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Chinese eco-city project gets boost from Global Environment Facility

July 22, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC, July 22, 2010 – China’s drive to develop cities that are more energy and resource efficient was boosted today with the approval of a grant from the Global Environment Facility for the Sino-Singapore Eco-City Project (SSTECP) in Tianjin Municipality in the country’s north-east.


With a grant of $6.16 million from the GEF, the World Bank will assist the local authorities to create the policy, regulatory, institutional, financial and monitoring mechanisms for the “eco-city” which is expected to be home to 350,000 people by 2020.


The Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City, located in Binhai New Area of Tianjin covers an area of 34.2 square kilometers and is designed to become a model of energy and resource efficiency while maintaining economic viability and social harmony.


With transport, especially cars, being the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, the project will help promote “green transport” such as public transport, walking tracks and bicycle pathways. It will also support the construction of “green buildings” through the introductions of energy efficient building standards that are higher than the national standard. 


The Chinese Government has recognized that “rapid growth” needs to go hand-in-hand with “clean growth”. Tianjin, China’s third largest city with a population of 11.76 million is developing the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City in collaboration with the Singapore Government. A Framework Agreement was signed between the two governments in November 2007.


The GEF-supported Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City is an important part of the Bank’s ongoing initiative on ecological and economic urban development. 


While the financial contribution of the GEF is a small part of the total costs of the eco-city development, the World Bank will play a critical role in contributing global knowledge and cutting edge technologies on sustainable urban development,” said Mr. Hiroaki Suzuki, World Bank’s Lead Urban Specialist and task team leader for the project.


The World Bank’s recent publication Eco2 Cities: Ecological Cities as Economic Cities outlines the principles of eco-cities.  


Established in 1991, the GEF is today the largest funder of projects to improve the global environment. It provides grants to developing countries and countries in transition for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants. 

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