Yesterday, The Green Leap Forward took to the road to Tianjin again, this time as part of a US-delegation organized by the US-China Green Energy Council (UCGEC) exploring the green tech potential of Tianjin. One of the stops was a visit the site of the proposed Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city. Not much more to report from our previous post, but we got some cool visuals. Upon arrival, we were quickly ushered into an enclosed building, only to be shown poster exhibits that is basically a rehash of the master plan already available on their website. The saving grace was a large model of the city that we took some pictures of:
But the current reality is much browner. Our cameraman (also the same person who writes this blog), had to frantically take pictures of the truly awe-inspiring vastness of the 30 sq km of mostly salt-laden wasteland as our shuttle bus left the site (pardon the reflections from the bus window):
These picture perhaps do not do justice, but the overwhelming feeling was that we were surrounded by a hopelessly vast wasteland. An information brochure we received states that greater Tianjin region contains 1,200 sq km of wastelands, with lots of it degraded by years of salt-farming. The wastelands represent a huge opportunity for development. If the Tianjin eco-city project can successfully demonstrate the feasibility of turning brown to green, it could pave the way for a more ecologically harmonious development for the rest of the region.
The Green Leap Forward thanks UCGEC for organizing the trip. A post on the energy-water nexus, a topic of one of the panel sessions of the conference that UCGEC held in Beijing earlier this week, is coming up next.