Efforts in greening and water protection give Dongying a growing reputation as an ecologically sound city. Huang Liping
Located on the estuary of China`s historic Yellow River, the costal city of Dongying in east China`s Shandong province is using its geographical advantages to build itself into an eco-friendly city.
"Developing Dongying into an eco-friendly city has always been the long-term goal," said Zhang Jianhua, mayor of Dongying.
The mayor said the city plans to establish four industrial zones in the eastern costal region covering a total of 1,000 sq km for industry, eco-tours, fishing and animal husbandry, and hi-tech development.
Its "eco-city along the Yellow River" effort includes large expanses of water, wetlands and public green space.
Covering an area of 8,053 sq km and home to a population of 1.99 million, Dongying is the center around the Yellow River Delta, according to Zhang.
Surface water within the city totals 500 million cu m from its many rivers, lakes and 658 manmade reservoirs that each have a capacity of more than 100,000 cu m.
Dongying has 1,410 sq km of wetlands that cover 18 percent of the city`s total land area. Its national nature reserve on the Yellow River Delta is the world`s youngest in the temperate zone, formed only in the past few decades by silt from the massive river.
Since last year, the city started to implement a plan to build itself into an eco-city, according to Zhang.
Begun in February 2007, the first phase of the three-part Dongying eco-city plan focused on controlling water pollution. Some 800 million yuan was invested in related projects over the last year.
The second phase started this year, with 1.7 billion yuan invested to build parks for gymnastics, culture, science and the Qingfeng lake scenic spot.
The third step beginning next year will establish a water network in and around the city.
When the full project is completed, Dongying is expected to become a distinctive city with a water eco-system along the Yellow River, Zhang said.
The city has also made extensive efforts to create a clean, healthy and enjoyable living environment. Due to its convenient transportation system, plentiful green space now covering 30 percent of the city and manicured residential areas, Dongying won a "National Model Prize for Residential Environment" in 2006.
To further improve the ecological environment and better use its geographical advantage, other new projects under construction include a golf course, a wetland botanical garden and the Yellow River cultural park.