In August 2005, Arup was contracted by the Shanghai Industrial Investment Corporation (SIIC) to design and master plan an eco-city called Dongtan, near Shanghai. Dongtan will be a city of three villages that meet to form a city centre. The first demonstrator phase of the city aims to be completed by 2010, in time for the World Expo in Shanghai, and will accommodate a population of up to 10,000. Later phases of development will see the city grow to hold a population of around 80,000 by 2020 and up to 400,000 by 2050. The delicate nature of the Dongtan wetlands adjacent to the site has been one of the driving factors of the city’s design. We plan to protect and enhance the existing wetlands by returning agricultural land to a wetland state creating a ‘buffer-zone’ between the city and the mudflats – at its narrowest point, this ‘buffer-zone’ will be 3.5 kilometers wide. The project will increase bio-diversity on Chongming Island, and will create a city that runs entirely on renewable energy for its buildings, its infrastructure and its transport needs. Dongtan will recover, recycle and reuse 90% of all waste in the city, with the eventual aim of becoming a zero waste city. Dongtan eco-city incorporates many traditional Chinese design features and combines them with a sustainable approach to modern living, but not at the expense of creating a city that is recognizable as a ‘Chinese’ city. Dongtan demonstrates to the world China’s ability to work closely with the environment and has provided a methodology for sustainable communities across China and beyond.