"Do you recognize this intriguing globular cluster of stars? It's actually the constellation of city lights surrounding London, England, planet Earth, as recorded with a digital camera from the International Space Station."
In the book I carried out a simple comparison of Tianjin in China and London using the criteria by which Tianjin markets itself as an eco-city. Even though the conclusions are tongue-in-cheek, the data are interesting.
For example, of those who commute to central London, 90% travel by non-car means. This is the same percentage of public-transport trips intended for Tianjin. In terms of carbon emissions, London's are currently nearly half of those projected for Tianjin. Since October 2011, all new domestic developments in London have had a maximum water consumption rate of 120 litres per person per day, which is the same that Tianjin aims for in ten years time. And finally, London has 105 square metres of green space per person, almost nine times that proposed for purpose-made Tianjin. If I was being mischievous, I might conclude that London is actually way ahead in environmental terms of a purpose-made Chinese eco-city.
No need for planning or dreaming or even utopia. A real city is already an eco-city.