(2016-10-13)On January 10, 2014, a plan that set Tianjin’s bottom line for ecological land was approved at an executive meeting of the municipal government. According to the plan, the land was categorized into “mountain, river, lake, wetland, park, and forest”.
The document decided the boundary, functional orientation, and requirements on management of all kinds of ecological lands in accordance with related regulations, put forward a sound system of laws and regulations, and established an evaluation mechanism to ensure the implementation of the plan. In addition to the six categories mentioned above, the ecological land can be subdivided into detailed sub-categories — mountain nature reserve, national forest park, national geological park scenic area, river, reservoir, salt field, wetland, marsh, suburban park, greenbelt along outer-ring road, wedge-shaped green space around the central city, green corridor in downtown area, forest belt for wind prevention and sand resistance in the northwest, and shelterbelt along coast and highway.
Thanks to the plan, the ecological land under protection reached 2,980 sq km, accounting for one fourth of the city’s total land. Among the 2,980 sq km, 1,800 sq km are in Tianjin’s core area, and 1,180 sq km are in the control area, which account for 15 percent and 10 percent of the city’s total respectively.
The city’s ecological land under permanent protection was divided into the Red-line Area and Yellow-line Area according to the importance of ecological protection. In the 1,800-sq-km Red-line Area, any construction that has nothing to do with protection is banned unless it is approved by the municipal government. In the Yellow-line Area, all the constructions must receive governmental review and approval. And the land under ecological protection that overlaps both the Red-line Area and Yellow-line Area will follow the strictest standard for management and control. In ecologically vulnerable regions, the city will focus on their natural recovery, speed up the implementation of a raft of key ecological projects and restore the damaged ecosystem gradually and develop a virtuous circle for ecology.
The city also improved the target-oriented responsibility system and promoted the management experience of “Hezhang” system, or “river chief” system, which appoints a river chief to help guarantee the water quality of a section of a river, and carried out the target-oriented responsibility management on the ecological zones under permanent protection. It set up and improved the system for appraising the job performance of government officials on ecological protection, and showed zero tolerance to high energy-consuming, high-pollution and high-emission industries. Tianjin also strengthened the comprehensive evaluation of officials’ performance and those who caused grave consequences or baneful influences on ecological environment will be held accountable in accordance with law. The ecological protection law enforcement system was improved and the city showed its steadfast determination for ecological protection, intransigent measures on ecological governance and bare-knuckle attitude for accountability, ensuring that the red line of ecological protection can not be crossed
Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City, a model city for sustainable development As a major cooperation project between China and Singapore and the first inter-state eco-city in the world, the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City has been highly valued by the leaders from the two countries since its commencement ceremony on Sept 28, 2008. The City has earnestly performed the requirement of the framework agreement between China and Singapore and achieved good demonstration effect in urban development, ecological construction, environmental management, industrial development, social undertakings, system and mechanism at home and abroad and become a model for the sustainable development.
The city has earnestly implemented the requirement of the agreement between the two countries, and taken the development and construction of the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City as a priority and accelerated its development with the several ministries’ support and guidance. It plans to build a livable eco-city that advocates environmental protection and energy conservation on a 30-sq-km salinized land in 10 to 15 years.
Actively exploring a new path for city’s sustainable development. The construction of the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City aims to realize the harmonious coexistence between people and people, people and economic activities, people and the environment, and tries to make itself a demonstration project so that its concept can be duplicated, its goal can be reached and its experience can be promoted. It hopes to deal with global climate change and promote urban sustainable development through addressing the “urban diseases”, a series of social problems caused by a large increase of population into already crowded and stressed cities, such as environmental pollution, waste of resources and traffic congestion.
It will vigorously develop clean energy and renewable energy and strive to build an environment-friendly and socially harmonious eco-city. Promoting green building standards system. The Eco-City has formulated the design standards, construction standards, evaluation standards and related supportive policies to encourage the application of energy-saving and environmentally friendly new technologies, new materials, new processes, and new equipment in the Eco-City, so as to reduce the heat loss and energy consumption in buildings and make all of them green buildings.
Constructing a green transportation network system. It has promoted a green transit-oriented and slow-moving transportation mode, and formed a public transportation network that covers the whole area. All the buses use clean energy. The Eco-City hopes to build a safe and comfortable slow-moving space that separates the pedestrians and vehicles, and ensure the green transportation rate no less than 90 percent.
Setting up a green energy supply system. Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City will use clean energy to ensure the carbon intensity per unit of GDP no more than 150 tons per million dollars, the utilization rate of renewable energy no lower than 20 percent and the proportion of heat supply provided by solar energy in the total amount of hot water no less than 60 percent. Biomass energy and geothermal resources will be exploited and utilized. It will also strengthen the recycling of waste heat and shallow-lying geothermal energy, as well as build an energy supply mode that integrates the renewable energy and conventional clean energy. Strengthening ecological restoration and protection.
The Eco-City plans to maintain its green-coverage rate at 50 percent, preserve wetlands and bird habitats, and build a large ecological corridor. It expects to produce 19,926 tons of oxygen and absorb 52,407 tons of carbon dioxide and 18,100 tons of dust, and effectively protect the environmental quality of the Eco-City upon its completion of urban green space system by 2020. Building low-carbon industry system. The Eco-City will demonstrate its superiority in new energy use, cyclic utilization of water resources, environmentally friendly building materials, and digital city construction with its advantages of China-Singapore cooperation platform and the opportunities brought by the development and opening-up of Binhai New Area. Building a new harmonious livable community.
The Eco-City introduced the concept of “neighborhood unit”, and set up a three-level (“cell — community district”) eco-city mode and a four-level (“urban center -urban sub center residential community center — grassroot community center”) public service center system, which enable residents to access high-quality services including healthcare, culture, sports, commerce, entertainment, finance, post and communication. 2015 is an important year for the three zones’ integration and fulfillment of all the tasks of the Eco-City.
Its green industries, development and construction, and social undertakings had made great achievements. The total investment in fixed assets totaled 27 billion CNY, up 30 percent year-on-year; the public finances reached 3.4 billion CNY, up 32 percent from a year earlier; it attracted domestic direct investment of 10.4 billion yuan, 30 percent higher than the year before; the actual utilization of foreign capital increased by 18 percent from the previous year to $600 million. It is home to a group of companies in hi-tech industries, such as one of key players in China’s gaming industry Ourgame and Chinese Internet video company Baofeng Technology Co Ltd, some cultural and creative companies like BlueFocus Communication Group and Meituan’s film ticketing service provider, and high-end supportive industries like the Yili Eco-Tourism Island and the Sino-Canadian Low Carbon Demonstration Zone.
More than 1,000 enterprises were launched in the Eco-City in 2015. As of April of 2016, the 8-sq-km south zone has almost finished construction and its annual output value totaled 13.5 billion CNY. It has attracted fixed-asset investment worth 100 billion CNY and more than 3,400 enterprises with total registered capital of nearly 140 billion yuan.
About 50,000 people have found a job or lived there. The construction of the central area will be pushed forward this year, another 40 high-quality projects will be introduced and 66 projects will be built in five years. The resource-efficient and environment-friendly eco-city has presented initial success and showed demonstration effect at home and abroad. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (20162020), the Eco-City will adhere to the development idea featuring the industrial development, ecological environment, reform and innovation.
It will focus on promoting the boutique projects, smart projects and spiritual projects, hoping to build a national green development demonstration zone with its emphasis on internationalization, marketization and legalization. The Eco-City will also take the green industry as its core idea and develop five leading industries of culture and creativity, Internet + technology, high-end supportive facilities, cold-chain logistics and coastal tourism, relying on the two driving engines — smart innovation and urban consumption.