China-Singapore ties: Joint efforts made to develop sustainable urbanizationLocated in the Tianjin Binhai New Area, the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city is an inter-governmental project between China and Singapore. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the eco-city's founding. Ten years ago, there was an "ecological restricted zone" in Tianjin, where most of the area was a wasteland, including an abandoned salt field with polluted waters. But 10 years later, it's become a pioneer in eco-city construction. It's the first integrated demonstration zone of green development in China.“At first, it was really difficult for us and we faced many challenges. Solving the sewage issue was the biggest problem. It took us three years to fully improve the water quality and govern the sewage system in this area," said Sun Xiaofeng, a researcher with the Construction Bureau of the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city. "There were no green buildings before, and we hadn't learned from previous experiences. We set up a new evaluation system of constructing green buildings by expanding the discussion with Singaporean experts.”The Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city provides a platform for both sides to share their best practices in sustainable development.Kok Poh June, deputy CEO of Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city Investment and Development, indicated, “I want to touch more importantly on how we could design and plan for green buildings. There are many green features, for example, passive design is very common in Singapore. At the same time, great ideas that we explore and experiment with. We hope to replicate something practical into future development.”From renewable energy to smart homes and distributed power generation, the blueprint for the construction of a smart grid in the eco-city is being realized step by step. Not only is renewable energy slowly being realized, but infrastructure and services are also headed toward improvements.As Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pays an official visit to Singapore, the upgraded Free Trade Zone Agreement between the two sides has been signed. The new agreement emphasizes that cooperation in environmental protection will be expanded.