What will the city of the future look like?

When one billion rural Chinese move to cities, our planet will change irreversibly. Mr. Eero Paloheimo, a Finnish professor and Chinese business magnate Zhang Yue are going to save the world by reinventing the City as we know it. Both visions are bold, cutting edge and never attempted.

Their utopias are very different however: Businessman Zhang plans to build the tallest for 10 000 inhabitants in Changsha, China in record speed. The tower would not cause nearly any emissions and you’d never have to leave the building. Paloheimo has designed a unique clean-tech test laboratory city, and struggles to get it built in a valley outside Beijing. Democracy in Europe is too slow in solving the climate crisis and so Paloheimo has come to China to see if his vision can become a reality. The film deftly juxtaposes these two visions of urban living to determine whether our future lies in the cherry valleys of China or in a race to the sky.

For director Anna-Karin Grönroos this film marks the beginning of a fascination with this overwhelming country that is China. Visiting different cities in China gives one a new perspective on urbanization at high speed. This is the biggest and fastest migration in human history - never before have people left their home village
for a new life in the city at this rapid pace. During the few years when this film was made new cities have mushroomed in China, and the old ones now have tens of millions more urban citizens.

Eero Paloheimo and Zhang Yue have very different suggestions on how to solve the paradox of sustainability in a country in which by 2030 will have one billion urban consumers. One billion! What kind of cities will we live in a hundred years from now? Ecopolis China asks this question now, because the future of mankind lies in the decisions our urban planners and government leaders make about the cities of the future.

Produced by Illume Ltd.