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Yangzhou, China: An old city district’s low carbon transformation

The Chinese magazine the City Pictoral released a report in early October 2013 on ISC’s Yangzhou Project and interviews ISC staffers Pan Tao and Zhu Longbin, along with our local partners. Here’s the English translation:

Yangzhou, China: An old city district’s low carbon transformation

What does “low carbon” mean to traditional, small communities in China? For the past two years, the Yangzhou Government and the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) have been working together to find an answer by developing a low-carbon demonstration community in Nanhexia, Yangzhou.

Nanhexia district is the largest, most well-protected traditional district in Yangzhou. Within the community, you can feel a sense of a traditional daily lifestyle: quiet and simple.

“Low carbon lifestyle is a normal thing in old towns, but a truly low carbon transformation should be based on the high quality of life. We tried to build this demonstrating community by improving the residents’ quality of life while keeping carbon emissions low,” Professor Zhu from NJUT explained why low carbon issues are being combined with old town development.

The location of our community was previously an abandoned factory. It has now become a community with 11 retrofitted buildings, including model residential houses and buildings for businesses and public affairs. The buildings are both traditional and effective: Still maintaining the traditional Yangzhou building style, energy-saving equipment is installed throughout, such as sheet preservation windows, ground source heat pump systems, PV systems, and rainwater collection systems. All of the buildings will be open to the public to increase public understanding of sustainable living.

At the end of September, the tenth building in the community will apply for the US LEED-for-Homes certification.* If successful, it will be the first building in China to receive LEED-for-Homes certification. The Yangzhou community is a symbol of the low-carbon future of traditional communities in China.

*An assessment has been conducted, and we are awaiting certification.