Tianjin Eco-city enters new phase as first residents move in [News]
By Maria Siow, Channel NewsAsia, 14 Feb 2012.
The Tianjin Eco-city has entered a new phase as it welcomes its first residents, amenities, ready-built factories and other facilities.
The city is the result of a collaborative agreement between China and Singapore.
Located in Tianjin, the Eco-city was conceptualised as an environmentally-friendly, resource-conserving city in China.
Its first residential project was recently completed, and buyers were given the keys to their new homes.
One of them is Zhang Yongwei, a Chinese national who became a Singapore citizen in 2005.
He paid 960,000 yuan, or about US$152,000 for his 95 square-metre apartment.
Mr Zhang said: “I like the good geographical location. It’s central, convenient, and located right next to the commercial street. The apartment comes with warm flooring and 24-hour solar energy generated hot water. There’s also a fibre-optic connection combining telephone, television and Internet.”
Mr Zhang works in the Eco-city.
When he moves in, he plans to walk to his office, contributing to the city’s goal of green transportation.
Ho Tong Yen, CEO, Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City, said: “Approximately some 10 to 15 families have moved into and Eco-city and another 50 families have moved in their furniture and will be moving into the Eco-city soon. So the Eco-city is entering a new phase of development. We are no longer just a plan, a model, but serves as a real home for people. Amenities are beginning to sprout up in the Eco-city, we have our first restaurant, our first coffee joint, our first bank, so we are all very excited about this next phase of the eco city’s development.”
More residential projects are due for completion.
By the end of the year, about 6,000 homes will be ready for their new owners.
The city’s public housing project, modelled after Singapore’s, will also be ready for handover later this year.
Mr Ho said: “This includes not just the design of the buildings, but also the layout, the common spaces, even down to the choice of playground equipment. It’s not just about the hardware. We are also trying to create a socially harmonious environment that fosters social interaction where residents have common spaces where they can interact.”
An international school will begin operations in September, and it will make environmental protection an important part of its curriculum.
Ready-built factories are available for industries ranging from green businesses to the creative and IT fields.
Another project in the pipeline this year is the development of an elderly-friendly apartment in the start-up area.
When completed, the Tianjin Eco-city will be a city where inhabitants can live, work and play with minimal damage to the environment. And the city even looks set to become the blueprint for China’s future urbanisation development.
Source: Channel NewsAsia