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Dongtan Eco-City

Update Provided by ARUP
Date: 23 October 2007

Arup in China

• Arup, the global design, engineering and business consultancy, is the creative force behind many of the world’s most innovative and sustainable buildings, transport and civil engineering projects.

• Arup was founded over 60 years ago and we have operated in China for more than 30 years. We are a global company with more than 10,000 projects running at any one time, and almost a quarter of our worldwide staff of 9,000, are based in Hong Kong and China.

• Arup’s work in mainland China includes sports venues, hotels, offices, airports, libraries, power stations, bridges, highways and railways.

• We are currently designing some of the highest profile projects for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, including the Olympic Stadium, the National Aquatics Centre the CCTV tower and the new Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital International Airport.

Project Overview

In August 2005, Arup was contracted by the Shanghai Industrial Investment Corporation (SIIC) to design and masterplan the world’s first eco-city, Dongtan, near Shanghai. In November 2005, we signed an additional contract with SIIC to work on three further eco-cities in China.

We are currently in the process of gaining final approval of the masterplan and design from the Chinese Government. SIIC will then invite international investors to take part in the first round of funding.

Dongtan will be a city of three villages that meet to form a city centre. The first phase of development aims to be completed by 2010, in time for the World Expo in Shanghai, and will accommodate a population of up to 10 000. The later phases will grow to a population of 80 000 by 2020 and are projected to rise with further development to a population of 500 000 by 2050.

Hurricane Ike hammers city of Clear Lake Shores, Texas. Only the word "Lake" proved to be an appropriate part of the name after Hurricane Ike swept through the city. September 13, 2008 (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press). Image may be subject to copyright.

The planning of Dongtan incorporates many traditional Chinese design features and combines with a sustainable approach to modern living, but not at the expense of creating a city that is recognisable as a ‘Chinese’ city.

Key Facts

• Construction of the city is due to begin in 2007 or early 2008.
• Some off-site infrastructure is currently being put in place by the Chinese Government; a bridge and tunnel linking Chongming Island with the Shanghai mainland.
• The Dongtan site is 86 square kilometers (8 600 hectares):
o By 2010, the one square kilometer (100 hectares) first phase will be developed, to accommodate up to 10 000 people
o By 2020, the 6.5 square kilometer (650 hectares) start-up area will be developed, to accommodate up to 80 000 people
o In future development up to 2050, we hope to accommodate up to 500 000 people on around 30 square kilometers (3 000 hectares)

• The first phase to be developed will be the East Village which contains part of the marina and includes nearly a square kilometer of open space and parkland – we anticipate it will include around 2 500 to 3 000 dwellings.

Ecological Management of Wetlands:
• The delicate nature of the Dongtan wetlands and the adjacent Ramsar site (www.ramsar.org) for migrating birds and wildlife, has been one of the driving factors of the city’s design.
• We plan to enhance the existing wetlands by returning agricultural land to a wetland state to creating a ‘buffer-zone’ between the city and the mudflats – at its narrowest point, this ‘buffer-zone’ will be 3.5 kilometres wide.
• Only around 40% of the land area of the Dongtan site will be dedicated to urban areas and the city’s design aims to prevent pollutants (light, sound, emissions and water discharges) reaching the adjacent wetland areas.

• To be truly sustainable, the city must not only be environmentally sustainable, but socially, economically and culturally sustainable, too.
• All housing will be within seven minutes walk of public transport and easy access to social infrastructure such as hospitals, schools and work.
• Although some may choose to commute to Shanghai for work, there will be employment for the majority of people who live in Dongtan across all social and economic demographics – our hope is that within time and by effective policy incentives, companies will be attracted to Dongtan and people will choose to live and work in the city.
• Dongtan will produce sufficient electricity and heat for its own use, entirely from renewable sources. Within the city, there will be practically no emissions from vehicles – vehicles will be battery or fuel-cell powered.
• Farmland within the Dongtan site will use organic farming methods to grow food for the inhabitants of the city, where nutrients and soil conditioning will be used together with processed city waste.
• The development of techniques that increase the organic production of vegetable crops will mean that no more farmland will be required than is available within the boundaries of the site.

• Energy demand in Dongtan will be substantially lower than comparable conventional new cities.
• In buildings, this will be achieved by specifying high thermal performance and using energy efficient equipment and mechanisms to encourage building users to save energy.
• Transport energy demand will be reduced by eliminating the need for a high proportion of motorized journeys, and judicious choice of energy-efficient vehicles.
• When it is completed, the energy used within the city will not add to the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Energy in the form of electricity, heat and fuel will be provided entirely by renewable means.

• Energy supply will be via a local grid and with electricity and heat supplied from:

– ­ A combined heat and power (CHP) plant that runs on biomass in the form of rice husks, which are the waste product of local rice mills
– ­ A wind farm
– ­ Biogas extracted from the treatment of municipal solid waste and sewage
– ­ Electricity will also be generated within buildings using photovoltaic cells and micro wind turbines

• Some of the electricity generated will be used to charge the batteries of electrically-power vehicles or to produce hydrogen for vehicle fuel cells.
• A key feature of energy management in Dongtan will be the level of information provided to consumers to encourage them to conserve energy by means such as smart metering and financial incentives. A visitors’ centre located close to the energy centre will explain how cities can be sustainable in energy terms.

Resource and Waste Management:
• All waste in the city will be collected and segregated at source into at least three material streams.
• Waste is considered to be a resource and most of the city’s waste will be recycled and organic waste will be used as biomass for energy production.
• There will be no landfill in the city and human sewage will be processed for energy recovery, irrigation and composting.

• Where possible, labour and materials will be sourced locally to reduce transport and embodied energy costs associated with construction.
• A combination of traditional and innovative building technologies will reduce energy requirements of buildings by up to 70%.
• Public transport with reduced air and noise pollution will enable buildings to be naturally ventilated, and in turn reduce the demand on energy.
• Buildings with green roofs will improve insulation and water filtration and provide potential storage for irrigation or waste disposal.
• A compact city (made of three villages) reduces infrastructure costs as well as improving amenity and energy efficiency to public transport systems.

• Dongtan will be a city linked by a combination of cycle-paths, pedestrian routes and varied modes of public transport, including buses and water taxis.
• Canals, lakes and marinas will permeate the city, providing a variety of recreation and transport opportunities.
• Public transport will use innovative technologies, which may include solar powered water taxis or hydrogen fuel-cell buses.
• Visitors will park their cars outside the city and use public transport within the city.

Note: Awaiting further information from ARUP on the following issues:

1. Is Dongtan “eco-city” being built on stilts to prevent flooding? (More photos of Hurricane Ike, Galveston, Texas Sept 2008.)

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