New housing guidelines developed for Tianjin Eco-city

New housing guidelines have been developed for the Tianjin Eco-city, which is a joint collaboration between China and Singapore.

Under the new framework, at least 20 per cent of residential units will be set aside for public housing.

On a visit Tianjin, Singapore’s Minister for National Development, Mah Bow Tan, said the new model of public housing will tap on Singapore’s housing experience.

These include home ownership, with emphasis on affordability, subsidies for eligible families, and centralised management and maintenance of housing estates.

The construction of the first public housing project in the Eco-city is scheduled for completion by the end of this year.

Apart from energy saving features, it will include community malls and common areas for social integration.

Mr Mah said: “What we would like to see in the Tianjin Eco-city is not just physical development, not just environmental development, in terms of energy efficiency, but in terms of the social harmony aspect.

“I think this is what will make Tianjin Eco-city stand out from the many other eco-cities that are developed not just in China but also in other parts of the world.”

The city’s water management will also be based on the Singapore experience.

It was recently announced that Singapore would set up a Ministerial Committee on the Tianjin Eco-city Project.

Mr Mah said this would strengthen and coordinate efforts among various ministries.

He said: “I think it is important to renew the signal of commitment to this project and to make sure that the next phase of development will go beyond the traditional hardware aspects, such as buildings, roads, and so on, into the softer – not necessarily easier – parts of the project.”

Mr Mah also witnessed the signing of agreements to develop an integrated logistics distribution centre, water treatment projects, and an innovation centre.

Even though the development of the start-up area is said to be well on track, analysts have expressed concerns that getting people to move in will be highly dependent on the completion of the public transport network, as well as the creation of jobs.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 25 Jan 2011

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