Beijing ETown Special / Photos

E-Town shines as a beacon of green development

By YUAN SHENGGAO |  China Daily |  Updated:2022-10-21

The Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area, a hub for high-tech industries in the Chinese capital, reported a 42.2 percent decline in energy consumption per unit of GDP in the last 10 years.

Water consumption per unit of GDP for the area, also known as Beijing E-Town, was only one-third of Beijing’s average. The water use efficiency of the area is among the highest globally, said an official at the administrative committee of Beijing E-Town.

In the past decade, Beijing E-Town further improved its natural environment and living environment, striving to become an ideal place to live and work and an urban area free of “urban diseases”, which refer to problems facing big cities such as traffic jams and environmental pollution.

Ideal habitat for animals

Every year, a large group of birds can be spotted in the Beijing E-Town section of the Liangshui River. The river was once ridden with pollution and had a foul odor. After more than 10 years of pollution control and management, the Beijing E-Town section of the Liangshui River passed the evaluation by the Ministry of Water Resources in 2020 and became one of the first exemplary rivers in China.

Birds are particularly sensitive to changes in the natural environment and thus they are often seen as an indicator of an urban area’s environmental quality. As of May, there were 306 bird species in Beijing E-Town, which spans 225 square kilometers. The number accounted for 61 percent of the total bird species in Beijing.

Beijing E-Town is also home to 16 animal species under national first-class protection. The rich biodiversity indicates the progress made in the green development of the high-tech hub.

Air pollution control was another priority for Beijing E-Town in the past 10 years. The local environment authority has refined its management practices by introducing customized policies for each individual factory. By the end of 2021, the average annual concentration of PM2.5 — fine particulate matter — in Beijing E-Town hit the lowest level since monitoring started.

In April, Beijing E-Town became the only national-level economic development zone in China to be tasked with constructing a “waste-free city” during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), according to an official of Beijing E-Town. Behind this honor are the efforts of a raft of green factories in Beijing E-Town. By the end of the 14th Five-Year Plan period, the number of green factories in Beijing E-Town is expected to hit 150. The number of green supply chain management companies in the area is estimated to reach 30.

Low energy consumption

Beijing E-Town is home to more than 70,000 companies from over 40 countries and approximately 140 projects invested in by over 90 Fortune Global 500 companies including German carmaker Mercedes-Benz, German pharmaceutical company Bayer and Swiss technology company ABB.

To satisfy their demand for water resources, 10 years ago, when BOE’s Generation 8.5 TFT-LCD production line was about to settle in Beijing E-Town, the local authority constructed a reclaimed water plant with a daily water output of 40,000 metric tons. This ensured the successful operation of the project.

To date, Beijing E-Town has built two reclaimed water plants and three sewage treatment plants to meet the needs of local businesses. More than 55 percent of the water used in industrial production in the area is high-quality reclaimed water, according to a local official.

This has led to marked decreases in water consumption in Beijing E-Town. As of 2021, the water consumption per unit of GDP for the area had been kept below 4 cubic meters for seven consecutive years.

The energy consumed in Beijing E-Town also saw a significant decline in the past decade. The energy consumption per unit of GDP of the area dropped 42.2 percent in 10 years to some 0.1028 tons of standard coal, according to official statistics. This is half of Beijing’s figure and one-fourth of the country’s.

Free of ‘urban diseases’

Beijing E-Town is a park city with forests, greenways, rivers, wetland and farmland. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20) alone, Beijing E-Town built five expansive ecological parks.

“Beijing E-Town is a small area compared with the more than 200 national-level economic development zones in China. One of the key reasons that Beijing E-Town ranks among the top scorers in the comprehensive evaluation of the country’s national-level economic development zones is its intensive and economical use of land and higher average of gross industrial output value per hectare of land,” said an official of Beijing E-Town.

The gross industrial output value per hectare of land in Beijing E-Town increased from 185 million yuan ($26.67 million) in 2012 to 250 million yuan in 2021, according to the official.

In the process of transforming from a “zone” to a “city”, how to become an ideal place to live and work has emerged as a key question for Beijing E-Town to tackle.

“For the last 10 years, Beijing E-Town has been improving its cultural environment, natural environment and living environment, a multi-tier housing system and public services and facilities,” said an official of Beijing E-Town.

“We have also improved the climate for scientific and technological innovation and built a resource-saving and environmentally friendly green development system. We aim to turn Beijing E-Town into a world-class urban area featuring an integration of industrial growth and urban development, and an ideal place to live and work with a pleasant natural environment,” the official noted.

In order to give the professionals who relocate to Beijing E-Town a sense of belonging, the area has set up a housing supply system involving State-owned enterprises to address the housing needs of professionals participating in important industrial projects.

“Beijing E-Town will continue to adopt a people-centered approach to development and promote the integration of industrial growth and urban development,” said an official of Beijing E-Town. “We will continue to empower urban management with technology and aim to be an urban area free of ‘urban diseases’,” the official added.

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349