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Green Building & Sustainable Development

First Sustainable City Planned for Dongtan, China

Arup, the global planning, engineering and design consultancy, has signed a contract with Shanghai Industrial Investment Corporation (SIIC) to plan the world's first sustainable city - an eco-city - at Dongtan, in Shanghai, China.

SIIC has appointed Arup as a strategic partner to work with them in the development of Dongtan as a dynamic, liveable and eco-friendly city, which will in turn define the future of sustainable urban development in China and beyond.

Arup's approach to integrated sustainable urban planning and design will help to turn SIIC's vision into reality and will create a city with lower energy consumption and one which is as close to being carbon neutral as possible within economic constraints.

Arup is responsible for the integrated master-planning of the built environment in Dongtan. Arup is providing a full range of services, including urban design, planning, sustainable energy management, waste management, renewable energy process implementation, economic and business planning, sustainable building design, architecture, infrastructure and even the planning of communities and social structures. The role is extremely broad and will require a long term vision and involvement from Arup.

Dongtan is situated in an extremely strategic position very close to Shanghai and on the third largest island in China, situated at the mouth of the Yangtze river. Dongtan is three quarters the size of Manhattan and will be developed as a sustainable city to attract a whole range of commercial and leisure investments. It will be a city where people will be able to live and work in a high quality environment. The intention is to evolve Arup's sustainable urban design and planning into a blueprint for the future planning of Chinese cities.

Dongtan is currently a large area of mostly agricultural land which has been earmarked by the Mayor of Shanghai and the Chinese Premier as the site of China's first sustainable eco city. A high quality road infrastructure is currently being built that connects Dongtan to the Shanghai mainland.

Peter Head, Director, Arup said: "Arup is delighted to be working with SIIC on such an ambitious development that could well prove to be the template for sustainability in city planning - not only in China, but elsewhere in the world. Our appointment sends out a clear message that the Chinese Government is willing to find ways of overcoming the challenges of creating sustainable cities in the face of significant climate change, environmental pollution, water shortages and the need for the use of cleaner energy."

Mr. Ma, Director, SIIC said: "We are delighted to be partnering with Arup to help deliver our vision of creating China's first sustainable and ecologically-friendly city."

Gary Lawrence of Arup's Seattle office, the firm's Urban Strategy Leader and a senior adviser on the Dongtan project, said: "There is a growing recognition in China that long term economic and social vitality depends upon more efficient, effective use of nature's resources, coupled with improved human and environmental health. In light of that recognition, SIIC has chosen to be among those leading China toward a more sustainable future. We are honored that they have asked Arup to help them achieve their vision for a better way to achieve their urban future."

The first phase of Dongtan is planned to be completed by 2010 when the Expo will be held in Shanghai. This phase will include a wide range of developments with urban parks, ecological parks and world class leisure facilities. Priority projects include the process of capturing and purifying water in the landscape to support life in the city. Community waste management recycling will generate clean energy from organic waste, reducing landfills that damage the environment. Combined heat and power systems will provide the technology to source clean and reliable energy. Dongtan will be a model ecological city, and its buildings will help to reduce energy use, making efficient use of energy sources and generating energy from renewable sources.

SIIC and Arup recognise the global need to reduce carbon emissions and the importance of taking responsibility for bringing about change. Both SIIC and Arup are committed to reducing carbon emissions on this project and plan to offset emissions generated by air travel, where incurred on this project. Arup has formed a partnership with emissions brokerage CO2e to make this possible. The Arup project staff are also committed to offsetting carbon emissions generated in their personal lives. In the UK, for example, this typically equates to an average of 9 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person each year, which will be offset by the Arup project staff. Arup's payments will help to fund a mini hydro renewable energy project in China.

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