Weihai is a city in the eastern side of the Shandong Province, China. Weihai is a commercial port and a major fishing center with some light industries. In recent years, Weihai was able to experience a large economic development, due to the opening of specific industrial zones and scientific parks: Weihai Economic & Technological Development Zone; Weihai Export Processing Zone (EPZ) and Weihai Torch Hi-Tech Science Park.
On September 27, 2019, EC-Link project organized the “China Weihai Delicate City Construction Summit Forum”; hosted by the Weihai Municipal Government and co-organized by the Weihai Bureau of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, the Forum has been the occasion to re-affirm Weihai strong commitment towards green and urban sustainable development.
Following President Xi Jinping’s instructions during his past visit, requiring Weihai to further develop towards a "Delicate City”, Weihai Municipality has organized a set of initiatives, events and exhibitions culminated with the organization of this international forum attended by Mr. ZHANG Haibo, Deputy Party Secretary and the Mayor of Weihai Municipality, Mr. ZHOU Yongdi, Vice Mayor of Weihai Municipality and by Mr. Wang Qing, Secretary General of Weihai Municipality.
The Forum has seen the participation of nearly 1000 people, gathered to listen, exchange and lean how to support and further improve the future development of “Weihai Delicate City”.
As expressed, also by Prime Minister Li Keqiang, the concept of delicate city in China is crucial; China's green urbanization faces two basic tasks: first, how Chinese citizen can be urbanized in a green way; second, how the existing cities formed in the era of traditional industrialization can become sustainable through green transformation that injects vigor into the economy. The concept of “delicate city” wants to affirm the importance of reshaping China's urbanization based on ecological civilization and no longer relying on quantitative urban expansion, and making green urbanization a driver for green transformation of Chinese economy towards high-quality development.
All above key elements have been deeply analyzed by eminent professors attending the Forum, such as Zhao Yanjing, Zhao Jiang, Shen Qingji, and many others. They all affirmed the importance to optimize resources; the importance of proper planning and constant management, of changing prospective and creating smooth synergies among multiple sectors; and finally stressing the responsibility that we all have in building a better urbanization in China.
EC-Link Project has been supporting for years Chinese municipalities helping them in drafting, designing and developing urban sustainable plans meant to reshape and move from the traditional concept of urbanization towards a new paradigm based on green and people-oriented urbanization.
This was achieved based on years of missions, study tours, city to city exchange, trainings meant to support a more stringent and effective dialogue between Europe and China.
In order to further support such exchange of knowledge, EC-Link Project initiated an online Platform, also presented during the Weihai Forum; the Platform is the only cross-sector interdisciplinary online community to link major stakeholders in Europe and China; a unique information tool promoting and sharing advanced European and Chinese experience for sustainable urban development.
The Platform can be easily accessed via EC-Link website, and allows all major stakeholders (public officials, professors, companies, etc.) to have an open area supporting free dialogue and exchange of ideas on sustainable urbanization in Europe and China.
Solidly Promote The Exquisite City Construction With Practical Actions
“Weihai should move onto the path towards an exquisite city” – this is the ardent expectation of General Secretary Xi Jinping and is the general goal of the city. To qualify as an exquisite city, it should not only looks at its trunk roads, new district areas, and overall appearance; but also should look at its back streets, old towns and the corners where are most easily overlooked and are often more representative of the city construction quality and standard. To construct an exquisite city, it is largely by “renovation and reconstruction”, and by “leaders going out to the sites”. And an exquisite city comes into being in the residential communities and in the streets, rather than in the office or conference rooms.
Pan-territory integration is a distinctive feature of Weihai’s urban development, and exquisite city is the requirement on Weihai’s development. It should adhere to the concept of pan-territory integration in promoting the construction of the exquisite city, accelerate transformation of the old downtowns and opening of new areas, pay more attention to the vast towns and villages, solidly promote the construction of good towns, and carry out “five improvements” and “seven reforms” in rural villages, striving to create more refined towns, exquisite communities, and exquisite villages.
Weihai City Launched the “2019 World Water Day and China Water Week” Campaign
On March 22, the publicity campaign called “Water Nourishing Weihai” – 2019 “World Water Day and China Water Week” – was launched in Weihai City. The City leaders ZHANG Hongwei, LI Wenji, GAO Shuliang and LI Shufang attended the event. GAO Shuliang pointed out that all departments and agencies at all levels should, by taking this event as an opportunity, bear in mind what the General Secretary XI Jinping enthusiastically said that “Weihai should develop towards an exquisite city”, and should meet the requirements of the municipal party committee and municipal government for fully assuring water security. He said departments and agencies at all levels should enhance cooperation, and jointly manage to do the “five issues”: to broadly store water, to trap rainfall water and other externally-introduced water, to desalinate sea water, to use reclaimed water, and to treat sewage water. The theme of this year’s “China Water Week” is “to adhere to water conservation priority and strengthen water resources management”. In recent years, the city has adhered to water conservation priority, and taps to new source of water. So far, the city has invested more than 5 billion yuan to implement a number of major projects such as rainwater resource utilization and river and reservoir greening and remediation. It has successfully won the approvals to create a pilot city for water-saving social innovation in China, so to ensure the city’s economic and social development.
Promote the Integration of Rural Toilet Reform and Domestic Sewage Treatment
Recently, the Office of the Joint Conference of Rural Toilet Renovation in Shandong Province issued the Pilot Work Plan for Creating and Improvement of Rural Harmless Sanitary Toilets in the Eastern, Central and Western Province (2018-2020). As a pilot area in the east China, Weihai is urgently needed to promote integrating both works of rural toilet reform and domestic sewage treatment, and explore an upgraded version of toilet revolution.
How to renovate and upgrade rural toilets? The Plan clarifies the ways to effectively carry out both the toilet reform and rural domestic sewage treatment. For the villages that have not reformed their toilets, they in principle may adopt the modes the modes of single family, multi families or whole village to include their sewage into a pipe network, so to collectively treat the toilet sewage and kitchen sewage and all other domestic sewage such as bathing and soaking waste water, and thus realizing the treatment and control at the pollution source end and in just one step. For the single-family treatment mode, it takes a household as a unit, to install a small single-family processing facility that is used to collect all the domestic sewages such as toilet sewage, kitchen sewage, bath water, and laundry waste water. For the relatively centralized processing mode, it takes multi-family or whole village as a unit, to construct domestic sewage treatment facilities that are used for centralized collection and treatment of domestic sewages. For the tube management mode, it is deployed for households that are in a village close to a town. Each household will set up a sedimentation tank, and each village will lay down a pipe network through which the domestic sewage will be sent and included in the town sewage treatment plant for centralized treatment. It also encouraged qualified villages to use the ways of artificial wetland or oxidation ponds for ecological treatment.
According to the Plan, in principle the pilot city will select 1-2 counties (cities, districts) to carry out pilot projects. Other cities and counties should also carry out the pilot project at different levels such as counties, towns, and villages, based on local actual conditions. The pilot will be fully launched by the end of the year. In 2020, the successful experience of the pilot will be gradually promoted throughout the province.
Promote the City’s Internationalization Strategy to Create A New “Highland” For Opening Up
On the morning of December 13 Weihai City’s private entrepreneurs’ seminar of “Making Achievements in the New Era” was organized and was centered on the topic of economic transformation. Ms. Yang Li, deputy mayor, presided over the seminar and made a report on the opening-up of the city.
Yang pointed out in the report that Weihai is one of the first coastal open citys in China and is also the closest city from China to South Korea. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Weihai has actively participated in the China-South Korea Free Trade Area negotiations and strived to create a pilot city for innovation and development of the country’s service trade. The city’s openness to the outside world has been continuously expanded and the level of opening up has been significantly improved. Entering the new era, Weihai is moving from an opening-up city to an international city. To promote the city’s internationalization strategy, Weihai has established the Mayor’s International Economic Advisory Committee, and drafted an implementation plan for the city’s internationalization strategy, to integrate its international visions, ideas and standards into the city’s various tasks. In the next step, Weihai will be more proactive in implementing a comprehensive opening-up strategy, attracting domestic and foreign capitals and technologies, and making more efficient use of the home and SK markets and their resources. It will be based on the opening up to promote reform and innovation, promote structural adjustment, expand development space, and comprehensively build new advantages in the opening up by seeking first-comer’s advantage in building the new “highland” in opening up to the outside world.
EC-Link Pilot Cities Selected
Beijing, 9 March: The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD) announced a list of pilot cities of the EC-Link project today, including: Zhuhai, Luoyang, Changzhou, Hefei, Qingdao, Weihai, Zhuzhou, Liuzhou, Guilin and Xixian.
With the support of EC-Link, pilot cities will develop projects in the fields of compact urban development, clean energy, green building, green transport, solid waste management, water management, municipal financing, urban regeneration and green industry. Through learning urbanization experience from Europe, the pilot cities will serve as models for China’s low-carbon ecological development.
China is experiencing rapid urbanization. Over the past 30 years, Chinese cities have achieved extraordinary economic growth. In 2014, the urbanization rate reached 54.77%, which greatly improved people’s living standard. However, rapid urbanization also brought huge pressure to energy supply, natural resources and the environment. China hence faces huge challenges in environment protection, energy efficiency and industrial transformation. It is therefore of high importance to explore a green, low-carbon and ecological development path.
In that connection, the EC-Link project will make a significant contribution to promoting a Xiaokang society, China’s new urbanization planning, energy saving and climate adaptation, as well as EU-China urbanization partnership. Today, Europe’s urbanization rate has reached 75%. Over the past 150 years, European countries experienced similar challenges: the great smog of 1952 in London killed over 5000 lives in a short span of one week; the air pollution in Ruhr made blue sky a distant dream for citizens…However, the blue sky and fresh air in Europe make it hard to imagine the polluted days in the past, which was only made possible through generations’ remarkable efforts. In this process, Europe has accumulated valuable experience and developed advanced technologies in the fields of urban planning, green transportation, green building, renewable energy and water management. Many European cities have become eco-city models such as Freiburg in Germany, Copenhagen in Demark and Malmo in Sweden.
EC-Link will bring in European experience, implement best practices in pilot projects, build a knowledge and policy sharing platform, improve city financing and PPP mechanisms and provide more opportunities for practical cooperation between China and Europe and technology transfer.
The project platform will be service-oriented, with the aim to provide comprehensive consultancy for low-carbon eco-city development, solutions and technical guidance. The project encourages and assists pilot cities to explore innovative financing mechanisms. The aim is to provide innovative financing experience for China’s new urbanization process.
The project has received high-level government endorsement in both Europe and China as a part of the EU-China Partnership on Urbanization, a broad political initiative promoting the development of adequate solutions for sustainable urban development. The technical assistance provided by EC-Link assists the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development in shaping a national ecological and low-carbon framework, and helps Chinese municipalities with their own ecological, low-carbon urban development
Guidelines on Investment & Financing for Green Buildings
Green building investment and financing refers to the investment and financing behavior in the field of green building.
The green funding gap for green building construction in China is still large. To fill it, statistics predict that CNY 3 to 4 trillion worth of yearly investments are needed for the whole period of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020). According to prediction, of the total needed investment, only the 10% to 15% can come from the government, the rest is made of social capital. Therefore, it is necessary to effectively mobilize private capitals into the field of green building.
In the top-level design of green finance in China, there is a lack of docking schemes for green buildings, albeit efforts have been made in this regard. In August 2016, seven ministries and commissions, including the People's Bank of China, jointly issued the “Guidelines on Building a Green Financial System”, a blueprint for China's green financial development plan. However, they did not clearly point out the specific financing, financing methods and implementation methods of green finance for green buildings.
In summary, China's green building investment and financing sector urgently needs to set clear guidelines to ensure the green development of China's urban and rural construction to achieve the overall development goals of 2050.
The guideline aims to consider all the aspects of the green building financing, from the technical side (use of green technology and energy-saving effects) to the potential benefits and capital risks connected with the investments.
The objective is to embed ecological and environmental considerations (from financial to social externalizations) in the decision making process of the operators from the construction sectors.
Urban Development and Growing International Trade Within the BRI
The growth in international trade and investments around the EU Trans European Network -Transport (TEN-T) policy and the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is leading to increasing transport volumes between China and the EU. Cities are the key nodes in these growing national, regional and intercontinental transport networks and should contribute to and benefit from the increased trade.
However, without proper planning and management, those urban nodes can become blockages in national and international transport flows. Local congestion around hubs and terminals can lead to reduced network efficiency and increased levels of local air pollution.
Chinese cities have an opportunity to plan the development of safe, clean and affordable transportation systems. The impact that such development can bring in terms of economic opportunities, human wellbeing, and climate change are determined by the choices city leaders make today: a sustainable urban/spatial hub development will be part of “resilient cities” with logistic hubs as part of the urban structures.
The proposed Project is designed to bring together Chinese and European Cities (such as Hamburg, Barcelona, Gothenburg) along key trade routes to work together to optimize their leading roles as national, regional and international hubs.
The EU and China together can define a model of rising trade and prosperity combined with healthy cities. To this aim, Europe and China need to work together to maximize the benefits of trade while minimizing potential negative impacts on cities.
Green Building for Municipal Party School
The new campus of the Municipal Party School of Weihai Communist Party of China (CPC) is located in the Eastern Binhai New Town. It covers an area of 7.2 ha and has a planned construction area of 60,000 m2. The total investment is 316 million RMB. Its architechtural design is based on three principles, which include:
Reflect the overall principles of urban design and planning quality of Binhai New Town;
Create a garden-style campus that is convinient and environmentally-friendly;
Be in line with the social image of the CPC party school: simple, serious and elegant.
After its completion, the new campus will accommodate 1,300 students.
Ecological City Influence: Save energy worth of 1 million RMB per year.
Assets Involved: land of 7 ha and office buildings of 45,000 square meters.
Jobs creation: 1,000.