Singapore imprint’ and would reflect ‘a lot of the experience that we have gathered for many years’.

It would pave the way for the further adoption of green features and technologies here, he added. It would also allow government leaders and businessmen from both nations ‘to interact…broaden and deepen the engagement and relationship’.

The eco-city, 40km from the port city of Tianjin and 150km south-east of Beijing, will tackle the growing problems of pollution by providing a ‘green lung’ and eco-corridors with extensive greenery for 110,000 energy-efficient homes.

Singapore’s Green Mark scheme – which sets environmental standards for buildings – will also be used.

Green technologies such as water recycling and harnessing waste heat from power stations will be adopted. The LRT will link four major districts, cutting the need for cars. The city will derive 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources as an initial target.

The masterplan will see 30 sq km of marshland transformed into a mini-metropolis. Construction of an initial 3 sq km will begin after a ground-breaking ceremony in Tianjin in July.

The eco-city, first mooted by Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong during a meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing last April, is the most significant cooperation between the two countries since the Suzhou Industrial Park in the early 1990s.

A boon to Singapore firms, the project will provide opportunities for those with products and services, such as waste and water treatment, to expand into China, said Mr Mah.

About 20 per cent of the eco-city’s homes will be public, subsidised housing – an idea put forward by Singapore to ensure the city is made up of residents ‘from all walks of life’, he said.

He said the project resonates now as ‘countries all over the world are facing serious challenges in trying to grow but to do so without damaging the environment’.

The eco-city will be set apart because ‘economic development will be balanced with sustainable development that is holistic and pragmatic…and it has to be practical, scaleable, replicable’ .

It will be built by a joint venture – a Singapore consortium led by Keppel Corp and a Chinese consortium led by Tianjin TEDA Investment Holdings, with equal stakes.

Mr Mah acknowledged the project as a major challenge:

‘We’re under no illusions that this is…easy to achieve. but looking at the goodwill, amount of effort and commitment that’s going in, I think there is every chance that we will achieve what we set out to do within the timeframe.’

Source : Straits Times – 17 Apr 2008


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