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What is the policy, vision, or objective of the town?

As the world’s first government-to-government level eco-city project between two countries, Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City is not only devoted to be the Chinese or global model of sustainable development city, but also provides international platform for demonstration of ecological theory innovation, energy conservation and environmental protection technology and ecological civilizations. It will also be a model for international cooperation in China in the future. More specifically, the development visions for Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City are as follows :

  1. PLATFORM: A research, implementation and promotion platform for ecological and environmental protection technology.
  2. CENTER: A national promotion center for ecological and environmental protection training.
  3. BASE: A modern ecotype high-tech industry base.
  4. WINDOW: An international demonstration window for the international experience exchange of ecological environment construction.
  5. NEW CITY: A model city for environmentally-friendly and resource-efficient.

Moreover, when the cooperation framework was signed, the Eco-City is also dedicated to implement the concepts of “Three Harmonies” and “Three Abilities.”

“Three Harmonies” refers to:

  • People living in harmony with other people, i.e. social harmony
  • People living in harmony with economic activities, i.e. economic vibrancy
  • People living in harmony with the environment, i.e. environmental sustainability

“Three Abilities” refers to the Eco-city being:

  • Practicable – the technologies adopted in the Eco-city must be affordable and commercially viable
  • Replicable – the principles and models of the Eco-city could be applied to other cities in China and even in other countries
  • Scalable – the principles and models could be adapted for another project or development of a different scale

Brief outline of the low carbon town development plan

Jointly developed by the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design, the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute, and the Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority, the Tianjin Eco-city’s Master Plan attempts to strike a balance between competing needs, including the social, economic and environmental needs of the Eco-city.

1) Master Plan Overview

The Master Plan can be summarized as “1 Axis – 3 Centers – 4 Districts”.

“1 Axis” – refers to the Eco-valley cutting across the Eco-city, which is the green spine of the city. It links up the City Centre, the 2 sub-centres and the 4 districts in the Eco-city, and provides a scenic trail for pedestrians and cyclists. The tram system, which will be built to meet the Eco-city’s transport needs, will run along the Eco-valley.

“3 Centers” – refers to the main City Center on the promontory on the south bank of the Old Ji Canal and the two sub-centers in the south and the north.

“4 Districts” – refers to the residential districts in the southern, central, northern and north-eastern parts of the Eco-city. Each district contains several housing neighborhoods comprising a variety of housing types, as well as their respective commercial and amenity centres serving their communities.

The Eco-cell is a key concept in the Master Plan. Eco cells are basic building blocks of the Eco-city. Each cell is about 400m by 400m large, generally accepted as a comfortable walking distance. Four Eco-cells make an Eco-neighborhood. Several Eco-neighborhoods come together to form an Eco-district.

2) Land-use Planning

The Eco-city is planned to be compact, with a good mix of land uses and based on Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) principles. Each district is planned with amenities and jobs located close by. Local and centralized facilities are provided to serve the needs of residents in each neighborhood. Each district is served by urban centers. Business Parks are located close to residential areas to provide employment for residents, which is within easy access of their homes.

3) Green Industry

The Eco-city is dedicated to focus on green industry which features in R&D, energy-saving and environmental friendly industry, cultural and innovative industry, as well as advanced service industry. Five industrial Parks, including National Animation Industrial Park, National Flm Park, Technology Park, industrial Park, as well as IT Park.

4) Green Building

All the construction of buildings in Eco-city will have to reach the green building standards. Integrated use of renewable energy, water resource utilization, green building materials, ventilation, daylighting, and garbage disposal etc. will be applied in the buildings to reduce building energy consumption and emissions, and the industrialization of green building will be promoted.

5) Transportation Planning

The emphasis on green transport is a key feature in the transport planning of the Eco-city. The aim is to increase trips via public transport and non-motorized modes of transport such as via bicycles and walking, within the Eco-city. To achieve this, non-motorized and motorized networks will be separated to minimize conflict between pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles, with priority given to pedestrians and non-motorized transport, as well as public transport.

6) New type of Energy

Tianjin Eco-city will actively promote the new energy technology, strengthen the energy utilization and improve its efficiency. Tianjin Eco-city is devoted to develop the generation of renewable energies, including geothermal energy, solar power energy, wind power energy, biomass power energy, etc, so that renewable energy utilization rate are anticapted to reach 20% by 2020. At the same time, all buildings in Tianjin Eco-city will apply energy efficiency technolog and reach green building standards.

7) Ecological Remediation

The Eco-city is planned with extensive green (vegetation) and blue (water) networks in mind to provide an endearing living and working environment. The green network will comprise a green lung at the core of the Eco-city and green-relief eco-corridors emanating from the lung to the other parts of the Eco-city. Water bodies in the Eco-city will be linked together for greater water circulation to enhance the ecology and to provide an attractive environment for waterfront development and water-based recreational activities. A wastewater pond will be rehabilitated and transformed into a clean and beautiful lake.

8) Key Performance Indicators. (KPIs)

The planning and development of the Eco-city is guided by a comprehensive set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) covering its ecological, economic and social development. The KPIs were jointly formulated by experts from Singapore and China and endorsed by the Ministerial-level Eco-city Joint Working Committee. In formulating the KPIs, due consideration was given to the national standards in China and Singapore, and the higher of the two standards was adopted, wherever feasible. Prevailing best international practices and the local conditions in Tianjin were also taken into account.

There are 22 quantitative and 4 qualitative KPIs. The start-up area and the entire Eco-city are targeted for completion by end-2013 and 2020 respectively. It is for this reason that reference is made to these years in the KPIs. The most important metrics includes as follows:

  • Green Building Ratio: 100% (Present)
  • Usage of Renewable Energy: ≥20% (2020)
  • Usage of Water from Non-Traditional Sources: ≥50%(2020)
  • Proportion of Green Trips: ≥90%(2020)
  • Carbon Emission Per Unit GDP: 150 tonne-C per US$1 million
  • Net Loss of Natural Wetlands: 0 (Present)
  • Per Capita Public Green Space: ≥12㎡ (2013)
  • Per Capita Daily Domestic Waste Generation: ≤0.8 kg(2013)
  • Overall Recycling Rate:≥60%(2013)
  • Proportion of Affordable Public Housing: ≥20%(2013)

Project Management

Due to Tianjin Eco-city’s unique development framework, the project is promoted jointly by Singapore and Chinese government. And the collaboration occurs at two levels – at the Government-to-Government level and at the private sector level.

1) Government-to-Government Cooperation

At the G-to-G level, Singapore and China have committed to share expertise and experience in areas like urban planning, environmental protection, resource conservation, water and waste management and sustainable development, as well as policies and programs to engender social harmony in the Tianjin Eco-city.
A Joint Steering Council (JSC) co-chaired at the Deputy Prime Minister-Vice Premier level charts the strategic directions of the project. A Joint Working Committee (JWC), co-chaired by Singapore’s Minister for National Development (MND) and China’s Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, and comprising senior representatives from agencies involved in the Eco-city project on both sides, oversees the implementation of the project and the achievement of its key milestones.

Other than cooperation in environmental and social development, the economic cooperation are more investment promotion oriented. IE Singapore is involved in the Tianjin Eco-city project as part of its wider mandate to grow Singapore’s external economy and supporting the overseas growth of Singapore-based companies. In China, IE Singapore leverages on its network of nine offices to help Singapore-based companies tap into available investment opportunities across China. IE Singapore is also the secretariat for seven bilateral business councils in China, including the Singapore-Tianjin Economic and Trade Council (STETC) which is co-chaired by Singapore Minister Khaw Boon Wan and Tianjin Mayor Huang Xingguo. The STETC serves as a platform to facilitate and promote greater cooperation between Tianjin and Singapore business communities.

IE Singapore offers a range of financial tools, grants and tax incentives to help enterprises gain access to capital, develop their financial management capabilities and defray developmental costs of expanding overseas. In view of the Eco-city’s unique status as a flagship G-to-G project, IE Singapore launched a customised “Tianjin Eco-city Assistance Programme” (TAP) in January 2011 specifically to facilitate Singapore-based companies’ participation in the Eco-city. Under TAP, each eligible company may receive a grant of up to S$150,000. Another incentive programme announced in March 2012 will see IE Singapore committing S$9.5 million over the next five years to assist eligible Singapore companies interested to invest in the Eco-city.

IE Singapore also works closely with SSTEC and Singapore’s trade associations and chambers to lead and support regular investment promotion activities. These activities, which include business missions to Tianjin and business seminars, aim to increase awareness among Singapore-based companies of the business opportunities in Tianjin Eco-city.

To sum up, the tangible outcomes of the G-to-G collaboration to-date include:

  • Joint formulation of the Eco-city’s Key Performance Indicator (KPI) framework
  • Joint formulation of the Eco-city’s Masterplan
  • Joint formulation of the Eco-city’s Green Building Evaluation Standards
  • Joint formulation of the Eco-city’s Integrated Water Management Guidelines
  • Joint formulation of the Eco-city’s Public Housing Policy Framework
  • Joint investment promotion activities

2) Private Sector Cooperation

At the private sector-level, the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city Investment and Development Co. Ltd (SSTEC) which is formed by a Singapore consortium and a Chinese consortium, each with a 50% stake in the JV Co, is the master developer for the project. SSTEC also undertakes economic promotion of the Eco-city. That the project is undertaken by the private sector helps to ensure its commercial viability and enhance its scope for replication. Keppel Corporation leads the Singapore Consortium, while the Chinese consortium is led by Tianjin TEDA Investment Holdings Co. Ltd and China Development Bank, etc.

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