Tianjin Binhai: the rise of a smart, open and livable maritime gateway

Updated : 2019-06-28

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A "tree house" reading room for children in the Chinese-Singapore Friendship Library in Beihai New Area. [Photo/People's Daily Online]

Located 10 kilometers from the core district of Binhai New Area, the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city, which was once a barren land composed of saltpan, deserted beaches and wastewater ponds, now serves as the forerunner of China's "model for sustainable development."

Jointly built by Chinese and Singaporean governments, the eco-city program aims to develop a socially harmonious, environmentally friendly and resource-conserving city. Though still in its development phase, countless green spaces are already scattered throughout the city, with desalinated water equipment and green energy panels offering clean resources for its citizens. Buildings are designed to the world's most stringent environmental standards, while a light-rail transit system, supplemented by a secondary network of trams and electric buses, are used to reduce the city's carbon emissions.

"I feel content with my life here. The new area has proven to the world that nature and scientific advancement can coexist harmoniously, and that resource-poor regions can also develop a green path to a better life," said Liu Jinting, a 65-year-old resident in the eco-city.

Taking green lifestyle as a major theme for Binhai New Area's development, the local authorities have tried many methods to promote public awareness of environmental protection. With its 23,000-square-meter exhibition hall covering a wide range of themes including marine ecology and environment, science education and interactive programs, China's first national maritime museum was built in Binhai New Area, and is expected to open to the public in June. An eco-friendly library, made using clean materials and with a capacity of over 1.35 million books, was nominated by Times Magazine as one of the greatest places in the world to visit in 2018.

"I think the idea of building an eco-city is marvelous. With the advancement of technologies, nature should be better preserved, so that we can enjoy both conveniences brought by science, and healthy lifestyle provided by better environment," said Imran Muhammad, a Pakistani journalist visiting the eco-city.

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