Eco Design in China

Pilot smart city


As China accelerates the pace of its urbanization, the National Administration of Surveying,Mapping and Geoinformation unveiled its Smart City program on Tuesday with the first nineselected pilot cities.

The Smart City program aims to solve current urban challenges such as traffic congestion and pollution in innovative ways. By optimizing the use of technology in the design and operation of infrastructure and buildings the program contributes to make cities smarter, more efficient, and, last but not least, greener.


Shenzhen Guangming smart cities

Award-winning architectural-urban designer and UCL Bartlett academic, CJ Lim, has made it to the final three in a competition to build a new eco-city in China.

Instead of abandoning farming, Lim has incorporated it into the fabric of the city – lush grazing and arable land can be found on the roofs of the huge circular towers that make up the city. Additional land for crops is made available on a series of eighty vertical farms.

As a result, GuangMing – which Lim dubs the ‘smart city’ – is entirely self-sufficient.


Tian Jin eco city


The Tianjin Eco-city’s vision is to be “A thriving city which is socially harmonious, environmentally-friendly and resource-efficient – a model for sustainable development”. This vision is underpinned by the concepts of“Three Harmonies” and “Three Abilities”.

“Three Harmonies” refers to:

  • People living in harmony with other people, i.e. social harmony
  • People living in harmony with economic activities, i.e. economic vibrancy
  • People living in harmony with the environment, i.e. environmental sustainability

“Three Abilities” refers to the Eco-city being:

  • Practicable – the technologies adopted in the Eco-city must be affordable and commercially viable
  • Replicable – the principles and models of the Eco-city could be applied to other cities in China and even in other countries
  • Scalable – the principles and models could be adapted for another project or development of a different scale

Chengdu Eco-city

The “Great City” is a plan for an ambitious urban center designed to limit its residents environmental impact by producing clean energy, reducing waste, and promoting public transportation over individual car use.

The project is the work of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, who note that “Chinese planning officials [are] beginning to see the effects of automobile-dependent design and are open to better alternatives to urban sprawl.”


All told, Smith and Gill expect to cut energy use by 48%, water use by 58%, and produce 89% less waste, compared to a conventional development with a similar population.

Shanshui City


Ma Yansong of Chinese studio MAD is exhibiting architectural models and sculptures in a Beijing courtyard to illustrate his vision for a future city influenced by nature and shaped by human emotion


The exhibition centres around an architectural model of Shanshui City, a new urban development proposed by MAD for Guiyang, China. Inspired by a concept first developed in the 1980s by Chinese scientists, the city is named after the Chinese words for mountains and water and is intended as a model of how cities and their inhabitants can reconnect with the natural world.

Green car


Geely Automobile Group and Detroit Electric Inc. haveentered into a strategic partnership to co-develop battery-electric vehicles and related electric drive systems for the China market. Under the terms of the partnership, the first EV model—the Emgrand EC7-EV, based on Geely’s Emgrand EC7—will go on sale in 2014.


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