The model eco-city Dongtan
Ignoring the shortcomings of Dongtan and other failed attempts at an eco-friendly settlement, China is forging ahead to create another “green city” in the north. This time, with financial assistance from the Singapore government, developers insist the project will succeed.
The Independent reports that this “liveable city” – apparently already underway – would feature acres of parkland, drinkable tap water, and wind-solar powered streetlights. Residents could even move in as early as next year.
It all sounds wonderful, but this “visionary” energy saving utopia faces a slew of scrutiny. Skeptics not only doubt the logistics behind creating this sustainable environment, but also voice concerns that, once again, as China drives toward the future the local community will be disappear.
The model eco-village Huangbaiyu fell flat in 2006 after poorer residents had to move out because they could not afford the hefty $5,000 price tag for their solar-paneled, radiant heat floored bungalows.
Yet, despite this bleak record, the state continues to forge on in formulating partnerships with foreign investors and attracting architects to turn their fantasies of the future into something concrete. With 40 eco-cities in development in 2009, we hope the government figures out the concept of learning from past mistakes.