Tianjin's Binhai New Area models saline soil reclamation to world

TIANJIN, China, Nov. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A report from China Daily:

Anyone new to the green-clad Binhai New Area in Tianjin would find it hard to believe that it was not always an ideal place to live.

A photo of green Binhai
A photo of green Binhai

Located in North China's major coastal city, Binhai has a land area of 2,270 square kilometers, but over half of it used to be covered in high-saline soil, which is unsuitable for growing plants.

Yet local people did not bow to nature and cracked this problem, which afflicts people in many parts of the world.

Over the past three decades since the new area was established in 1984 they have desalinated the soil and improved its fertility by a combination of scientific methods including introducing better oil, washing away saline substances and cultivating original plants.

Huang Ruying, chief engineer of the Binhai urban management committee, said the new area has conducted over 60 municipal and State-level projects in desalination, received more than 100 patents in relevant technologies and drawn up around 10 sets of standards at the municipal and State levels.

An aerial view of Binhai.
An aerial view of Binhai.

Thanks to the fruitful efforts, by the end of 2019 the area was home to more than 56.9 million trees, and nearly 40 percent of its area was covered in trees, bushes and grass.

Ecological beauty is now a source of happiness for the residents and a pillar of Binhai's high-quality economic and social development, said Ma Bo, a member of the Binhai Party committee.

He said the new area will continue to innovate ecological technologies for improving saline soils and will share them with cities as needed in both China and foreign countries.

The livable region has attracted many top-level high-tech companies and research institutions, including car-hailing giant Didi and internet security company 360.

In the first eight months of this year, Binhai welcomed about 34,800 new corporate entities, an increase of 43.03 percent year-on-year. And domestic-funded projects grew by 47.3 percent year-on-year to over 4,740.

An aerial view of Binhai.
An aerial view of Binhai.

The success of the building of Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city in Binhai is an example of the area's constant efforts and achievements.

It resulted from an agreement between the governments of China and Singapore to jointly develop and build an environmentally friendly and resource-conserving city that would provide practical, replicable experiences in China.

The eco-city has emphasized construction of a self-supportive eco-system in which rivers, green lands and wetlands work together, new energy is in play, and a Sponge City concept is applied to construction of the city's planning and building.

Local officials in Binhai said they are going to adopt this eco-city model in overseas industrial parks.

An aerial view of Binhai.
An aerial view of Binhai.

In 2008, it set up an economic cooperation zone in cooperation with local authorities in Egypt.

Engulfed by the desert, the zone is five kilometers away from the Red Sea, and suffers from saline soil as well.

Binhai is proposing adoption of its successful model with application of adjusted technologies and methods to solve the problem.

In the meantime a Binhai-headquartered company is helping cities throughout the Middle East, including Dammam, to improve the quality of their soil.