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EC-LINK NEWS

EC Link Project and the SIA Meet to Strengthen Their Cooperation
14 Jan, 2019

EC Link and the SIA (the Sustainable Infrastructure Alliance) met in Beijing in order to strengthen their cooperation in light of their common interest to support local municipalities in developing green sustainable projects.

The Sustainable Infrastructure Alliance (SIA) is a partnership between the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Global Infrastructure Basel Foundation (GIB) with the goal of mainstreaming sustainable infrastructure in emerging economies. To achieve this, the SIA is working with project developers, financiers, and the public sector to create a market for third-party verified infrastructure standards that help link sustainable projects to finance. 

In 2019, the SIA will continue its outreach to stakeholders in China, train local auditors to apply international sustainability standards, and certify the first group of sustainable and resilient infrastructure projects.

With a shared vision of using green finance to fund sustainable infrastructure for resilient cities, EC Link and the SIA agreed to work together enlarging and exchanging their network in order to provide better solutions to Chinese municipalities; moreover, both organization will cooperate in organizing joint actions and initiatives in multiple sectors, such as green financing, circular economy, green consumption & public procurement and low carbon urban planning.

URBANIZATION NEWS

The Toxic Business of ‘Recycling’ China’s Car Batteries Leads to Illegal Dumping, Pollution and Poisoned Water
20 Dec, 2018

Authorities in eastern China are turning to the courts to raise the millions of Yuan needed to rehabilitate water and land polluted by dumping from an illegal lead-acid battery recycling plant.

State-run Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday that the city of Huaian in Jiangsu province would use “public interest litigation” to pay to remove the acid and heavy metals found to around the plant and a nearby river.

Source: South China Morning Post - https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2173457/toxic-business-recycling-chinas-electric-car-batteries

EXTERNAL NEWS

Liuzhou City Promotes Traffic Capacity for Rural Vitalization
06 Jan, 2019

Recently, it is learned from the Work Promotion Teleconference of the Three-year Action Plan for Improving Transportation Infrastructure Capacity in Rural Areas of Liuzhou held by the Liuzhou Municipal People's Government that at present, the expressway projects in Liuzhou City, the second (or third) level highway projects in every village and the road hardening projects in more than 20 natural villages are progressing smoothly. Through the "Three-year Action Plan", the longitudinal and latitudinal lines of the traffic network were made for improving transportation infrastructure in rural areas.

It is reported that from January to October this year, Liuzhou completed a total investment of 2.66 billion yuan in expressway projects, accounting for 84.8% of the annual task. At present, the expressway mileage in Liuzhou is 495 kilometers, and the expressway mileage in Liuzhou will reach 700 kilometers after the completion of the "Three-year Action Plan" project.

Sources: http://english.liuzhou.gov.cn/news/news1/201812/t20181204_1215629.htm

EC-LINK NEWS

EC-Link Project Cooperating with Zhuhai In Flood Risk Management
10 Dec, 2018

On December 10-13, 2018, EC-Link Team, together with European experts, went to Zhuhai in line with on-going activates related to flood risk management, sea level raise and salinization of sweet water.

In specific the discussion focussed on the best solutions to protect the coastal area located in the East side of the city, at North of Qian Huan new development area. This area was strongly affected by the typhoons during last summer, that generated 31,4 billion RMB of damages, destroying about 7.000 houses and involving about 640.000 inhabitants, more than one third of Zhuhai population (1.7 million).

Zhuhai is already adopting protective measures, but, in light of the impressive consequences of this natural disaster, they are asking for a deeper analysis and further solutions to be applied. As a preliminary indication, European experts suggested that the problem has to be addressed not only at the scale of technical/infrastructural solutions. A more integrated approach based also on the urban scale (in terms of revision of planning choices) and the interaction of the several municipal divisions (environment, planning and economic) is needed.

It was agreed that European experts will provide 3/4 practical applications focussing on specific urgent needs of some part of the coastal areas and the elaboration of a Road Map combined with toolboxes.

China Urban Green Finance – Second Network Meeting
23 Nov, 2018

EC-Link Project organized the Second Network Meeting in order to provide an introduction of New Rules for China's Capital Markets: taking the ADB Shandong Fund as an example of a blended facility for Green Investment.

Participants highlighted the fact that it is still difficult to define Green vs. Not Green, and this creates a lot of difficulties in the selection of appropriate projects both at national and local levels. Moreover, there is no alignment between China and International Institutions in the definition of “Green”. Moreover, it was raised the issue of a missing communication between financial institutions and local governments. Further, there is no clear mapping of on-going green finance projects. It’s important to create an efficient database so to have a clear understanding of present activities so to identify a priority pipeline of profitable projects (both from financial and technical point of view) to be presented to national and international institutions.

EC-LINK Project is doing city-level cooperation and communication work in China and providing green finance assistance. It will continue its work in order to sustain an effective dialogue between Chinese Municipalities and main Chinese and International Banks and Funds.

EC-Link Project and Qingdao Stringent Cooperation To Develop Green Finance Projects 
03 Nov, 2018

On November 3-5, 2018, EC-Link team was involved in a mission to Qingdao focused towards the possibility to start a city to city cooperation between Qingdao (represented from local HURD) and Dena (representing the German Federal Government and associated German cities).

The proposal from local HURD is to develop a “model” combining technical and financial elements so to create a framework activity that could be easily replicable in multiple different projects within the green building sector.

Within this City Network Unit (CNU), EC-link will cooperate in providing technical support for the financial part due to its connection with most relevant international financial institutions.

From a technical point of view, Qingdao HURD would welcome a cooperation with Dena (due to their domestic collaboration with KfW) in order to develop a model both for Green Assessment of the Project but also, if possible, for the post green assessment to be performed once the project is started.

Moreover, EC-Link will support local HURD in order to identify bankable pilot projects, with consequent technology selection and also actions needed to start collaboration with international financial institutions.

At the moment, Qingdao has been selecting the following line of activities: Retrofitting for existing private buildings, retrofitting for public buildings, district heating and clean heating.

Qingdao HURD asked EC-Link support as facilitator among different international projects (such as Felicity) and international institutions/funds (such as Shandong fund, ADB, KfW, AFD, etc.) so to identify the best model, with related procedures, to reach such important target.

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URBANIZATION NEWS

Bond Issuance Boost in The Pipeline
19 Dec, 2018

Local governments are expected to accelerate bond issuance next year, to raise more funds for infrastructure construction projects and stabilize economic growth, according to analysts.

The country's top legislators will deliberate a proposal for assigning part of the 2019 bond issuance quota to local governments, during a seven-day meeting starting from Dec 23, 2018, according to a statement on the National People's Congress website.

That means local governments could issue new bonds starting from January, much earlier than May as usual, to accelerate fundraising and support government-led infrastructure construction.

Source: China Daily

7 Million People in China Left Cities to Move to Rural Areas and Take Up Farming Last Year, and It Reveals a Growing Trend
17 Dec, 2018

A rising number of educated urbanites in China are choosing to wave goodbye to city life and head back to the land.

Last year the Ministry of Agriculture announced that seven million people had returned to the countryside from cities.

The modernization of farming in China is on the government's agenda. In March, President Xi Jinping said more effort should be made to encourage talented university graduates and overseas returnees to move to rural areas to revitalize them and boost innovation.

Source: Business Insider - https://www.businessinsider.com/chinas-phds-and-mbas-are-giving-up-city-life-for-farming-2018-12/?IR=T

GPS Bike-Share Program in China Credited with Reducing Gridlock and Smog
12 Dec, 2018

The smog hangs thick over Beijing. It's a brownish haze with a vaguely smoky smell, shrouding lanes of traffic and pedestrians wearing face masks.

The main culprits are nearby steel factories and coal-burning heating plants. But the city's five million cars add much to the toxic mix, creating air that's frequently rated "hazardous" by the World Air Quality Index Project. 

Since the beginning of last year, Chinese cities have been awash with 23 million GPS-equipped bicycles, part of a bike share program that has been credited with changing traffic patterns across the country and reviving a mode of transportation that was fading fast.

Source: CBC - https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/china-gps-bike-share-carbon-emissions-1.4941137 

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EXTERNAL NEWS

Promote the Integration of Rural Toilet Reform and Domestic Sewage Treatment
01 Jan, 2019

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.

Source: http://www.weihai.gov.cn/art/2018/12/4/art_16952_1490828.html

Xixian Provides the World with a New Template for Innovative Urban Development
26 Dec, 2018

The first "International Forum on Future Cities Planning Construction and Governance", a sub-forum under the Xixian New Area International Forum on Models of Innovative Urban Development, kicked off on October 13 in the central Chinese city of Xi'an. Shi Nan, Vice President and Secretary General of the Urban Planning Society of China, was invited to attend and address the forum.

Shi Nan said in an interview with CRI Online Shaanxi that the Xi'an municipal Party committee and municipal government have always considered urban planning a top priority and implemented sound and carefully deliberated plans since the very beginning of the founding of the People's Republic. Particular emphasis has been placed on the improvement and balancing of different public resources towards industry development, residential space, education, other public services and the multitude of needs of local residents.

In addition, as a historic city that has kept its traditions alive while being modernized, Xi'an has always leveraged its rich cultural assets as a driver and crucial ingredient of urban development. In the past two years, Xi 'an has also attached great importance to environmental and ecological protection. The city has outperformed its peers nationwide in the field of urban development planning.

Source: http://en.xixianxinqu.gov.cn/2018-10/16/c_291711.htm

Liuzhou Promotes City-Industry Integration to Create New Development Model
25 Dec, 2018

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, Liuzhou has accelerated the pace of new-type urbanization construction, and has taken a road of new-type urbanization construction with local characteristics -- city-industry integration.

In particular, Liuzhou City constantly strengthens the infrastructure construction of the parks, and allocates special funds to support the infrastructure construction of the parks every year. By the end of October 2018, the industrial output value of the parks in the whole city was 217.24 billion yuan, and the total economic output of the parks accounted for 54.4% of that in the city. Liudong New District became the first development zone with the output value exceeding 100 billion yuan in Guangxi, and Hexi Industrial Park became the eighth autonomous-regional-level high-tech industrial development zone in Guangxi. The parks consisted of industries, and then led to the rise of new urban areas, brought about the upgrading of various kinds of infrastructure, promoted the integration of urban comprehensive service functions for the development of industry, and formed a good mechanism of promoting the city by the industry.

Sources: http://english.liuzhou.gov.cn/news/news1/201812/t20181220_1226081.htm

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