2 responses to “Eco-cities: creating a common language”

  1. Charles

    Why Eco-Cities Fail

    Julie Sze examines many aspects of the “failed promise of Dongtan” and other developments around Shanghai, China’s largest urban area.

  2. Pauline Ffrench

    Dongtan, China’s ultra-green city, was supposed to be ready and functioning in time for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. The project was all about “zero emissions” and recycled waste. The city would ban cars, recycle water, and surround itself with organic farms and forests.

    Arup, a British engineering consultancy firm, was contracted in 2005 by the developer, the Shanghai Industrial Investment Company, to design and masterplan the city. In 2005, the then prime minister of the UK, Tony Blair, signed a deal for the groundbreaking plan.

    The city was meant to become home for 50,000 people by 2020, yet the utopia never became a reality. In 2006 the project was halted indefinitely after it was discovered that the site had languished untouched, following a corruption scandal and financial problems. In 2007, the British magazine, Ethical Corporation, named Arup and Dongtan, winners of Greenwasher of the year award for 2007.

    The world’s longest bridge and tunnel now connects the building site to Pudong, in outer Shanghai, but the ‘Dongtan dream’ has been abandoned.