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Singapore official in charge of Tianjin Eco-City to live there

06-14-2011 14:19 BJT

SINGAPORE, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Ho Tong Yen, Singapore's top official in charge of the Tianjin Eco-City, is also planning to be one of the first residents to move in so as to test out its eco- friendly features, local media reported on Tuesday.

The green township in the northern Chinese coastal city of Tianjin will welcome residents by the start of next year, the Straits Times reported, quoting the chief executive of the China- Singapore project's master developer.

"Once the Eco-City is ready to receive residents, I will move in, because the only way to know a product is to use it personally and then you will know its strengths and weaknesses and how it can be improved," Ho said.

The father of three currently lives in a more developed area close to the Eco-City.

The project built on a land of 30 square kilometers includes " 100 percent green buildings" which meet water and energy efficiency standards, and have better sunlight and ventilation.

It will also include a green transportation system that may include electric trams, hybrid cars and bikes. Essential facilities such as supermarkets and clinics will be located close to homes so people can walk rather than drive.

Ho said the development is not based on a "utopian model."

"We're not advocates of people going back to horse-drawn carts and having no air-conditioning. We are looking at how we can achieve sustainable development in very practical and cost- effective ways," he said.

The flagship bilateral project is one of China's most high- profile green cities as well as Singapore's largest international project in sustainable development.

Now in its second year, the Eco-City has overcome some teething problems, including disagreements over the initial plan for a light-rail system.

Ho, who used to be a press secretary to former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, used the Chinese idiom "Tong Zhou Gong Ji" to describe the relationship -- meaning that the two parties are in the same boat and working towards the same goals.

"I think it is inevitable that in a complex project like this with many parties, there would be a few issues on which you do not see eye to eye," he said. "Even the most loving of couples would occasionally have a few disagreements."

 

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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