Wuhan beyond COVID-19: an ecological city to be reborn

A 39 square km area will become an eco-place and a model of urban sustainability, thanks to a project promoted by China and France

Wuhan: inhabitants
The Sino-French Wuhan Ecological Demonstration City is a project by China and France to integrate green practices into urban development (Photo: Lafayette Architecture)

How do you stop being 'the city of COVID-19? Before February 2020, few Westerners had heard of Wuhan, a city of over eleven million people located in central China's Hubei province. Despite being above all an important political, economic, cultural and scientific center of the country, Wuhan has sadly gone down in the news as the city of origin and spread of the pandemic COVID-2.

Moving on and looking to the future has been difficult for everyone and China is no exception. The city of Wuhan is determined to leave the past behind and has clear ideas on how to face the challenges related to Sustainable Development. And in fact, a small ecological city is springing up right here, thanks to a bio-climatic design project that bears the signature of China and France. Let's explore…

Smart and green: here is the new Chinese city designed by Aedas
Innovation and sustainability in Malaysia: discovering BiodiverCity

Wuhan: Sino-French Wuhan Ecological Demonstration City
Once completed, the Wuhan Ecological Demonstration City is expected to accommodate around 200.000 residents (Photo: Lafayette Architecture)

A Beijing-Paris "green bridge": science, sustainable development and nature

It was 2014 when China and France signed the agreements for the construction of the "Sino-French Wuhan Ecological Demonstration City", 39 square kilometers in the Caidan district, in the city of Wuhan. A non-random cooperation: Wuhan is in fact the Chinese city with the highest concentration of French investments. 

The main goal of the “Sino-French Wuhan Ecological Demonstration City” is to create a urban environment that integrates advanced ecological practices, resource conservation, and environmental sustainability.

The site on which the city stands is characterized by outstanding natural areas, including the Han River, ponds and lakes in the north, and Bailian and Houguan lakes, along with the Ma'an mountain range in the south.

The main objective of the project is to preserve and enhance these natural spaces, creating a landscape framework that supports different functions and addresses challenges such as water management, flood risk, urban design and the reduction of the effect "heat island"

The "Wuhan Ecological Demonstration City" expects to welcome about 200.000 inhabitants and aims to become a “Sino-French Valley of Environmental Science and Technology”. The project also aims to develop tourist, sports and recreational areas to offer opportunities for recreation and education environmental.

Through this international collaboration, the hope is to foster innovation and the dissemination of green practices in other Chinese cities, thereby contributing to one more sustainable development at national level.

Wood City in Helsinki: the architecture of the future passes through wood 
“The Line”, a 500 billion dollar Saudi linear city, will be done

Wuhan: ecological city
The concept of an ecological city focuses on green buildings, clean energy and a circular economy (Photo: Lafayette Architecture)

Eco-cities: a new and desirable urban development paradigm

The project was developed by a technical team composed of Chinese and French experts. In the master planning phase, led by the Wuhan Planning and Design Institute (WPDI) and the French studio AREP, Wuhan University, EY, BURGEAP, Huazhong Agricultural University, BIOTOP, l 'Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Wuhan Institute of Transportation Planning, IRIS, the General Institute of Architectural Design and Research CITIC, TERAO and other institutions.

Thanks to the experience and knowledge of the best experts of the two countries, the new eco-city focuses on the use of renewable energy sources, green technologies, the adoption of low-carbon transport systems and sustainable construction.

Green light then to projects of The circular economy and use of new energy and material resources, inspired by the French experience in the field of renewable resources and ecological tax incentives.

Another key objective of the green city is the development of advanced manufacturing and service industries, which will gradually give rise to a modern and diversified industrial system.

Six sectors, including scientific research for environmental protection, information communications, automotive, green building, health and tourism, will form the pillar industries, complemented by a low-carbon service sector.

Reinventing to innovate: ecological vertical village in Montpellier
Nature and city together: the ideas and innovations of Vincent Callebaut

Wuhan: COVID-19
Wuhan, the city of origin and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, is ready to leave the past behind (Photo: Unsplash)

Saving the environment, saving lives: cities on their way to sustainability

It is no secret that China has experienced unparalleled economic development since the 2000s, and this is undoubtedly one of the factors that has contributed to bringing the urbanization rate of the country to 65 per cent. However, this development has brought with it several side effects: social inequalities, rising energy costs, scarcity of water resources and above all air pollution. 

China, together with the United States, has earned the dubious record for greenhouse gas emissions, and many of its largest cities are constantly enveloped in a dense fog of particulate matter, forcing citizens to stay indoors to protect themselves from harmful substances in the air.

The World Organization for Health estimates that thepollution in China be responsible for over two million dead every year. It is therefore understandable that national and local authorities are actively investing in projects aimed at making cities more livable and sustainable.

Promote green mobility to reduceair pollution, encourage the use of renewable energy, choose environmentally friendly and natural flooring such as those signed Solid Earth to mitigate the effects of urban “heat islands”… All these actions can help improve the quality of life and the community welfare.

The Wuhan Ecological City Project is a first step towards a urban environment which enhances and protects natural resources, promoting harmonious development between man and nature.

But the success of such initiatives will depend on a continued commitment to pursuing sustainable practices and constantly adapting policies and technologies in response to emerging environmental challenges.

Human health and biodiversity: it is the Global City of Ho Chi Minh
Sustainable architecture in Vietnam: the dream waterfront

Wuhan: pollution
Like many Chinese cities, Wuhan faces heavy air pollution (Photo: Unsplash)