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Essex to use Chinese eco-city blueprint

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SUSTAINABLE DESIGN principles pioneered in China are to be applied to the Thames Gateway development, it emerged this week.

Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) is looking at transplanting ideas about urban density, transport, power generation, waste disposal, water and drainage from Dongtan new town, near Shanghai, to Essex, a source close to the project said.

Dongtan is being designed as a zero emissions city with hydrogen powered buses, light rail and dual water systems using brakish water. Buildings will be energy efficient and use power generated by large arrays of wind turbines, photovoltaic panels and by burning agricultural waste 'We will provide the means for people to live in a way that is carbon neutral, ' said Arup director Peter Head. Arup is responsible for city's design.

The project source said that the DCLG is currently establishing a 'resource management baseline' against which to measure the performance of Thames Gateway developments over the next 40 to 50 years.

'There are differences between Dongan and the Thames Gateway in that Dongtan was conceived from the outset as a model for sustainability. There is no integrated plan as yet for the Thames Gateway, ' he said.

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