It was to be the ultimate urban paradise. Hundreds of pages of plans, maps and charts detailed the construction of a state-of-the-art eco-city called Dongtan on China’s Chongming Island, at the mouth of the Yangtze River. Energy-efficient buildings would be clustered together to encourage residents to travel on foot; only battery- or hydrogen-powered cars would be permitted in the development. Surrounding organic farms would supply food; sea breezes and the burning of husks of China’s staple crop, rice, would furnish power. Canals and ponds would incorporate the local wetlands, providing restful views for humans and continued respite for migrating birds.