China’s certainly going to be under discussion at the UN Climate Change Summit, which kicks off in Copenhagen next Monday. For years China has been coming up with plans for sustainable cities and green villages – but until recently none of them got off the drawing board. The much-heralded plan for a green city near Shanghai for instance, drawn up by British company Arup. Other projects like the green village developed by the famous American environmental architect William McDonough were a failure. The houses were much too expensive for the villagers and it also transpired that few of the houses were actually built following the original plan.
Hopes are now settled on a joint Chinese-Singaporean plan on the Bohai Sea. Top political figures are involved in this projected green city and construction work has already begun.
Close to the area where this project is underway, the Dutch engineering firm DHV is quietly working on another green neighbourhood: a series of artificially created islands in the sea to house 20,000 people in an environmentally friendly fashion. But again the question is, just how green will this green city turn out to be?