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January 30, 2010

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Green Leap for Chongming

CHONGMING County has unveiled a blueprint for an ecological island where "green" development will harmonize with the island of forests, fields, rivers and wetlands. A photo book and exhibition celebrate the future. Fei Lai turns the page.

Chongming County will become a world-class environmentally friendly island under a city government blueprint released this month.

To celebrate the plan for harmonious development, a book -- "Green Island and Ecological Chongming" -- of 80 photographs of the scenic island county will be published on Monday.

The images by 28 photographers from across the country record the island's forests, fields, fisheries, lakes, streams, wetlands, towns, villages and folk customs.

The launch ceremony for the book will be held at Liu Haisu Art Museum in the Hongqiao area early next month.

At the same time the museum will open a five-day exhibition of the photos.

"I've spent almost my whole life in Shanghai since university, but the difficulty of getting to Chongming meant it remained a mysterious land," says Gong Xinhan, chairman of the China Pictorial Association.

"However, taking photos in the county's forests, fields and towns gave me an opportunity to enjoy the land's delicious cuisine, pure folk customs and prosperous development," he says.

Gong says in the preface to the exhibition that the opening of the Changjiang Tunnel-Bridge last year had made the island county easily accessible for those who had not wanted to take the long ferry trip. The transport link has brought a historic opportunity for development and the guidelines and blueprint will guarantee a bright future for the eco-island, he adds.

The tunnel-bridge opened on October 31, linking Chongming with Pudong New Area.

China's third-largest island, Chongming is unspoiled and rich in natural resources such as wind energy, solar energy, and abundant biological energy and biodiversity.

As the area in Shanghai least affected by human activities and industrialization, Chongming has a reputation for "clear water, clean land and fresh air."

The new eco-friendly development plan will strengthen utilization and protection of natural resources, conserve energy, handle agricultural waste with new methods, and use appropriate industry to achieve an economic leap while not causing ecological damage.

Zhao Qi, the county director, says the new industrial ideal is to have value-added industries that can generate profit while being confined to limited areas of land.Those include service businesses, tourism and exhibitions, among others.

As the key construction area of the county, Chenjia Town, where the Changjiang Tunnel-Bridge lands, is ready to boom.

The expanded area will have four sections -- an experimental ecological community with a low-carbon footprint, an international commercial district of 8 square kilometers, a central community and an international education zone.

The four sections will be enhanced by five green open areas -- the central artificial lake, the eastern wetland park, the southern suburb forest, the western suburb forest and the northern suburb forest.

The area will feature forests, wetland, lakes, streams and fields.

The town will build an international ecological and commercial service cluster to serve Shanghai, the Yangtze River Delta and the world, according to Huang Feirong, general manager of the Shanghai Chenjia Town Construction Development Co Ltd.

Key services will include ecological tourism, eco-offices, outdoor sports, and ecological convention and exhibition.

The modern town will connect with villages; people and nature will coexist in harmony.

Chongming is attracting both visitors and investors with its lush woods, peaceful lifestyle and a green future.

Photo exhibition

Date: February 4-7, 9am-5pm

Venue: Liu Haisu Art Museum, 1660 Hongqiao Rd

Admission: Free


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