Leading the Trend in Low Carbon Business Districts, the Yujiapu Financial District is Chosen by APEC to be Its First 'Low Carbon Model City'

Tianjin Yujiapu Financial District
2010-07-29 02:32 1114

BEIJING, July 29 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- On 19 June the meeting of APEC's Energy ministers ended in the Japanese city of Fukui with a declaration giving directions to improve energy efficiency, advance energy security and increase the clean energy supply in the APEC region.

Among the new initiatives prescribed by the Energy Ministers is the "Low Carbon Model City" project, aimed at developing the best practices to achieve low-emissions urban communities.

The first to be selected for this project is the Chinese city of Tianjin, and specifically the Yujiapu Financial District.

Yujiapu is at the core of the Binhai New Area, a new development comprising 9 distinct functional zones. The financial district occupies 3.86 square kilometres with a total construction area of 950 million square metres representing an investment of about 200 billion Chinese Yuan. Yujiapu has set a goal of being a "green ecological zone" through careful urban environmental planning and green architectural design as well as the optimization of construction techniques. All is done with the objective of having the lowest carbon emissions, and in certain areas, even no carbon emission at all. Yujiapu being chosen by APEC shows the importance low-carbon economy has for the Chinese Government and its determination to implement green development strategies. The Yujiapu Financial District is a core component of this low carbon effort undertaken by the Tianjin municipality. Built according to the strictest environmental norms, Yujiapu is set to be the first project of this scale in the world to completely integrate the notions of sustainability in the working environment.

"Low carbon" means lower greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide or CO2) emissions. Yujiapu aspires to be a low energy consumption, low CO2 emission urban development model. Currently business areas of all the cities in the world are facing the same problem: they are densely populated, often in high-rise buildings, and their energy consumption and CO2 emissions are considered to be the biggest environmental pollution. For Yujiapu, in order to build a low carbon business district, the most important planning factor is how to use as much clean energy as possible.

The urban planning of the area has been entrusted to the American firm SOM ( ), and the transportation planning has been assigned to MVA of Hong Kong ( ). The Japanese architectural firm Nikken Sekkei ( ) will be in charge of the underground space design and the American company AECOM ( ) shall conduct the regional landscape concept design. Extensive studies have been commissioned by Yujiapu on urban design, transportation planning, wind power, solar energy, geothermal energy, water recycling, waste disposal and recycling, central heating and cooling in order to set higher goals for carbon emission reduction.

Following international guidelines such as the American LEED, Yujiapu commissioned third-party studies by the East China Architectural Design and Research Institute ( ) as well as the China Academy of Building Research ( ) to provide consulting services on environmental protection, energy-saving, and emission-reducing green construction. All kinds of parameters were taken into consideration: design, soil erosion, waste management, air quality control as well as future operation management. Green building technologies applied in the construction of the Yujiapu Financial District include district heating and cooling, sustainable stormwater best management practices, distributed energy supply system, energy saving curtain walls and green roofs.

Yujiapu will adopt a world-leading underground transportation system consisting of trains, railways and pedestrian walkways thus reducing the use of motor vehicles and consumption of fossil fuels in order to reflect sustainable development and human-oriented planning concepts. The studies made forecast a use of public transportation by 80% of the people in the area, 60% by rail and 20% by bus.

Of the total area of 3.86 million square metres, 1 million will be devoted to green spaces. A green belt will be developed along the river, featuring 4 marinas and a multitude of leisure and entertainment areas. Yujiapu will truly be the first "green financial district".

Yujiapu, in close collaboration with the Tianjin Climate Exchange ( ) founded September 2008, using a market-oriented trading platform and financial innovation, has set a goal to bring the whole business community to achieve energy saving and emission reduction by optimizing resources. At the same time, the Tianjin Climate Exchange has formed a joint-venture with CNPC Assets Management Company ( ), the Chicago Climate Exchange ( ) and the People's Bank of China Financial Research Institute ( ) to establish a Sino-US carbon finance research centre, at the same time launching a joint study on market mechanisms of emissions trading. The Tianjin Climate Exchange launched a "corporate voluntary joint action" inviting 20 domestic companies to participate.

Being chosen to be APEC's first "Low Carbon Model City" has a very important significance for Yujiapu and the future of low-carbon development projects in China and the world. It bears on its shoulders the heavy responsibility to be a successful model of low-carbon business development that can be reproduced on a global scale.

Source: Tianjin Yujiapu Financial District