A Tale of Two Eco-Cities - Sino-Singapore to Serenbe: Toward Broader Eco-City Appraisal

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Elihu Rubin
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This paper analyzes the values espoused by two ecological cities: Serenbe Community in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia and Tianjin Eco City in Tianjin, China. Ecological cities, eco-cities for short, are human settlements that seek to raise the environmental consciousness of its inhabitants. Eco-cities exist in varying scales and are dependent on local priorities. Drawing upon a values- based analysis of marketing materials, planning documents, and local media to elucidate ideals that are articulated and sacrificed by each approach to eco-city development. Since cities are responsible for the majority of global carbon emissions, they are an ideal locus for carbon-mitigating interventions. I argue in favor of recognizing values like comprehensiveness, authenticity, and unconventionality as meaningful aspects of sustainability.