Tianjin Eco-city: Lessons from Singapore on social and sustainable development

Some lampposts in the Tianjin Eco-city are equipped with wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity. The eco-city also features housing similar to the HDB blocks seen in Singapore.
Some lampposts in the Tianjin Eco-city are equipped with wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity. The ecocity also features housing similar to the HDB blocks seen in Singapore. ST PHOTO: LIM YAN LIANG
From communal recycling centres (left) to common play spaces for children (right), the Tianjin Eco-city tries to create ways to bring the community together, having adapted many lessons from Singapore. This has contributed to a reputation for green a
From communal recycling centres (above) to common play spaces for children, the Tianjin Eco-city tries to create ways to bring the community together, having adapted many lessons from Singapore. This has contributed to a reputation for green and harmonious living, which has drawn study groups from Taiwan to Xiong'an.ST PHOTOS: LIM YAN LIANG
Some lampposts in the Tianjin Eco-city are equipped with wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity. The eco-city also features housing similar to the HDB blocks seen in Singapore.
From communal recycling centres to common play spaces for children (above), the Tianjin Eco-city tries to create ways to bring the community together, having adapted many lessons from Singapore. This has contributed to a reputation for green and harmonious living, which has drawn study groups from Taiwan to Xiong'an. ST PHOTO: LIM YAN LIANG

A radical new approach, that works: this was how senior Chinese officials described their key takeaways from having worked on the Tianjin Eco-city over the years.

From how sustainability can be a part of town planning from the start, to how residents are managed, Chinese officials said they gained an appreciation for the Singapore way, and its lessons are now filtering to other cities.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 30, 2018, with the headline 'Lessons from S'pore on social and sustainable development'. Print Edition | Subscribe