The Phoenix Towers part of China’s Eco-Cities

Phoenix Towers China

Three of the spheres between the planned Phoenix Towers will be themed restaurants. Courtesy Chetwoods Architects

As China struggles with it’s industrial emissions, the concept of a new eco-city is a possible model for it’s sustainable development.

Last year the academy of social science, launched the 2014 ecological city ‘the greenwork’, with technical solutions to get cities green. One of the sustainable solutions is ‘The Phoenix Towers’ in Wuhan. 

Sustainable

China starts in 2016 building ‘The Phoenix Towers” in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei. With more than 1,000 meters, the towers will be the highest in the world. They will purify the air and water from the environment. This ambitious design is made by Chetwoods Architects in London.

Second one: Tianjin Eco-City

Tianjin Eco-city is a collaborative project between the Chinese and Singaporean government that will house 350,000 people in a low-carbon, green environment around half the size of Manhattan by 2020. All going well, the team hope its model for building a sustainable city will provide the blueprint for future urbanization efforts in China, and other countries.

Ho Tong Yen, head of Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city Development and Investment: “We wanted to show that it’s possible to clean up a polluted area and make it useful and liveable.”

One-fifth of the energy used here will be emission-free – from solar, wind and from ground-source heat pumps, which use the temperature difference in the ground for energy.

Philips

For example Dutch Philips is trying out its new sound- and motion-sensitive lights, which default to off unless the switch hears or feels someone approach. Buildings will have smart controls, automatically raising and lowering window blinds to regulate light and temperature.

Hub for green tech

The city is setting itself up as a hub for green tech enterprise and creative industries. Six hundred companies have already set up shop, including an animation studio that is powered by its own energy station, incorporating solar PV walls as well as roof panels.

Water provision is one of the bigger challenges in this naturally arid area. Tap water will be drinkable and piped in, although the city is planning a possible desalination plant too. A lot of effort is being put into conserving water and recycling it for irrigation and toilet flushing.

“The lakes and water pipes have been lined in clay or concrete to prevent salt water incursion, and all waste water is being sent to plant for anaerobic biodigestion,” says Ary de Koning of the EU-China River Basin Management Programme, who is advising the city on water issues. “The methane emitted in the digestion process is then used to produce energy,” he says.

Being green isn’t a luxury, it’s an affordable necessity. This city should be a practical, replicable, scalable model for elsewhere in China and the world.

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