Jinshan, China

A community applying the One Planet principles

Jinshan (The Hills) is a mixed use community comprising 8,000 homes, a school, offices, live-work


The first phase at Jinshan incorporates many features from the One Planet Action Plan

units, a community centre, leisure facilities, green spaces and wetlands, developed by China Merchants Property Development (CMPD) near the city of Guangzhou. The first two phases of residential construction are complete and a third is in progress. The final residential phase will commence early in 2010 along with the commercial and retail park.

CMPD are one of the largest property developers in China with a track record in sustainable buildings, having completed China’s first LEED Silver residential development in 2005. At Jinshan they are building on this experience to achieve 65% reduction in energy demand and 50% reduction in water demands from a 1990 baseline.

Key strategies to achieve these targets at Jinshan include installing solar thermal panels on roof areas to provide hot water for homes and using water source heat pumps to provide cooling for the new commercial buildings. Grey water treatment using reed beds was trialled during the first residential phase and, having proved successful, is now being scaled up to manage grey water for the commercial development. Rainwater collection, permeable paving and green roofs will also be applied to commercial buildings as part of the site wide sustainable urban drainage system. These onsite measures should reduce water consumption by 36,000m3 per year.

Jinshan award

In 2009 China Merchants Property Development was awarded a UN-Habitat award for Jinshan

By incorporating office and commercial space for 200 businesses, Jinshan should result in 30% less travel compared with neighbouring communities (which are predominantly residential) reducing transport emissions by 3,200 tonnes of CO2 per year. Furthermore, a novel approach to encouraging a walkable community at Jinshan has seen the removal of cars at ground level by constructing car parks and access underground and encouraging walking and cycling around the site. BioRegional and CMPD have also been lobbying local government to develop a metro station close to Jinshan.

The community centre provides a focus for communal activities and provision of information for residents and workers, for example day care, vocational training, transport information, leisure and cultural events and a swap store.

The Zero Carbon target has been the most challenging of the 10 One Planet principles to achieve at Jinshan and BioRegional continues to work with CPMD to explore financially and technologically viable technologies, for example anaerobic digestion, to achieve the zero carbon during the next decade.