what has become of china’s eco-cities?

An artist's rendering of the Dongtan eco-city

There has been much news lately that the project to design a massive eco-city on Chongming Island near Shanghai may finally have fizzled out. The project, designed by the British engineering firm Arup, would have created a low carbon-footprint city called Dongtan, just a thirty-minute boat ride from Shanghai. In its first phase, to have been completed in time for the 2010 Shanghai Expo, it would have created housing for 50,000 people. At three quarters of the size of Manhattan Island, the project could eventually have housed half a million people, connected to the mainland via a network of bridges and tunnels.

What went wrong? And, as Andrew Revkin asks in his New York Times blog, is growth still trumping green?