The name Rizhao comes from an ancient poem “ri qu shien zhao” which means ‘first to get susnshine’. The city is located on the east coast in China’s Donggang district. The city is consistently rated in the top 10 every year for air quality in China.
More than 2.8 million residents enjoy that early sunshine (even if Gisborne in New Zealand is actually the first to see the sun in the morning) as well as a gentle sea breeze. Rizhao is among only 4 cities in the world that have committed to becomming completely carbon-neutral. Rizhao’s motivation for this feat is to embrace the transition to a green economy. A series of new skyscrapers along its waterfront will utilize the suns energy to completely fuel the buildings. Nearly 100 percent of them take advantage of Rizhao’s 260 days of sunshine to heat water for bathing—and 30 percent of those going up in surrounding suburbs and villages also make use of the technology.
In 2004 the local Rizhao Jurisdiction mandated that solar whater heaters be used in all new construction and now it is requiared that they are installed on all existing buildings. The city is also taking advantage of other technologies such as solar voltaics and wind turbines. Rizhou faces a couple of challenges with becoming carbon-neutral which means that that the carbon that is produced in the city is offset by a balance of carbon that is eliminated. Rizhao is a large tourist destination and also a port city these two things contribute to the difficulty because even if poplar trees are planted along all the roadways in Rizhao it still will not be enough to compensate for the gasoline that is burnt from vehicles coming in from rural areas. Also, the city cannot do much about the ships that carry seafood cargo to japan and neighboring islands — the boats don’t belong to them. Aside from those two concerns the city has fully pledged to become 100% carbon neutral although there is not a timeline.
Other cities like Gothenburg Sweeden are Looking towards a sustainable future as well implementing all of the green technologies. The new plan for the city wide redevelopment by KKA Architects envisions the city as becoming an “Ecotopia”.
By 2020 Gothenburg will be growing at a rate of 8000 new inhabitants per year. Typically this type of expansion takes place in the form of urban sprawl but KKA is adressing this issue by creating a dense urban center in which more people can live efficiently within a structure of less material than that which would be used in a sprawl.
The plan calls for energy efficient apartments which all have green roofs for use of food production to ensure that all food is locally grown. Also atop the rooftops onlookers will observe solar panels as well as small scale wind turbines.
Transportation has also been adressed. The plan calls also for a personal rapic transportation system that will double as a canopy for bike traffic, keeping cyclists out of the weather will make their commute more appealing and the two options for transportation provide for a zero emmissions commute for all residents of Gothenburg.