The Nanfang / Blog


Dongguan may get giant “Eden of the East” botanical garden

Posted: 08/21/2013 10:00 am

Sir Tim Smit, designer of the world-famous Eden Project in Cornwall, England, may bring a “giant botanical garden” to Dongguan City, according to a report by International Business Times on Sunday.

Sir Smit, who will work together with “one of the country’s largest residential developers,” says he wants to bring “Eden to the East.”

The IBT said: “Smit, 59, hopes to recreate the spirit of his Cornish ecological development, designed by the architect Nicolas Grimshaw and described by admiring critics as “the eighth wonder of the world”, in the city of seven million in China’s central province of Guangdong.”

It added: “China is home to 16 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world. Authorities in Dongguan want to transform the city’s image, and are seeking direct investment from abroad to help. Until now, Dongguan has chiefly been known as a sex-industry destination.”

According to unsourced statistics, Dongguan’s current geography is made up of 27% water, 25% forest land, and 13% farm land — 35% of its total land area has been fully developed.

Dongguan’s humid subtropical climate with average temperatures of around 23°C and average annual rainfall of 1,756.8 millimetres would seem to offer the perfect environment for an “Eden of the East” project.

Over the years, the city has built an image of being a highly industrial landscape. Efforts to “regenerate” this less attractive side of Dongguan’s character would no doubt be welcomed by local community.

Environment is an issue high on the agenda of Xi Jinping’s government. In March, The New York Times quoted Premier Li Keqiang as saying: “Poverty and backwardness in the midst of clear waters and verdant mountains is no good. Nor is it to have prosperity and wealth while the environment deteriorates.”

At the end of June, The Nanfang reported that Dongguan’s single men are the nation’s loneliest. Here’s to hoping that some of the city’s lonely hearts can one day find love in Sir Smit’s “Eden of the East.”

If you don’t know what the Eden Project is, check out its official website.

Photo credit: TrekEarth



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