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RIP eco-cities? China's Dongtang goes unbuilt

The Christian Science Monitor is reporting the demise of Dongfan, China’s much publicized eco-city, a twice-Manhattan sized island near Shanghai planned to evolve into a high-tech, self-sustaining city for 500,000, opening by 2010. The drought in capital markets might be blamed for the demise of this costly project, but the CSM piece also goes on to explain how a more modest eco-town of small, efficient bungalows, designed by William McDonough + Partners, went awry when the Chinese developer super-sized the homes. Meanwhile, one has to wonder how, even in the energy-rich economy of the Persian Gulf, giga-billion projects like Masdar, slated to be the largest carbon neutral city in the world, can stay on track with oil under $50 per barrel.

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