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ETE contributes to sustainable urban development in China

Gepubliceerd op
29 mei 2017

ETE has started contributing to solve environmental problems related to big cities in China. In close collaboration with WIMEK and ETE, Tsinghua University will setup a new research institute in Suzhou, aimed at sustainable urban development. ETE researcher Wei-Shan Chen is facilitating this collaboration using Dutch experience and technology.

Systematic methodologies
In recent years, China is becoming more and more aware of the presence of huge environmental problems associated with air, water and soil. Increasing economic growth has urged private companies to take responsibility and start cleaning polluted areas. ‘There is a tendency towards more systematic and effective methods to restore the environment’, explains Chen. ‘The polluting source is controlled, and soil, water and air are not only cleaned, but also restored to functionality, for example agricultural use.’ Partially inspired by the Dutch clean technologies, wastewater treatments start to include nutrient recovery. Together with ETE, Tsinghua University will apply these principles to urban areas, aiming at generating sustainable metropolitan solutions.   

Cradle to cradle

The main principles of sustainable urban development are based on three pillars. The first pillar is a circular city. That means a vital role for recycling, according to the cradle to cradle principle. The second pillar is food safety and health, such as local fresh food production. The last pillar is smart, more efficient transportation. These pillars are visualised in a demo, ‘The street of the future’ (fig. 3), that is led by ETE scientist Jan Vreeburg. This demo will be presented at the Dutch Floriade in 2022. Core technologies include smart ways to close cycles: innovate infrastructure, modern wastewater management systems, recycling, renewable energy, and urban farming. Chen: ‘The idea is to start with this first demo followed by building more demo’s using different technologies in different cities in China and the world. The whole idea is to help and learn from each other on the sustainable urban development!’ 

Core technologies include smart ways to close cycles: innovate infrastructure, modern wastewater management systems, recycling, renewable energy, and urban farming. Chen: ‘The idea is to start with this first demo followed by building more demo’s using different technologies in different countries. The whole idea is to help and learn from each other!’