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Tianjin to Become EcoCity by 2015

Finland is expected to help China build up Tianjin, a northern city, to an ecological city by 2015, by making use of the most advanced technology and products available in design and construction in compliance with the needs of eco-efficiency and sustainable development, according to Dai Xianglong, mayor of Tianjin, at an international seminar yesterday.


With the increasing demand for an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly society, Chinese cities, including Tianjin, are now in need of various solutions for sustainable development. These solutions will play a significant role in construction, traffic, communication, water resources management, and decentralized energy production.


Being a leading country in the field of environmental technology in the world, as nominated by the World Economic Forum, Finland has a wealth of advanced theories on environmental protection that could be borrowed and utilized by China. The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) will take some measures to support and promote the cooperation between Finland and China in the field of environmental protection, said Yi Xiaozhun, vice minister of MOC.


A state-of-the-art EcoCity is a project led by Finland VTT Technical Research Center for the Finnish Environmental Cluster for China (FECC) scheme launched by the Finnish Ministry of Trade and Industry, aimed at promoting the internationalization of environmental business.


The concept of the EcoCity is based on the ideas of Professor Eero Paloheimo, in his book Syntymättömien sukupolvien Eurooppa (The Way Towards a New Europe, Southeast University Press, 2005), which suggests several solutions for building such an EcoCity. VTT wants to turn his dream into reality, using its diverse competence in technology together with the expertise of key Finnish companies to enable the construction of the first model city in China.


According to Dai, Tianjin is an international port city and a northern economic center in China. In addition to its function for economy, Tianjin should focus its attention on ecological development, which means that five ecosystems will be built up before 2015: a rational deployed and efficiently utilized resource supply system; an environmental control system; an ecological industrial system led by hi-tech, clean production and a circular economy; a harmonious ecological residential system; and an advanced ecological cultural system.


Tianjin has now planned to increase the investment towards ecology to 150 billion yuan (US$19.42 billion) by 2010, including setting up a special fund for the EcoCity project, and creating a comprehensive investment and financing mechanism with multiple measures involved including taxation and credit.


Moreover, a series of local laws and regulations will be formulated to support the EcoCity project, on the aspects of ecological protection, ecological compensation, circular economy, clean production, and resource saving, Dai added.


The purpose of the four-day seminar (April 17-20) on the EcoCity project is to give a general idea of Finland’s and the world’s ecological developments, introduce the experience of Finland in this area and explore the opportunities for potential cooperation between the two countries.


During the seminar, complete new combinations of technological innovations and their resulting products to be utilized in the construction project will be introduced and displayed, which include, among other things, a closed water system, integrated telecommunication, a traffic positioning system, waste management, recycling, and car-free passenger traffic.


In the EcoCity project VTT will act in direct cooperation with the CICETE (China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges). Several Finnish universities, such as the Helsinki University of Technology, the University of Helsinki, and the Lappeenranta University of Technology, as well as the Chinese Tsinghua University, are contributing to the project with their expertise.


Mr. Jan-Erik Enestam, director of the Nordic Council, pointed out in the seminar that Finland has participated in more than 100 bilateral or multilateral environmental cooperation projects using its expertise, and it would like to contribute more to China’s environmental construction.


An energy-efficient construction project is currently being prepared in the city of Dalian. A low-energy apartment block will be built as a pilot project in cooperation with the Dalian University of Technology, local construction companies and Finnish enterprises. One of the objectives is to minimize the heating and cooling needs of the house without compromising the comfort of the occupants.


In addition, VTT is working in cooperation with the district heating department of the Dalian bureau of energy to examine the suitability of clean development mechanisms (CDM) for increasing the efficiency of coal-burning district heating by decreasing burning loss and optimizing district heating networks.


With a theme of “Live in Future Home Today - Finnish High-Tech EcoCity,” this seminar, organized by the Ministry of Commerce, Finnish Ministry of Industry and Trade, and Municipal Government of Tianjin, attracts hundreds of professionals and scholars from Finnish and Chinese governments, research institutions, and enterprises.


(China Development Gateway by Xu Lin April 18, 2007)

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