Visible progress in Tianjin Eco-city project: Mah Bow Tan

Visible progress has been achieved in the Tianjin Eco-city project, a joint collaborative effort between Singapore and China.

Singapore Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan made the observation, after co-chairing the 5th meeting of the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city Joint Working Committee earlier Wednesday.

During a visit to the Tianjin Eco-city, Mr Mah said that the joint development is well on track.

Infrastructure has largely been completed in the 4 square kilometers start-up area, which will serve a foundation for further progress.

The challenges ahead would be to attract more jobs and investments through incentive packages, draw more residents, and put in place a light rail system.

Mr Mah commented: “We actually put a very high target on green transportation performance. In fact eventually 90 per cent of transport trips will be made through one form of green transportation or another.

“So in order to achieve this ambitious target, some form of light rail or heavy rail public transportation is essential. The main objective of these is to make this a project that is not just practical but also can be replicable elsewhere and scalable. We are on track on this.”

On the key performance indicators which include environmental standards, energy conservation and public housing,

Mr Mah said the ambitious targets were made right from the start in order to ensure high quality.

The minister, who also witnessed the signing of commercial agreements and memorandums of understanding for projects in the Eco-city, said he hoped that Tianjin will be a model for similar cities in other parts of China.

Eventually home to 350,000 people, the city will feature a power plant fuelled by organic waste, people-urban oriented design, and lots of green space.

The Tianjin Eco-city is a 22 billion effort to turn previously empty land into a 30 square kilometre urban area southeast of Tianjin.

Apart from being a high level collaboration, the Tianjin Eco-city project is also an indication that Singapore hopes to cash in on its expertise, ranging from urban planning to waste water treatment, areas said to have vast potential in the region.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 5 May 2010

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