EC-LINK NEWS

Europe-China Urban Green Development Forum 
31 Aug, 2020

The Europe-China Eco-Cities Link Project is organizing the Europe-China Urban Green Development Forum, to be held by videoconference on September 8th and 9th 2020. The Objective of this forum is to promote the EC-Link Project achievements from 2013 to 2020 and update the latest developments in the sector of Green Finance and Climate Resilient Cities in China and Europe.

The event is hosted by the Department of Standards and Norms, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD), supported by the Delegation of the European Union to China and the Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Commerce (MoFCOM).

Relevant representatives of MoHURD and from Local HURD of EC-Link pilot cities will attend the Forum on September 8th, as well as from Chinese Universities, EU companies and financial Institutions involved in the cooperation with EC-Link pilot cities. Eco-City Construction experience will be presented sharing the projects implemented by EC-Link pilot cities.

During the second day, two sessions are foreseen, to present EC-Link results achieved by linking Chinese cities with Green Financing Resources and to deepen project contribution to Chinese sustainable urban development, pointing out knowledge products and guidelines elaborated through the cooperation between Chinese cities and EU experts.

EC-Link Project participates at The Sixteenth International Conference on Green and Energy-Efficient Building & New Technologies and Products Expo
31 Aug, 2020

Launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, P. R. China since 2005, the annual “International Conference on Green and Energy-efficient Building & New Technologies and Products Expo” has proved to be an increasing success through 15 years development. With more and more supports from around the world, now the IGEBC has ranked the most influential event with the largest scale in the green building industry in China, and sees each year over 3000 participants, including more than 300 high-ranking officials, renowned experts and specialists, along with more than 300 exhibitors at home and abroad.

EC-Link Project was invited to deliver a speech at the sub-forum “The Latest Theory and Practice for International Eco-City” and to promote during such occasion, and through the whole two days event, its newly established IT Platform. 

As it was confirmed during the conference, there are some platform, but mostly offline, or focusing on one specific sector. EC-LINK IT platform is really the only one cross-sector and on-line platform, and for this reason it received a lot of interest and attention from the participants to the Forum. 

EC-Link Platform received a lot of attention and interest as most of participants believe that it is good idea to have a unified and integrated IT platform targeted to most important sectors in the field of substantiable urbanization such as clean energy, compact urban development, green buildings, green transport, municipal finance, solid waste management, water management.

Belt and Road Initiative & Green Finance
20 Aug, 2020

EC-Link Project has been developing a series of research papers focusing on the Belt and Road Initiative, this one focusing towards the importance of Green Finance within BRI.

Indeed, International cooperation in frameworks like the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) provide ample opportunities for economic growth, high returns on investments and social development. At the same time, investments for development will lead to an acceleration of pollution, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and loss of biodiversity if we follow current trajectories. Simply said, current policies and investment activities are insufficient to tackle the goal of having a zero-carbon society by 2050 in Europe, in China and in the BRI.

In urban areas, it is particularly the investment in the transport sector, industrialization and sustainable urbanization that have a great influence on future green growth trajectories. Therefore, in addition to policies on renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean transport, green urbanization (such as buildings) on the demand-side, policy makers have to improve policies for green domestic and cross-border finance. 

To understand the current situation and potential future trajectories, this report analyzes green urban finance developments in China, Europe and BRI. It provides an overview of the green finance policy perspective, analyze developments of public and private finance and provides relevant 5 green urban finance case studies from Europe (Paris (FR), Litoměřice (CZ) and Essen (DE)) and China (Shandong, Shenzhen) among many other minor examples.

Finally, based on developed findings, 11 recommendations are drawn on how to accelerate green urban finance in the BRI.

The Belt and Road Initiative & Green Urban Finance Research Paper can be easily downloaded at: 

http://eclink.org/upload/attachment/0133b175a91f44099b882b16339b37d7.pdf

EC-Link Green Finance Pilot Project:
Green Public Transportation System Demonstration Project
11 Aug, 2020

EC-Link Technical Support Summary 

EC-Link provided significant support to this project, which helped the project development and increased its bankability through a Pre-feasibility study process. The EC-Link project also identified the green financing resources and steered the project preparation to meet specific requirements of Shandong Green Development Fund. The detail Technical Support included: a) developing the project to maximise green impact and to document this impact so as to meet the eligibility criteria of downstream green financing, through rigorously documenting the results of the Pre-Feasibility Study; and b) stakeholder capacity building and trainings on green finance.  

Project Information 

Project Name, Type and Sector

Green Public Transportation System Demonstration Project

Public transportation, bus procurement and facilities construction.

Location

Qingdao city, Shandong Province, People’s Republic of China 

Project Rationale

Qingdao is the largest city and economic hub of Shandong province.

The Qingdao Green Public Transportation project is systematically designed to meet 1) the increasing public demand for better public transport both in terms of service capacity and quality, 2) better traffic flow by optimizing traffic routes, 3) green and low carbon development, also targets set under the low carbon city program and aligned with the focus area of the energy efficiency project creating the backbone of a Green Corridor.

As designed, the project will significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and help to achieve Qingdao’s committed carbon peaking by 2020. The co-benefit will be reduction of other transport-related emission.

Description

There are about 6,000 old diesel buses in the city, operated by three major state-owned bus companies. The project plans to replace the diesel buses and explore ways to apply renewable energy to replace electricity from coal power, and also establishing a green power charging system. 

Under the concept of maximising green impact, there are a number of sub-project components designed in the project proposal, which including, 1) purchasing of 953 electric buses, 2) green bus route design optimization, 3) 2 major bus depots, 4) 208 charging piles and 300 intelligent electronic bus stop signs, and 5) low-carbon operation bus dispatch management systems. 

The project geographically covers downtown areas, with coordinated investment designed to maximise impact in reducing GHG emissions, increasing resilience and reducing pollution through coordinated investment in energy efficiency, public transport and other climate-related sectors over a large area of the city.  Given the standard of 8-year operating life of busses in the city, the project is the first phase of a broader project that is expected to have a construction period of 10 years.

Key Climate Impacts  

The project is estimated to contribute 3.15million tons of carbon reduction in 10 years:

  • Reduce 523,000 tons of CO2 emissions from the electronic buses’ operation 
  • Reduce 28,000 tons from green depots.
  • Reduce 163,000 tons from intelligent dispatching system.
  • Reduce 220,000 tons from the smart energy consumption and emission management system
  • 554,000 tons from the Carbon Offset Scheme for personal and micro enterprises
  • Reduce 1,660,000tons of CO2 from reducing private driving.

Co-benefit reduction of CO emission is 4292 tons, and HC 419 tons, NOx 4931 tons, PM2.5 170 tons, PM10 190 tons, SO2 61 tons.

Summary of Development Outcomes 

  • Meet the travel demand of about 170 million trips per year in Qingdao City;
  • Improve public traffic flow to alleviate urban road congestion. 9million urban citizens will be benefited;
  • Provide at least 200 employment opportunities for the upstream and downstream industries of public transport in the coming years.
  • Improve the level of public transport services to attract more citizens to choose public transport and consequently reduce use of private cars, then reduce CO2 emission and other transport related pollution.
  • Establish a green power charging system. Vehicle battery recycling will reduce environmental pollution and potential hazards caused by waste batteries. 

Implementing Plan and Structure

The implementation plan will be 953 e-bus purchase within 2 years ie. 483 and 470 respectively, and the construction of depots and the installation of relevant facilities over the same 2 years. 

Two bus depots will be built for providing functional services and supporting facilities for bus operation, in terms of bus parking, power charging and maintenance etc. These two depots will be built in Sichuan road and Maidao road respectively. Development approvals are in process. The traffic management authority expects to pursue comprehensive development on site, which can increase the commercial revenue of the project. The authority also expects a qualified social partner to further develop over the site under a PPP modality, increasing project viability.

Procurement Method 

The proposed implementation arrangements will focus on a new Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that will enable the efficient management of the project.

Direct physical investments in bus depot construction, 953 full electric buses and corridor development; and the provision of equipment through service contracts.

The project procurement will also follow the Green Procurement process.  

Status of Preparation 

Studies for the preliminary design of bus network, planning of bus lanes and ticket pricing research, intelligent dispatching system, energy consumption and carbon emission management have been completed or are under implementation. 

Risk study, Carbon Offset Scheme will be implemented in the first project year, as well as, the intelligent bus stop signs, vehicle battery recycling. 

Pre-feasibility study with technical, governance, economic/financial, environment/social completed.

The authority would like to apply additional Technical Assistance (TA) support from ADB, to do more detail analysis of the major components. 

EC-Link Green Finance Pilot Project: 
Existing Building Comprehensive Energy Efficiency Improvement
11 Aug, 2020

EC-Link Technical Support Summary 

EC-Link provided significant support to this project, which helped the project development and increased its bankability through a Pre-feasibility study process. The EC-Link project also identified the green financing resources and steered the project preparation to meet specific requirements of Shandong Green Development Fund. The detail Technical Support included: a) developing the project to maximise green impact and to document this impact so as to meet the eligibility criteria of downstream green financing, through rigorously documenting the results of the Pre-Feasibility Study; and b) stakeholder capacity building and trainings on green finance.  

Project Information 

Project Name, Type and Sector

Existing Building Comprehensive Energy Efficiency Improvement Building energy efficiency, retrofitting project.

Location

Qingdao city, Shandong Province, People’s Republic of China 

Project Rationale

The project solves a critical problem for Qingdao which is high level of energy consumption for heating and cooling in its building stock. This energy saving scheme by retrofitting buildings will achieve significant impact on reduction of GHG emissions and pollution. The focus area of the project will be aligned with one of the main transport corridors under the Green Public Transportation Demonstration Project creating the backbone of a Green Corridor.

There are strong policies support from national, provincial and city government levels. Qingdao is a pilot in both low carbon and adaptation initiatives of the national government and there is strong policy commitment at the local level for implementation of the policies and plans already in place relating to both energy efficiency and adaptation.

Description

The project is designed to improve energy efficiency and living standards of the existing buildings in Qingdao city. According to statistics, there are 25 million square meters of public buildings in Qingdao that have not been retrofitted for improved energy efficiency and there are 40 million square meters of old residential buildings with both a low level of thermal comfort and high energy consumption. Retrofitting these buildings has a high potential for large energy savings. The Qingdao local Urban-Rural Housing Bureau has initiated a pilot comprehensive energy efficiency improvement project for these existing buildings, for the purpose of energy saving and improving residents living conditions and now wishes to scale up this effort. The project will start in a phase 1 stage to retrofit 15 million square meters of public and residential buildings in coming 5 years. The building retrofitting will meet government criteria on energy efficiency and conservation and will utilize green building technologies - for instance prefabricated building technology and heating supply upgrading technology. The co-benefit of this project will be significant reductions of CO2, SO2, NOx and other particle pollutants. In addition, the energy conservation transformation will drive the development of relevant upstream and downstream green industries.

Key Climate Impacts  

Through the above large-scale energy conservation transformation in existing buildings and promotion of comprehensive energy efficiency, the project would provide:

  • Improve the buildings energy efficiency by more than 20%.
  • Reduction of 288,000 tCO2e per year. Some 5.76 million tCO2e over a 20-year building life.
  • Bring other co-benefits throughout the whole project cycle of 10 years:
  1. Save the Standard Coal by 70,000 tons in total 
  2. Reduce the Sulphur Dioxide emissions by 6,000 tons 
  3. Reduce the dust NOx by 3,200 tons 

Summary of Investment

This project has two major components: 

  1. Façade retrofitting 
  2. Upgrading heating systems

The estimated investment of this project is 2.25 billion RMB, as 281.01465023 million EUR  in total.

Summary of Development Outcomes 

  • The project will benefit more than 700,000 persons. Through energy-saving renovation of existing buildings, the project will improve the comfort and reduce the energy expenditures of residents and public building users and administrators;
  • The energy conservation transformation will drive the development of associated green industries, promoting the development of SMEs focused on this business line and of relevant upstream and downstream industries within the market economy;
  • The project retrofitting shall provide jobs to the construction workers and employees work for construction upstream and downstream industries, which estimated 30,000 people will be benefited.

Implementing Plan and Structure

The project is designed to retrofit 15 million square meters of public and residential buildings in coming 5 years, to achieve the objective of improving the energy efficiency. The building retrofitting will meet government criteria on energy efficiency and conservation and utilize green building technologies – for instance prefabricated building technology and heating supply upgrading technology. 

The implementation scheme will be retrofitting 2million, 3million, 3million, 3million and 4million sqm in each year respectively.  The project sponsor will utilize an “Engineering Gross Contract” for implementing the project. 

The project Implementation cycle will be 8 years, which including 3 years for implementing energy saving transformation and 5 years of construction and operation period.   

  • 3 months; Based on energy consumption monitor platform and field research and communication, further confirm the scope of energy-saving reform project in implementing areas (Shibei, Shinan, Laoshan Districts) 
  • 6 months; Feasibility research analysis, coordination and discussion with external institutions, handling of procedures and documents;  
  • 3 months; carry out energy-saving scheme demonstration for existing buildings, including technical scheme, progress plan, implementing control flow.
  • 2 years; construction of regional public buildings, designedly implement energy-saving retrofitting for different buildings, including 20 public buildings and 1 million square meters of old communities; 
  • 5 years; operation maintenance and energy-saving revenue recovering investment capital stage, by achieving maximum energy-saving, carbon-reduction and consumption-reduction, achieving the target of energy-saving revenue.
European Cooperation in support of Qingdao Low Carbon City
05 Aug, 2020

Qingdao, the largest city in Shandong Province, is a low carbon pilot city and has committed to achieve carbon emission peaking by 2020. To meet this commitment, the city has developed a pipeline of ambitious GHG emissions reduction projects some of which are twinned with climate adaptation projects. The result of these investments will be a large improvement in the quality of life of Qingdao citizens in terms of lower pollution levels, increased ease of mobility and improved housing conditions and amenities. 

The investments set out in this pipeline require significant levels of financing – far beyond the routine capital budget of the city. 

Recently, the Shandong provincial government has established a $1.5 billion Shandong Green Development Fund (SGDF) with financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank. This Fund has been established specifically to assist local governments and other actors to make investments that will lower GHG emissions and reduce vulnerability to climate change. The Fund has rigorous criteria for eligibility that reflect the investment criteria of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) which has partnered with ADB for the implementation of the SGDF.

The existence of the SGDF offered an opportunity for the city to cooperate with the EC-Link project in order to assist city agencies in preparation of pre-feasibility studies (PFS) of some of their projects so as to meet the eligibility criteria of the SGDF, i.e. to make these bankable. In providing this assistance the EC-Link project developed formats and guidelines intended to formulate and document these projects. The aim is to showcase green financing which is increasingly available in China, and to motivate other cities to follow suit. These formats and guidelines will be of use to many Chinese cities as the push for more green development intensifies. The guidelines provided examples of best practice derived from EU experience. 

EC-Link agreed to assist in the documentation of two pilot projects in green building, energy efficiency and in electric mobility - important sectors in which the city is investing heavily in pursuit of low carbon development. The projects are:

  1. Comprehensive Energy Efficiency Improvement Project for Existing Buildings Project; and
  2. Green Public Transportation System Demonstration Project.

Since 2018, at the request of the Qingdao Development and Reform Commission, the Housing and Urban-Rural Development Department, the Municipal Transport Bureau and the Transport Planning and Research Institute, a team of Chinese, German and Australian experts supported these agencies in data gathering and documentation of the above projects according to the standards of the SGDF and the GCF. The support activity of EU experts has been integrated with a series of workshops and training sessions to discuss preliminary results of the work.

China-EU Partnership to Inject Vigor to Global Green Recovery
20 Jul, 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in unexpected huge shock on the global economy. With the pandemic being gradually under control, the governments are working on economic stimulus package, with a view to bring the economic order back on track as soon as possible. 

There are clear connections between COVID-19 and the climate crisis. For starters, climate change increases the likelihood of COVID-type pandemics — through changes in the habitats of disease vectors, for example, or increased inter-species contact resulting from deforestation.

More importantly, it vastly increases the likelihood of cascading disasters. In the case of COVID-19, health impacts won’t stop at infection itself, but will be amplified by broad economic and social fallout.

The solution to the post-pandemic recovery?

“The pandemic is reminder of the intimate and delicate relationship between people and planet. Any efforts to make our world safer are doomed to fail unless they address the critical interface between people and pathogens, and the existential threat of climate change, that is making our Earth less habitable.” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the 73rd World Health Assembly. 

The COVID-19 crisis has brought huge impact on the whole world: hundreds of thousands of people died, the world economy is facing a more severe recession than what happened in 2008. This will lead to higher unemployment rate and income reduction that may cause damage on livelihood, health and sustainable development. 

The top priority the countries have to work on is recovery. To promote a green, low-carbon global economic recovery will drive both the reasonable use of public resources and a full improvement of climate resilience, and it will help achieve the dual goals of economic recovery and sustainable development. 

The coronavirus pandemic arrived in what had been billed as a banner year for climate action. At the start of this crucial decade, 2020 was due to see a round of ambition-raising under the Paris Agreement followed by a review of progress at the annual COP26 UN climate talks.

Now, those talks have been postponed for a year and in place of the expected shuttle diplomacy around ambition-raising and national climate targets, attention is focused on saving 

lives and rescuing stuttering economies, in the midst of the world’s worst recession since the 1930s.

Green recovery as a consensus of the post-pandemic world-building 

UN and the related international institutions have been calling for a green and low-carbon recovery since March 2020. This initiative aims for not only the local economic recovery but also a sounder, more resilient and sustainable world. 

Globally, government stimuluses had already reached “$15tn and counting” by early May, according to Reuters. In early June, Bloomberg put the total at $12tn, of which it said less than 0.2% had been targeted towards climate priorities.

A survey joined by finance ministers of G20, several governors of central banks and leading scholars on the economic stimulus policies carried out by governments was recently released on Oxford Review of Economic Policy. It indicates that a majority of them believe that the financial stimulus program should take into account climate change and green economic transformation. There are also economists who called upon to introduce green recovery policies for clean energy technology research, infrastructure-building and zero-carbon transportation, etc.

China-EU partnership as the driving force for global green recovery

The European Commission has announced its plan for a €750bn ($848bn) “Next Generation EU” recovery fund, which is split into €500bn ($565bn) of grants for member states and €250bn ($283bn) of loans. This remains a proposal and has yet to be agreed by the European Council or parliament.

President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement that the plan would focus not only on supporting coronavirus recovery, but also “investing in our future” via the European Green Deal, which the commission says should become a “job-creating engine”.

The proposal states all spending would be guided by a “sustainable finance taxonomy” and “the green oath to ‘do no harm’”. While, in principle, this should exclude investments in high-polluting infrastructure, environmental groups say the proposal could still include fossil-fuel spending.

In its announcement on the recovery plan, the commission said 25% of the EU budget would be reserved for climate action, sticking with the principle agreed to in its original budget. However, it is still unclear whether this would apply to all of the €750bn in the proposed recovery package.

The draft plan involves key investment themes like less use of fossil energy, increase of renewable energy power generation and hydrogen energy development and similar low-carbon energy projects, as well as building renovation, renewable energy and hydrogen energy and clean transport. 

China, as the most important global economic growth-driving engine, has expressed its full support to green recovery, too. 

China’s economic stimulus measures are receiving close attention, not just because of the impact of its huge economy on the global economy, but also because of its effects on global carbon emissions.

In the Government Work Report 2020 at Two Sessions this year, the government highlighted that we should adhere to the new development philosophy, the supply-side structural reform as the main task, and the high-quality development, and should promote manufacturing upgrading and development of emerging industries, which sets the basic tone of China’s green recovery. 

Chinese government has been presenting a series of packages meant to fully sustain the development of “green projects” in China with the full intent to support its green recovery. One focus has been on boosting the issuance of special bonds by local governments. These are used to overcome shortages of funding for specific projects, stimulating economic growth by leveraging investments and promoting infrastructure construction.

The Ministry of Finance has issued new bond quotas for local governments three times this year. An additional 1.1 trillion yuan (US$155 billion) in quotas were assigned in the first quarter, with a further 1 trillion yuan brought forward to April. By the end of June, local special bonds worth 2.29 trillion yuan are expected to have been issued – approaching the 2.59 trillion total for 2019. 

Another major focus will be on urban sustainable development. China plans to renovate twice as many old residential communities this year to improve living conditions, spur investment and shore up economic growth.

The State Council said after its executive meeting on April 14, 2020 that the country plans to renovate 39,000 aging urban residential communities this year-double last year's target-to benefit 7 million households.

The renovation projects will prioritize communities built before 2000, focus on improving supporting facilities and civic infrastructure, and improve the level of public services in communities such as aged care, infant day care and healthcare.

Funds raised by local governments through the issuance of special bonds will give priority to the projects, and private capital will be given incentives to play a role in order to support a fruitful cooperation between the public and business sector.

China-EU long-lasting international cooperation

With increasing inter-connection between Europe and China, the partnership of the two sides are expanding and have covered various areas including politics, economy, finance, science, education and culture. On May 6, 2020, the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the EU, Nicolas Chapuis, Ambassador of the European Union to China, and the Ambassadors to China of the 27 EU Member States jointly released a statement that a close partnership between China and the EU is key in making global climate efforts successful, revitalizing global economy and promoting green recovery. 

As stated by multiple leaders and experts, green recovery is directly linked to net-zero carbon goal and circular economy; the new recovery should focus its attention towards: better buildings, better access to green finance, smart mobility, greening our cities and more resilient infrastructure.

As one of the key pragmatic cooperation projects under the framework of the “EU-China Urbanization Partnership”, EC-LINK project has been committed to providing solutions to the sustainable development of cities in China and Europe (http://www.eclink.org/eclink/en/frontpage ).As green recovery has becoming a major theme of global development, EC-LINK project is compiling a number of instructive guidance and suggestions for compact urban development, green buildings, green transport, water management, solid waste management, clean energy and municipal finance and other sectors for green recovery, and this will not only help inject vigor to global low-carbon and sustainable urban development and green recovery, but also offer valuable practice and experience to other economies. 

The EC-Link Project has been supporting the dialogue among European and Chinese cities, experts and private companies. Indeed, city-to-city cooperation is one mechanism in which climate policies are developed, transferred and learned between cities. However, the process of transfer of urban climate policies and sustainability in bilateral cooperation that embeds knowledge gaps and different political contexts is under-researched.

(http://www.eclink.org/eclink/en/sectors/about)

For many years, EC-Link Project has been supporting European and Chinese stakeholders in covering such knowledge gaps through the development of multiple city green projects, 

organization of many technical visits and study tour, the development of a series of technical papers focusing in sustaining the improvement of sustainable urban development in China. 

Training Session in Weihai for Green Project Financing
13 Jul, 2020

On June 29-July 3, 2020, EC-Link team paid the second mission to Weihai. The purpose of this mission is to work with specific project managers to provide further information and data, in accordance with the detailed requirements of eligibilities for applying Shang Dong Green Development Fund, and its particular focus indicators, such as, pollution reduction, social and economic development impact, etc. This on-site work will help establish whether the projects can be structured for applications and to guide the city to complete the pre-feasibility studies (PFS) - providing further detail and proof of readiness.

During these five days mission, five projects in the field of Railway electrification transformation, coastal zone rehabilitation, new energy bus promotion and supporting facilities as well as ecological rehabilitation of abandoned mines are shortlisted as they may have good potential for applying the Fund.

There was specific workshop with each project managers for developing the detail information. It was designed to help the project staff to prepare detail information/material/ data as required. 

Before the workshops, training session was arranged for the project sponsors, which helped them to better understand the green financing mechanism reflected to apply SGDF financing, and the process of the pre-feasibility study. The training mainly covered three parts: 1) introduction of Shandong Green Development Fund and application, 2) Green criteria and project eligibilities, and 3) Pre-feasibility Study and green rating.

Those workshops, trainings and on-site investigations done by EC-Link team during this mission, have received highly appreciation from Weihai Local HURD.

Webinar Green Building Research paper on Summer hot and Winter Cold Climate
08 Jul, 2020

Under the EC-LINK project, a research paper on Green Building in Summer hot and Winter Cold climate is carried out by European & Chinese experts. This is the first join research paper which combines the European methodology and approaches and Chinese technology and best practises, written by Dr. Schwede (University of Stuttgart) and prof. Fengya and his colleagues (China Southwest Architectural Design and Research Institute). 

The goal of this research paper is to promote green building strategy and techniques implementation in Chinese cities that have the same climate- summer hot and winter cold. This research paper has also concentrated on two cities: Zhuzhou and Guilin by analysing its climate data and discussed with the experts from these two cities, under their advisory, the report is finalized. 

Access the webinar at the following link: http://eclink.org/eclink/en/video/3977afd3-b33e-4a73-bd9c-a293ae4388ff

China-EU Cooperation Sets a New Paradigm for Green Urban Development Under the Belt and Road Initiative
30 Jun, 2020

The rise of neoliberalism and related political ideas combined with the huge impact caused by COVID-19 have not only posed grave challenges to the world’s pandemic prevention system and financial system, but also hindered a more inclusive globalization.

In such a grim international situation, some scholars even believe that the globalization may be about to come to an end. In reality, however, while the old globalization is being gradually whittled away by the effect of pandemic, a new globalization will emerge and be developed. A case in point is the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by Chinese leaders six years ago, and the idea of building a community of common destiny for mankind put forward four years ago, which provide a basic conception for a new globalization.

By April 2020, BRI covers approximately 4.5 billion people in 138 countries with a total GDP of approximately 30 trillion RMB. Obviously, BRI has set a new development paradigm and created a new regional and even global economic platform. By strengthening bilateral cooperation, enhancing multi-level and multi-channel communication, and promoting comprehensive development of bilateral relations, BRI is making important contributions to the green urbanization of the countries along the Belt and Road.

In order to trigger Chinese and EU experts’ cooperation to drive the planning of resilient cities and more sustainable projects among BRI, EC-Link Project has been developing a series of research papers  including the Belt and Road Initiative & Sustainable Urbanization, the Belt and Road Initiative & Sustainable Transport, the Belt and Road Initiative & Industry 4.0, and the Belt and Road Initiative & Green Finance, aiming to promote multi-party cooperation and resilient city building and other sustainable projects under the BRI.

Belt and Road Initiative & Sustainable Urbanization

According to McKinsey, by 2050, more than 60% of the world’s population will live in cities; and it is estimated that by 2025 the GDP of 600 megacities around the world will account for 60% of global GDP. With the rapid flows of human resources, logistics and capital under the BRI, infrastructure construction in the countries along the Belt and Road has been accelerated and their urbanization will further improve.

Urbanization is a driving force of global economies, but it also brings many social and environmental challenges to cities, especially for cities of the developing countries along the Belt and Road. The Belt and Road Initiative & Sustainable Urbanization issued by the EC-LINK provides solutions and programs of sustainable urbanization for cities along the Belt and Road. The paper states that, under the increasing pressure caused by climate and population factors, finding effective sustainable solutions for specific environments is crucial to ensuring sustainable development of the cities and the future of our planet and humanity.

Belt and Road Initiative & Sustainable Transport

To boost economic cooperation, China has quickened its pace to establish ties with the countries along the Belt and Road and invested billions of dollars in the countries under the BRI. With the increase in demands and investment for urban transportation infrastructure, many regional pivotal cities along the Belt and Road will have new opportunities for developments in urban transportation. Among the industries to which investment flows under the BRI in 2018, the transportation sector’s greenhouse gas emissions have reached 40% of the total emissions. In the future, the emissions by the freight and passenger transport within the BRI may climb up further.

To avoid high-emissions caused by future investment and promote realization of the Paris Climate Agreement, it is essential to carry out global strategic cooperation on green transportation systems in the BRI cities. The Paper of the Belt and Road Initiative & Sustainable Transport points out that, to establish a low carbon, affordable and efficient urban transportation system with safe and reliable 

transportation that is conducive to economic development, China and Europe should make sure that the BRI countries and cities are fully involved in the decision-making process, striving to achieve closer cooperation at the policy, financial, and technical levels, as well as full integration and optimization of the resources of all parties, so as to promote healthy development of urban green transportation. 

Belt and Road Initiative & Industry 4.0

From the perspective of industrialization, the launch of the BRI demonstrates that the industrialization of a peacefully rising power is having a “spillover” effect on the countries along the Belt and Road, which will promote their industrial upgrading, economic development and industrialization. This is of great significance to the progress of the world industrialization. As the 4th Industrial Revolution is accelerating, the BRI will help cities mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change while promoting world industrialization.

Continued urbanization not only puts pressure on the world resources, but also causes deterioration of the natural environment. In order to address these problems, cities need to be smarter, more sustainable, and more resilient, and these can only be achieved with the support of “Industry 4.0”. The Paper of the Belt and Road Initiative & Industry 4.0 states that, with the support of the “Industry 4.0”, intelligence cities will not only be reflected in the reduction of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, but also in the use of information technology to promote industrial change and ultimately achieve an effective response to the impact of climate change. Therefore, the “Industry 4.0” is not only a goal of the BRI, but also one of the most important ways to achieve green BRI.  

Belt and Road Initiative & Green Finance

The countries along the Belt and Road are relatively under-developed and generally adopt the extensive development mode. Although their economies are growing fast, their pollutant emissions are also increasing rapidly, and they are faced with increasingly serious resource and environmental challenges. At the same time, they also face such problems as faultiness of environment-related systems, weak 

environmental infrastructure, low technical levels, and insufficient financing and investment in environmental protection. All above are the bottlenecks that restrict the implementation of green BRI. 

According to the paper on the “Belt and Road Initiative & Green Finance”, the key to making the BRI regions truly embark on the sustainable development road is a mechanism which allows financial activities to fully consider the ecological and environmental elements, and incorporates the potential impacts of eco-environment-related (potential) costs, benefits, risks, returns and other factors into the corresponding financing and investment decisions. By guiding the flows of economic resources, sustainable development of the economy, society and eco-systems can be promoted. In other words, the focus should be put on promoting green finance under the BRI, and achieving sustainable coordinated development of economy, society and environment through green development (the research paper will be soon available online). 

With each research paper, EC-Link Project wants to contribute not only in providing additional useful information for a better understanding of BRI but also to support an open dialogue on such relevant subject providing a fruitful baseline for further discussion.

Webinar “Climate Resilient Zhuhai - Flood Defence Approach Recommendations”
15 Jun, 2020

This is the third pilot project of Resilient Zhuhai, organised by EC-Link project, carried out by Dutch expert team-Waternet & Palmbout Urban landscape. Together with Zhuhai Housing and Urban Rural Development Bureau, Zhuhai water Authority and Urban planning & Design Institute, EU experts and Chinese experts have applied resilient city development principals in Zhuhai in different areas. 

In order to apply the resilient Principes into Zhuhai coastline flood defence, Dutch expert team has written an advisory report – introducing Dutch defence approaches and useful toolboxes special made for Zhuhai. They can be implemented in the near future by Chinese experts. Dutch and Chinese colleagues have had many workshops together, have discussed and exchanged ideas on water resilience and flood defence in some vulnerable areas in Zhuhai.  

The final results are now presented by European expert team through video conference to Zhuhai related organizations, experts from both sides discussed after the presentation. 

EC-Link Project and Weihai Straighten Cooperation To Develop Green Finance Projects 
01 Jun, 2020

On May 18-22, 2020, EC-Link team was involved in a mission to Weihai focused towards green projects preparation and early stage project development in link with downstream financing to Shandong Green Development Fund or other financing resources.

This mission has been organized to support Weihai HURD on several topics: 1) introduce the structure of SGDF and the key elements of green financing, help the local authorities understand the financing eligibility, 2) help to identify the potential projects for applying for the fund, 3) collect necessary information for preliminary appraisal, 4) kick-off project development preparation work for next step Pre-feasibility study.

During the five-days on-site investigations and meetings, the EC-Link team has visited Weihai urban city and its sub-administration districts, including Huancui District in old city area, three national level development districts, ie. Gaoqu - High-Tech and Industrial Development District), Jingqu - Economic and Technical Development District), and Lingang Economic Technical Development District, as well as, the regions under its administration – Rongcheng city, Rushan city, Nanhai and Wending District. A number of projects which may have the potential to be financed by SGDF has been identified.

At the moment, Weihai has been selecting the following line of projects: green transport, solid waste management, water management and clean energy sectors. 

Moreover, EC-Link will support local HURD with sector trainings to the project sponsors and local HURD staff regarding to the Green Municipal Finance (GMF) guidelines in a later stage.

“European Experience” Helps Zhuhai’s Resilient City Construction 
01 Jun, 2020

Typhoon “Hato” slammed into Zhuhai in August 2017, with a maximum speed of 45m/s (scale 14 according to China wind scale standard). This typhoon marks not only the most devastating one that year landed in China, but also the strongest one that ever happened for more than half a century in the coastal areas of Guangdong Province. 

Climate change has already taken a huge toll on human beings and natural systems; in response to thosechallenges a series of actions have been taken to mitigate the damages. And in this effort, building of climate adaptability that is primarily based on peculiarity of individual cities should also be paid importance to.

Climate change poses high risks to cities

According to the forecast of China Meteorological Administration, climate change would frequent and intensify disasters such as high temperatures, droughts, floods, and rainstorms in the future, and intensify risks in urbanized areas in the country. In order to deal with the urban risks caused by climate change, international communities have proposed the concept of “resilient city”. It is hoped that through construction of resilient cities, cities will enhance capabilities of their urban systems to respond to a variety of internal and external threats and risks, including economic risks and disaster risks, to realize their core values and enhance their competitiveness.

In facing the ever-increasing climate change, the southeast coastal cities in China will sure have to endure increasing pressure to adapt to climate change. Taking Zhuhai as an example, after the “Typhoon Hato” landed, the city’s road system was paralyzed. In the downtown areas, more than 600,000 trees were uprooted, power lines tripped, and power substations lost voltage, impacting around 690,000 households. Not only that, the wireless communication facilities of major mobile operators have been damaged; the city’s Water Supply Plant and Sewage Treatment Plant have all ceased operation, as well as other urban utilities and public facilities.

Not only Zhuhai, many other coastal cities in the southeast of China are also threatened by extreme weather and climate. According to statistics, Hato had caused a direct economic loss to Guangxi and Guangdong and other provinces as high as more than RMB 20 billion.

The challenges facing coastal cities in the southeast of China -- taking Zhuhai as an example

As a typical coastal city, Zhuhai has long been threatened by natural disasters like typhoon and flood that would present challenges to its sustainable development and normal life of its residents. In order to enhance and intensify the exchanges between cities in China and Europe, improve Zhuhai’s resilient city construction, and facilitate a more rational and forward-looking construction of low-carbon ecological city, Zhuhai has officially become part of the EC-Link Project as a comprehensive pilot city in 2015. This is supported by relevant governmental agencies and organizations of China and Europe.

As a representative of fast-growing coastal cities, Zhuhai has seen substantial economic growth and unprecedented changes in land use in the past three decades. However, due to its 690 km coastline and the impact of summer tropical hurricanes, the city is also facing high risk of extreme weather disasters like typhoon, rainstorm and flood.

Furthermore, due to the rapid development of urbanization in the country, most of coastal cities in the southeast region, same as Zhuhai, are also facing great risks and challenges like large populations and high density, increased heat waves, increased heavy rain and haze disasters, and increased risk of salty tide invasion that will impact on the cities’ lifeline systems, quality of human settlements, safety of residents, and security of their properties from time to time.

EC-LINK’s exploration and practice of “resilient city” in Zhuhai

To solve the challenges currently faced by Zhuhai in “resilient city” construction, the EC-LINK Project selected EU experts to conduct a specific survey and research. By looking into Zhuhai’s actual construction of resilient city and by learning advanced European experience, it formulated the “Report on Guidelines, Strategies, and Implementation Consultation on Zhuhai’s Resilient City Construction” (See http://www.eclink.org/upload/attachment/71e057c8ab5242fea1f3f210c42aa0fa.pdf ).

This report envisions that by applying climate change adaptation measures to other fields (such as ecology, urban development, transportation, etc.) it will not only make a contribution to resident safety and citizens’ well-being, but also significantly improve environmental quality. Although the report is focused on the research on Zhuhai’s resilient city construction, it can also bring wisdom and enlightenment to other southeast coastal cities facing similar challenges.

This report conducts multi-aspect researches from multiple perspectives in light of advanced European experience: 

  • Formulate plans based on different scopes: On a macro scope, a city may build a dike system and storm surge barriers to better ensure normal flow of rivers and prevent flood surge. On a microscope, it may build functional facilities for rainwater collection, storage, and regulated emissions.
  • Formulate a comprehensive urban water management strategy: A comprehensive urban water management strategy includes water collection, storage, and drainage at all levels and scopes. For example, at the level of individual buildings, it may reinforce building’s base and facades for preventing flood, moisture, and heat.
  • Carry out multifunctional dike design: While solving the problem of flood control space, the new functions under such design can be harmoniously integrated into the existing environment. Examples of such designs include combination of a dock with a parking garage, building facades with water-blocking function, and building wind turbines on embankments, etc.
  • Formulate comprehensive flood control measures: Comprehensive measures include not only construction of dikes, storm surge barriers and dams, but also include flood control construction methods, spatial development, ecology, transportation planning, etc.
  • Enhance green building design: Application of green buildings can not only effectively reduce urban carbon emissions, but by combining roof greening, reservoir and rainwater penetration to recharge groundwater, it can also restore the natural water cycle process as destroyed by the buildings.

Conclusion

In the face of the increasingly severe impact of global climate change, governments in countries globally have attached great importance to the construction of resilient cities. In China, in order to promote cities to take action for climate change adaptation, the country has specially introduced the paper the City Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation, and emphasized that cities should take into account the factor of climate change in their urban planning to improve their urban infrastructure design and construction standards so as to deal with the impact of climate change on the cities.


After the Pandemic, Green Municipal Finance will be Flourishing
18 May, 2020

With the spread of COVID-19, politicians in several countries have been tested positive and quarantined; the trading in the US stock markets has been halted again and again; the telework model has been encouraged across the globe ..., the epidemic has truly become a pandemic, globally contagiously wide-spreading. In the face of this crisis, cities around the world are fighting hard against the pandemic. However, rather than responding passively, perhaps should we reflect on how we can prevent its outbreak from the source?

Ignoring “green development” philosophy may be the source of the pandemic

Looking back on human beings’ history of struggles with viruses, we see for each sudden outbreak of a new virus epidemic, human being’s fighting against it had to start from scratch, again and again. So, we can only hope to take pre-empt actions to nip off unknown epidemic crisis in the future, that is, to prevent new outbreak from the source.

Some researchers have done statistics and found, currently, 70% of new infectious diseases originated from wild animals. Moreover, modern scientists have verdict that climate change has four ways to make infectious diseases easier and more prone to spread: changing pathogens, altering disease transmission modes, weakening the autoimmune system of animals and humans, and affecting ecologic environment.

If we look beyond the micro-virus world of gene research, we will eventually find that avoiding human beings’ damage to the ecological balance of nature, adhering to the concept of green development and maintaining the balance and health of the ecological environment are the fundamental ways to prevent outbreak of new viral infectious diseases from the source.

Green municipal construction calls for more funding support

While modern medicine has proven a close link between infectious transmission and climate change, the trend of global warming has not stopped. Instead, it is dramatically intensifying. In the ten years from 2010 to 2019, global greenhouse gas emissions increased at a rate of 1.5% each year and were only temporarily halted in the years between 2014 and 2016. In 2018, the emissions even reached a record high. According to experts' predictions, the increase in global temperature may reach or exceed 3.2 °C at the end of this century, and it will bring inestimable negative impacts on human socioeconomic development and human health. 

Although many financial institutions, government agencies and private companies, in China and overseas, provide funding to support climate initiatives and actions, the climate funding at this stage is still not sufficient to achieve the goals set in the Paris Agreement. According to estimates, with China’s economic transformation and upgrading, the average financing demand for green projects such as energy conservation and environmental protection will reach RMB 2 trillion to 3 trillion annually in the next five years, while the governmental fiscal funding can only provide less than a quarter of that.

Encouraging green municipal Finance is a necessary way for cities to achieve green development

Faced with such a huge funding gap, China improved its standard system for green finance from time to time and researched green financial policies and tools to support environmental improvement, respond to climate change, and promote conservation and efficient use of resources. Among them, guiding funds to invest in green municipal projects to intensify the

 construction of green municipal infrastructure is one of the key directions in addressing climate change.

The key development direction of new-type urbanization is “green and low-carbon”. The coordinated development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, free trade zones, and cities all demand green investment, as they see green municipal infrastructure construction will not only promote regional connectivity, but also can improve people’s livelihood, stimulate economic development and promote employment, and can also ensure sustainability of development. Therefore, green municipal finance is widely used in the green municipal infrastructure constructions such as energy conservation, environmental protection, clean energy, green transportation, and green buildings.

Internationally, the municipal finance tools can be well deployed to solve the funding shortage of local government’s urbanization and infrastructure construction. In the US, a large proportion of municipal bonds are used for environmental projects and energy construction; while in Japan and the United Kingdom, many funding sources for sewage treatment come from municipal bonds. In China, there are already cases of green municipal finance.

Qingdao Practice of Green Municipal Finance  

The Europe-China Eco Cities Link Project (EC-Link) and Qingdao City Government reached a cooperation agreement, securing funds from Shandong Green Development Fund (a fund which was jointly established by Asian Development Bank, KfW, French Development Agency (AFD), Green Climate Fund, etc., and Shandong provincial and municipal governments), to further enhance and expand Qingdao’s cooperation in municipal green finance, help the city achieve green development and effectively reduce urban greenhouse gas emissions.

Transportation and buildings are the primary factors that contribute to the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. Not only do they account for a large proportion of the total

terminal energy consumption, but they are also the main sources of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

 If we can well-plan and design green transportation and energy efficiency of buildings, we can not only reduce billions of tons of carbon emissions, but also drive development of the upstream and downstream green industries.

In this cooperation, EC-LINK Project (http://www.eclink.org/eclink/zh/frontpage) made use of the advantages of municipal finance tools and introduced sufficient funds for Qingdao’s green bus corridor project and the comprehensive energy-saving renovation project of existing buildings. It replaced 953 traditional diesel buses with new pure electric buses that are equipped with a route optimization system, so as to optimize public transportation energy consumption, and achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions during the bus run. The project is expected to meet the demands of about 170 million out-trips per year by Qingdao people, and greatly improve the energy consumption structure of public transportation.

In the comprehensive energy-saving renovation project of existing buildings, it plans to retrofit facade and upgrade heating system for 15 million square meters of public buildings and old residential buildings in 5 years. It will use green building technologies to improve building energy efficiency and cut down electricity consumption, to ultimately achieve the purpose of reducing building energy consumption. 

Obviously, similar urban green solutions, such as green buildings, green bus corridors, and clean energy, are all necessary ways for cities to achieve green development and will greatly help limit climate change in the long run. In the process, green municipal finance will be very promising and flourishing.

Summarizing Urbanization Experience of China and Europe, Building an International Exchange Platform on Low-carbon Eco-cities Together
11 May, 2020

Cities are the crystallization of human civilization, and urbanization is an important part of modernization. In the age of economic globalization, cities around the world have brought countries closer than ever before. Urbanization is changing our world and our way of life in significant ways.

The Industrial Revolution which began in Europe in the 17th century started the process of industrialization and urbanization of the human society. European cities with unique features are focused on using urban space rationally, providing good public services, creating a livable environment, preserving natural landscape and historical traditions, and developing coordinated urban systems. In recent years, Europe has endeavored to blaze a new trail in building smart, green and low-carbon modern cities.

China, a country with an ancient civilization, also has a proud history of urban development. The famous painting Riverside Scene During Qingming Festival vividly captures the life of Kaifeng, a dynamic commercial city in China in the 12th century. Chinese cities are also unique in their own ways. Since the launching of reform and opening-up program over 40 years ago, China has quickened the pace of industrialization and urbanization, with urban population increasing from 170 million to 830 million. The emergence of a number of city clusters with strong influence and dynamism for development has boosted economic development and social progress.

According to public data, China’s urbanization rate has reached 60.6% in 2019. The urbanization improved people’s living standard, however, also brought huge pressure to energy resources and the ecological environment. How to break through the traditional industrialization and urbanization model, and build up a green, low-carbon and ecological development model in the future process of urbanization is an urgent issue to be solved.

Today, China and Europe, the former is promoting the historically largest urbanization process and the latter has hundreds of years of urbanization process, are embracing the challenges and opportunities of urbanization together in a new way of East-West mutual learning.

In May 2012, a high-level meeting of EU-China Urbanization Partnership was held in Brussels. Then Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang and former European Commission President Barroso signed the Joint Declaration on the EU-China Partnership on Urbanization. In November of that year, Europe-China Eco Cities Link Project officially started the tender process. It is a pragmatic cooperation to implement the Joint Declaration on the EU-China Partnership on Urbanization. 

Europe-China Eco Cities Link (EC-LINK) is one of important practical cooperation projects under the strategic framework of “EU-China Partnership on Urbanization”. The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD) is the lead implementing entity of the Project in China, and GIZ provides technical advice and personnel support in terms of coordination, execution, management and expertise to the Project Task Force.

Wise men learn by other men’s mistakes and merits. The Project aims to learn by European practical experience, comprehensively and deeply drawing lessons from the advanced concepts, technologies and experience of urban development in Europe, and has carried out EC-LINK projects successfully in 10 Chinese pilot cities. 

As of now, the Project has selected 2 integrated pilot cities (Zhuhai, Luoyang) and 8 specific pilot cities (Weihai, Changzhou, Guilin, Hefei, Liuzhou, Qingdao, Zhuzhou, Xixian New Area) to cooperate in seven sectors: Urban Renewal, Green Buildings, Green Transport, Clean Energy Utilization, Water Management, Solid Waste Management and Municipal Finance. In order to support a more integrated understanding of the overall sustainable urbanization sector, EC-Link has been working for years compiling a set of publications “EC-Link Knowledge Center” where it is possible to download more than 100 documents covering multiple interdisciplinary aspects (http://www.eclink.org/eclink/zh/sectors/about).

Moreover, the Project has officially launched EC-Link Platform on the official website (http://eclink.org). The Platform is a cross-sector interdisciplinary platform between China and Europe on urbanization, which is supported by the European Union in cooperation with the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD), aiming to better summarize and consolidate the eco-cities construction experience of Europe and China, while strengthen exchanges and cooperation between European and Chinese cities.

EC-Link Platform is the cross-sector interdisciplinary sustainable urbanization online community between Europe and China, committed to directly link Chinese and European stakeholders involved in the sustainable urbanization directly. 

EC-Link Platform is an online platform for Chinese and European practitioners in related sectors of urbanization for knowledge sharing and technology exchanges. With the purpose of “building a learning platform for main stakeholders in China and Europe”, by connecting with multiple resources, the Platform invites experts, academicians and private sector engaging in related fields, such as urban renewal, green buildings, green transport, water management, solid waste management, clean energy 

and municipal finance, to share their insights on environmental sustainability and urban development in Chinese and European cities.

EC-Link Platform is now open for free registration, welcoming Chinese and international experts in eco-cities construction related sectors settling in to share and update the experience of eco-cities projects regularly. By this way, the Platform is already connecting practitioners of related sectors in China and Europe, providing an international exchange platform on low-carbon eco-cities for users to exchange professional skills, discuss comprehensive solutions and develop cooperation projects. 

Here European and Chinese stakeholders can have direct dialogue, exchange messages and documents, post their news for an easily accessible exchange regarding any matter on low carbon/eco city development topics.

Belt and Road Initiative & Industry 4.0
28 Apr, 2020

EC-Link Project has been developing a series of research papers focusing on the Belt and Road Initiative, this one focusing towards the importance of Industry 4.0 within BRI.

As the 4th Industrial Revolution (IR) gathers pace, innovations are becoming faster, more efficient and more widely accessible than before. Industry 4.0 technologies and systems are gaining in popularity and application and have the potential to address many of today’s key urban issues and will be of particular relevance to the Belt and Road Initiative.  

New technologies are enabling societal shifts by having an effect on economics, values, identities and possibilities for future generations. Industry 4.0 technologies, and especially Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enhanced urban transportation, smart grids, renewable energy, waste and water management, and urban development, will not only reduce CO2 emissions, but may also improve energy, water and food security, and effectively address other environmental issues.

Cities can reinvent themselves through maximizing opportunities from Industry 4.0, so to reach more sustainable economic, ecological and environmental dimensions. 

Smart cities should aim for integrated solutions that use resources efficiently and effectively and follow low-carbon and inclusive development pathways; contributing to mitigation and adaptation impacts of climate change in cities integrating Industry 4.0 solutions within BRI.

Moreover, relevant areas and potential topics for further cooperation related to BRI Industry 4.0 and climate change in cities are described in the paper such as: resource efficiency in production and purchase, urban renewable energy, circular economy, value-added networks, decentralized energy systems, smart services, new business models and service orientation.

The research paper can be easily downloaded on EC-Link website:

Belt and Road Initiative & Sustainable Transport
22 Apr, 2020

EC-Link Project has been developing a series of research papers focusing on the Belt and Road Initiative, this one focusing towards the importance of Sustainable Transport within BRI.

Indeed, the Chinese driven Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has the potential to strongly alter transportation in cities along the BRI corridors. By investing billions of dollars in BRI countries China hopes to accelerate physical and digital connectivity between China and the BRI countries for improved economic activity. As a consequence, many BRI cities, as the nexus of economic activity, will experience new developments in urban transportation, caused by more demand for urban transportation and more investment in urban transportation. 

With emissions from transportation contributing up to 40% of total emissions in 2018, BRI-related investments, however, risk to further increase both freight and passenger transport related emissions. 

To avoid this development path and achieve strategic and tactical cooperation on developing green urban transport systems in BRI cities European and Chinese cooperation plays a particularly significant role: firstly, BRI cities lie at the heart of both Chinese and European interests as most BRI corridors connect Asia and Europe; secondly, transport technologies and transport-related industries are highly relevant for Chinese and European economies; thirdly, fighting climate change through improved and greener transport is in the core interest of the European and Chinese stakeholders.

The challenge in realizing these relatively obvious cooperation pathways are the complex dynamics in the development of sustainable urban transport within BRI.

The research paper can be easily downloaded on EC-Link website: 

Belt and Road Initiative & Sustainable Urbanization
15 Apr, 2020

EC-Link Project has been developing a series of research papers focusing on the Belt and Road Initiative, this one focusing towards the importance of Sustainable Urbanization within BRI.

Indeed, BRI will see unprecedented development along the land and sea-based corridors. The impact on the environment has to be reduced to a bare minimum that justifies costs and resources used. 

It is of importance for the BRI to take a clear stand on sustainable development, that potentially be also adopted on a national or international level as a valid framework. The general recommendation given within the paper is a joint approach between the BRI and the Municipalities but also all levels in between; it is on the City/Municipality level where construction takes place. 

The focus of the paper is on Cities along the BRI that, once ‘online’ will be presented with opportunities and challenges alike. Some cities already expect a growth beyond double of its current size which requires an adapted planning and construction process that is informed by the interlinks of BRI as much as possible. The hope for the Cities on the BRI is to become flowers on the steady trunk of the BRI tree. This blossom won’t happen by coincidence but is the result of a planning that understands the needs of today and tomorrow without limiting the chances of future generations to also pursue their dreams. 

One further recommendation is to outline the very specifics of each corridor and its development along it. Uniqueness in place can be strengthened and connections between municipalities or sister cities/town-twinning activities be supported to introduce innovations from near and far. 

The research paper can be easily downloaded on EC-Link website:

Belt and Road Initiative EC-Link Research Papers
09 Apr, 2020

Announced in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to strengthen China’s connectivity with the world. It combines new and old projects, covers an expansive geographic scope, and includes efforts to strengthen hard infrastructure, soft infrastructure, and cultural ties. In February 2020, the Plan touched 138 countries with a combined Gross Domestic Product of almost $30 trillion and around 4.5 billion people.

The essence of a green and sustainable Belt and Road is to integrate green development, ecological and environmental protection into every aspect of the development of the Belt and Road with the principle of energy conservation and environmental protection under the guidance of green development concepts and UN sustainable development goals. 

At first sight, China’s and the EU’s different approaches seem to lead to competition; yet, China’s BRI and the EU’s new connectivity strategy also entail complementary aspects that might encourage greater cooperation.

Toward this end, EC-Link Project has been developing a series of research papers meant to trigger Chinese and EU experts’ cooperation to drive the planning of resilient cities and more sustainable projects among BRI:

  • Belt and Road Initiative & Sustainable Urbanization 
  • Belt and Road Initiative & Sustainable Transport 
  • Belt and Road Initiative & Industry 4.0 
  • Belt and Road Initiative & Green Finance (to be finalized soon)

Such topics, where chosen by EC-Link Team because seen as mostly relevant and pertinent in view of the future development of the Belt and Road Initiative; taking into account several levels on analysis national, regional and international, we try to offer recommendations for the improvement of on-going dynamics in view of a better and more sustainable relations in Eurasia market. 

Belt and Road Initiative EC-Link Research Papers can be easily downloaded on Project’s website:

EC-Link Technical Guideline for a Resilient Zhuhai
16 Mar, 2020

EC-Link Project has recently published a new set of technical guidelines pointing out how urban planning and urban design have a critical role in the global response to climate change.

Indeed, Climate change has already had significant influence on human and natural systems. It is generally accepted that even with substantial mitigation efforts and actions, adaptation will be necessary. Extreme weather will be the new normal and cities in low elevation coastal zones face the combined threat of sea-level rise and storm surges.

China has seen an increasing number of cities with inadequate flood-control measures during its fast-urban sprawl; on average, around 200 cities are faced with the problem of waterlogging caused by rain or storms.

To protect the city, Zhuhai seeks to identify the best practices of storm management, water management and urban resilience governance. With a coastline stretching 690 km and under the influence of tropical hurricanes during summer, the city is exposed to high risks of extreme weather disasters such as typhoon, heavy rainstorm and floods. 

EC-Link Project, together with selected International experts, collaboratively wrote a consulting report that showcases the European approach and shares new findings in the form of strategies and case studies. Under the request of Zhuhai Housing and Urban Planning Development, the Europe- China Eco-Cities Link (EC-Link) project supports with the revision of overall guideline for urban planning and city development in Zhuhai.

As highlighted in the paper, strategies for the sustainable development and growth of Zhuhai must integrate adaptation planning in order to reduce vulnerabilities to expected and unexpected impacts of climate change. 

The Publication can be easily downloaded at the following links:

Case Studies and Toolboxes: EC-Link Knowledge Center
04 Mar, 2020

 “EC-Link Knowledge Center”, with over 200 uploaded publications, is regularly used in current planning/design of sustainable city by Chinese municipal bureaus and planning departments.

On the Knowledge Center is possible to find sectorial publications covering the 7 main sectors: compact urban development, green buildings, green transport, water management, solid waste management, green energy and municipal finance; moreover, additional publication were developed by the EC-Link team providing in depth analysis good practice examples in Europe and urban guides and indicators). 

Within sectorial publications, EC-Link Project published and uploaded 150 “Case Studies”, other 10 “Toolboxes and Urban Guides and Indicators”.

“Case Studies”- have been structured in a vivid way to showcase the best practices both in China and Europe of eco low carbon practices, collecting all the basic facts for each of them, which will bring you a summary of best European and Chinese examples.  Moreover, for each case, it was developed an in-depth analysis of the lessons learnt and the possible replicability in other contests. 

“Toolboxes”- have been designed for the purpose of offering a clear-cut and condensed information for each state of art tools in the 7 main sectors mentioned above. The represent a practical tool that can apply to solve the real problems for sustainable planning and designing personnel.  

“Urban Guides and Indicators”— provide a collection of Primary Tools and the other is Sino- EU key Performance Indicators for Eco Cities; those two collections deliver a comprehensive and dedicated tools and indicators to structure and evaluate eco cities’ performances.

All EC-Link Publications can easily downloaded at the following links: 

Navigate EC Link's Knowledge Centre: Sector Specific Position Papers and Guidelines Available For Free Download
16 Feb, 2020

EC-Link Project has its focus in sustaining the development of sustainable urbanization and the dialogue among European and Chinese municipalities. It aims to assist Chinese and European cities in implementing energy and resource-efficient measures by sharing European cities’ experiences in sustainable urbanisation. 

In order to support such dialogue, and to provide a better understanding of the sustainable urbanization sector, EC-Link has been working for years compiling a set of publications “EC-Link Knowledge Center” meant to be seen as a platform of experience for easy accessible exchange between Chinese and European cities on low carbon/eco city development issues.

EC-Link project is mostly focusing its attention towards 7 main sectors: compact urban development, green buildings, green transport, water management, solid waste management, green energy and municipal finance.

For each of above sectors, EC-Link has drafted a set of “Position Papers”; each Paper offering an overall outlook on the specific area, proving a testing ground for innovations in specific low-carbon policies and technologies’ application.

Together with the Position Papers, EC-link Project has developed a set of “Guidelines”; the objectives of this Eco-City Implementation Guideline are to provide guidance, and to ensure compliance. The documents are meant for all Chinese and European cities which are supporting eco-cities programme. Besides guidance, the document will help to ensure compliance of cities with the normative part proposed under this guideline.   

All EC-Link Publications can easily downloaded at the following links: 

EC-Link Project at the Workshop on Finance for Low-Carbon Urban Infrastructure in China
11 Dec, 2019

The EC-Link Project was invited to attend the Workshop on Finance for Low-Carbon Urban Infrastructure in China, held in Beijing on December 11, 2019.

The workshop was organized by FELICITY (Financing for low-carbon investment – city advisory facility); the Project is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU and implemented by the GIZ in collaboration with the European Investment Bank (EIB). Felicity aims to make low-carbon urban infrastructure projects bankable and increase access to climate finance at the subnational level by providing technical assistance and advisory services, especially to projects developers and municipalities.

The Workshop saw the participation of European and Chinese stakeholders interested in supporting the development of municipal green finance in China and in supporting Chinese cities in implementing green urban projects. During the event, the participants shared multiple views in analyzing the sustainable development of green and sustainable cities, particularly in China, such as: the urgency to provide tailored services according to cities needs, the urgency to develop transport systems in line with cities’ requirements, and also the importance to sustain such important development with integrated green finance support.

Indeed, Green finance plays a fundamental role in sustaining Chinese ambitious urban development program; in upcoming years Chinese municipalities will develop more and more urban projects, they will need to move out from traditional finance solutions and to get closer to the many opportunities provided from green municipal finance.

EC-Link project was invited to provide a general outlook of green municipal finance sector in China and moreover, to show how practically it is supporting Chinese cities in such process. EC-Link Key Expert presented on-going cooperation in Qingdao. Currently, the Project is supporting Qingdao in developing two green municipal finance projects. The Qingdao Green Public Transportation system demonstration project is designed to be implemented in terms of developing low carbon and green traffic. The Comprehensive energy efficiency improvement project is designed to retrofit public buildings and residential buildings in Qingdao city, for reducing energy consumption and improving the energy efficiency for existing buildings. 

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

EC-Link Online Platform: A Link to Europe-China Resources to Elevate Water Management
26 Nov, 2019

With the rapid development of its economy, China is also dedicated in constructing a good ecological environment that has put forward higher requirements on the development in the new era. At the National Conference on Ecological Environmental Protection in May 2018, General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed that the country should intensify efforts to promote the construction of ecological civilization, so to solve the compelling ecological & environmental challenges, fight against pollutions, and push China’s ecological civilization construction to a new level. 

It is within this background that “the 14th International Conference on China Urban Water Development and Expo of New Technologies and Facilities” was successfully held on November 26-27, 2019 in Suzhou Jinji Lake International Convention Centre.

The theme of the conference is “Fighting against Water Pollution and Speeding up Hydro-ecological Restoration.” More than 300 domestic and international authoritative experts in the field of urban water and integrated water environment management were invited to conduct in-depth discussions and exchanges and broadly dig into the current key and hard problems encountered in water pollution control and hydro-ecological restoration.

In recent years, China has achieved a series of socioeconomic achievements, but at the same time it also sees arising of a lot of challenging issues. The process of rapidly advancing industrialization and urbanization has caused shortage of natural resources to meet demands of the population, large-scale ecological damages, and serious environmental pollutions. Urban water problems such as floods, droughts, water shortages, and deterioration of the aquatic environment have become increasingly prominent.

In order to further study and learn the advanced concepts, technologies and experience from European cities and better solve the current frequent urban water problems, Zhuhai City of Guangdong Province has been selected as a comprehensive pilot city for the Europe-China Eco Cities Link Project (EC-Link Project).

Due to the impact of tropical hurricanes in summer, Zhuhai is often badly hit by extreme weather disasters such as typhoons, heavy rains and floods. Focusing on these challenges faced by the city, the EC-Link experts have formulated a comprehensive urban water management strategy, including the criterions of water collection, storage and drainage on all scales, to address its problems.

For many years, the EC-Link Project has provided strong supports to Chinese municipal governments, helping them design, draft and formulate sustainable urban development plans, reframe people’s perception of urbanization, and transform traditional concepts into new paradigms that are based on green and people-oriented humanity principles.

To achieve the above objectives, the EC-Link Project has carried out a large number of works including outbound visits, learning tours, inter-city exchanges and trainings to facilitate effective dialogues between China and Europe. 

And to further support knowledge exchange, the EC-Link Project has launched an online communication platform and displayed it during the 14th International Conference on China Urban Water Development. This platform is the only online cross-disciplinary community that connects major stakeholders in China and Europe; it is also a unique information tool to promote and share China and Europe’s advanced experience in developing sustainable cities and towns.

Compared with other knowledge exchange platforms, the “EC-Link Exchange Platform” is focused more on professionalism. The majority of platform users are urban eco-construction technicians and think tank experts. In the future, the platform will directly invite big-name experts, professionals and scientists to share their views, cases and proposals on relevant areas of eco-city construction, enhance interconnection among experts of China and Europe, help relevant industry workers from all walks of life to build their own networks, and promote multi-party exchanges and cooperation.

You can easily access this platform by logging into the EC-Link website. It provides an open space for all major stakeholders (government officials, professors, scholars, companies, etc.) to conduct free dialogue and exchange of ideas on sustainable urbanization in China and Europe.

EC-Link Project Supporting the Overall Strategy and Policy on Building “Zhuhai Resilient City”
22 Nov, 2019

On November 19-21, 2019, EC-Link Project, together with Dutch experts from World Waternet (Amsterdam) and Palmboute Urban Landscape (Rotterdam), performed a workshop and gave a set of presentations on resilient city development within the framework of Revision Zhuhai Urban Planning and Technical Standard and Guidelines. 

The assignment is under the EC-LINK project and was requested by Zhuhai Housing and Urban & Rural Development Bureau in 2018. 

The on-going research papers will give an overall strategy and policy direction on building resilient city Zhuhai. At the same time, it will provide specific technical figures and examples of resilience on building and neighbourhood levels, which will guide Zhuhai’s future sustainable urban development.

The three days workshop were extremely important to allow European and Chinese experts to exchange their information and knowledge to allow EC-Link Project to effectively support Zhuhai municipality in its process to build a effective “resilient city”.

European experts presented four specific lectures:

  • Lecture 1:  Managing compound flood risks under climate change, especially in the delta areas of Zhuhai
  • Lecture 2: Flood risk and water management in the Netherlands
  • Lecture 3: Resilient City Development in the Netherlands
  • Lecture 4: Resilient City Development in Zhuhai.

Following, European experts presented the EC-Link report on revision of Zhuhai Urban Planning Technical Standard & Guidelines, also they have presented their recommendations and the results of applying these principles in the pilot projects in Zhuhai. Afterwards, Chinese experts from Zhuhai Natural Resource have given the feedback and exchanged their ideas.

The research report will be adjusted according to comments from Zhuhai Municipality and will be finalized by the end of March 2020.

EC-LINK Project Presented At International Water Week Conference (Amsterdam) 
06 Nov, 2019

Amsterdam International Water Week (4-8 November 2019) is a top event for all stakeholders & professions concerning sustainable water development from all countries in the world. It includes an International Water Week conference, Aquatech exhibition, Aquatech Forum and Future Water leaders Forum, attract 25,000 professions to participate.  

During the 2 days’ International Water Week Conference, EC-LINK project Key Expert Ms. Xiaocun Ruan has presented the EC-LINK pilot project – “Implementation Climate Resilience in Zhuhai -an integrated spatial development approach in different scale” at the session: Water security – assessment and quantification methodologies.  The audience has a good impression of EC-LINK project working on different scales and with different people.  

Furthermore, she also presented the Zhuhai case at leader’s forum -round table discussion in order to listen the ideas from experts from other countries and thus to exchange experiences and learn from each other. 

EC-Link Project and Weihai Municipality to Support “Weihai Delicate City” Development
27 Sep, 2019

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.

EC-Link Project Participates at the Sino-German | Sino-Europe International Workshop on Urban Renewal
03 Sep, 2019

EC-Link Project was invited to participate at the Sino-German | Sino-Europe International Workshop on Urban Renewal. The workshop was hosted by Department of Standardization of Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, GIZ, and under the support of MoHURD, co-organized by Sino-German Urbanisation Partnership and Europe-China Eco Cities Link (EC-Link) Project.

It has seen the participation of leaders from Department of Standardization of Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, GIZ, Chengdu Municipal Committee and Municipal Government, CRRC Science and Technology Park Development Co., Ltd. and China Southwest Architectural Design and Research Institute, and domestic and foreign industry experts and International Experts.

The Seminar provided new ideas for exploring and practicing urban renewal models. Indeed, renewal and inheritance are a new paradigm of urbanization in the era when the building market is saturated. Chinese urbanization will be based on the visions of creating beautiful environment and happy life under the new urbanization strategy, focusing on ecological restoration and urban renovation, garden city, urban industrial upgrading and transformation, industrial heritage preservation, old city quarter transformation, community governance and other urban renewal key areas, and conduct dialogues on cross-industry policies and cross-city innovations. 

EC-Link Project Participates at the 2019 (The Fourteenth) Conference on Urban Development and Planning International Forum
27 Aug, 2019

EC-Link Project was invited to deliver a speech at the sub-forum “The Latest Theory and Practice for International Eco-City” and to promote during such occasion, and through the whole two days event, its newly established IT Platform. 

As it was confirmed during the conference, there are some platform, but mostly off line, or focusing on one specific sector. EC-LINK IT platform is really the only one cross-sector and on-line platform, and for this reason it received a lot of interest and attention from the participants to the Forum. 

EC-Link Platform received a lot of attention and interest as most of participants believe that it is good idea to have a unified and integrated IT platform targeted to most important sectors in the field of substantiable urbanization such as clean energy, compact urban development, green buildings, green transport, municipal finance, solid waste management, water management.

Moreover, it was appreciated the fact that the Platform is open for all stakeholders; indeed EC-Link platform offers an online space to connect with other expert and professional who will exchange ideas, share knowledge and contribute insights on the sector’s main trends and changes; academic and researchers can share latest news in China and to get the up-to-date information from Europe regarding to sustainable urbanization; private companies can seek potential commercial possibilities and cooperation with their European peers; public officials can establish relations with some of the European cities.

For more information, please visit EC-Link website: http://www.eclink.org/eclink/en/frontpage

EC-Link Project Performed A Training Session On Solid Waste Management In Luoyang
09 Jul, 2019

EC-Link Project was called by Luoyang Municipality to perform a dedicated training on solid waste management. The meeting is to introduce the development of Solid Waste Management in Luoyang, to identify the fields for further cooperation between EC-LINK and Luoyang in Soil Waste Management sector.

Luoyang has developed a very efficient program meant to replace and recycle of any building materials coming from the demolition, to produce several building components as energy saving bricks and plasters, road screeds, artistic tiles and draining road pavements.

EC-Link project performed the training providing latest European experience in the management and reuse of construction waste; moreover, it was agreed to develop further cooperation in following areas:

  • Support to promote the introduction of new policies for Solid Waste Management related to building material (new rules addressing developers);
  • Researches to develop applications of high-grade recycled products and Solid Waste sorting technologies (e.g. infrared technologies for the recognition of materials and related separation);
  • PPP projects development, in cooperation with financial institutions.

EC-Link Project will also support the already existing willingness of Luoyang in establishing a network of stakeholders aimed to increase the recycling of building materials coming from demolitions and the productions of primary row recycled products/energy saving construction materials/finishing materials (e.g. tiles and roof tiles), to promote their market and to support the creation of a proper regulatory framework to raise recycling strategy at municipal level (through more tight obligation imposed to developers).

EC-Link project and Luoyang Municipality, starting from this training session, expressed the willingness to start a meaningful cooperation to support the implementation of the various initiatives above all in terms of waste management and financial support through the involvement of international financial institutions.

EC-Link Project Participates at the Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Forum
29 Jun, 2019

The Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Forum was held on 29Jun in Qingdao city. The EC-Link Project was invited to share the case of green project development in link with green financing. Qingdao is one the pilot cities under EC-Link assistance for green finance, two municipal green projects have been selected and prepared potentially for the Shandong Green Development Fund financing.  

The Comprehensive Energy Efficiency Improvement Project for the Existing Buildings in Qingdao was introduced as the example. The Shandong Green Development fund is initiated by Asian Development Bank, also expected to leverage the blending investment from other International Financing Institutes, Private Capital and Commercial Banks. It provides creative Green Fund mechanism with international standard on the green criteria, which expected to achieve significant positive outcomes on environmental and climate impact, particular on GHG reduction, as well as, innovative modality to increase the bankability of green projects. 

 The Qingdao case done by EC-Link Project give a best practice example of how the green project can be developed in link to Green Finance resources. This has been attracted huge interest among the forum participants, who are the key people from Municipal Environmental & Ecology Bureau, climate change research institutes and other International Cooperation Agency. They have shown strong willingness to cooperation with EC-Link program on the Green Development aspect. There will be potential opportunities for demonstrating the Qingdao case to other pilot cities, to amplify the EC-Link intervention influence on Green development.

EC-Link Project And EU Experts From Sweden Cooperating With Zhuhai In Improving Their WTE Plant
25 Jun, 2019

EC-Link Project, together with EU experts coming from Sweden are supporting Zhuhai municipality in improving local waste to energy plant in light of the planned second phase development.

EC-Link and Swedish experts from Sweco, during an initial site visit, were introduced in detail to the plant and the newly introduced technology. The site visit was very useful to have in depth discussion about on-going processing, management and maintenance systems.

Swedish experts presented their extensive experience on solid waste separation and collection in Sweden, policy strategy, techniques and best practices; moreover, from Chinese side, China Environmental Design & Research Institute introduced Chinese national policy and implementation strategies in solid waste sector.

The technical discussion focused on following main aspects:

  • How to treat the fly ash;
  • What are the main methods which have been used in European countries;
  • The standard of emission of EU in recent years;
  • Suggestions of new technology to prevent high temperature corrosion problems. 

After intensive technical discussion between Chinese and European experts, both sides have a good understanding of the work to be performed; it was agreed that EU experts will present a technical report providing comments and suggestions to improve introduced plans to be finalized by September 2019.

EC-Link Project And EU Experts From Spain Cooperating With Zhuhai In Improving Local Industrial Waste Water Treatment Plant
24 Jun, 2019

EC-Link Project, together with EU experts coming from the city of Valencia (Spain) are supporting Zhuhai municipality in improving Zhuhai Fushan No.1 Industrial water purification plant providing support and advisory for the second phase construction of this plant.

EC-Link selected Valencia due to its huge history and experience in municipal and industrial waste management solution and systems; in parallel, Chinese municipalities have increased their focus and efforts towards combating and properly manage the high amount of wastewater yearly generated by its developed industrial sector.

Valencia experts, in their presentation, introduced waste water treatment method and development in Valencia and recent most developed techniques present in Europe, in particular regarding European standard of deodorization and effective solution (such as energy saving) to reach an efficient management of a water plant.

Moreover, Valencia experts have expressed that they can facilitate delegation from Zhuhai to visit Valencia and other cities in Spain on the topic of waste water treatment etc.  

After technical discussion between Chinese and European experts, both sides have a good understanding of each other; Valencia experts agreed to draft a technical supporting report to be finalized by September 2019. 

EC-Link Project Presents Its Green Building for Cold Winter & Hot Summer Climate Zone Research Paper 
21 Jun, 2019

EC-Link Project presented its Green Building for Cold Winter & Hot Summer Climate Zone Research Paper; the research has been developed in cooperation with the 

China South-West Architecture Design & Research Institute. The research paper focuses its attention towards City level needs providing technical guidelines (solutions and references) and case studies for green buildings. 

Furthermore, during their presentation, EC-Link experts showed sustainable approaches for green urbanization & green building (strategy, parameters, methods and specific techniques) and how to develop an integrated way for a sustainable and efficient green building sector. 

EC-Link intent is also to present solutions that are able to make a contribution to climate protection (targets of EU and Chinese Central Government, carbon neutral till 2050), therefore effective solutions (such as mechanical ventilation) should not be disqualified due to higher cost or mismatch with the local culture. Indeed, during the presentation were introduced solutions that are effectively reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions to very low values and that provide the indoor environmental quality desired by the people. 

EC-link project, with such research paper is focusing its attention towards policy recommendation and technical assistance (including subsidies and support schemes for effective measures); still, due to limited funds in Guilin, the Project agreed to try support 

Guilin municipality proving also some practical guidelines for architectural design.

Moreover, once Guilin will better recognise the projects to be develop, EC-Link project will also try to support the municipality in identifying sustainable financial solution due to its active work in the green municipal finance sector.

EC-Link Project To Support Zhuzhou In Developing Green Municipal Finance Projects
20 Jun, 2019

In light in EC-Link Project’s actions to support Chinese municipalities in developing municipal green finance projects; EC-Link performed a mission in Zhuzhou meant to mainly perform a pre-investigation and information collection relevant information on local projects so to develop an assessment useful to support Zhuzhou municipality in developing green finance projects. 

Zhuzhou Local HURD in particular presented to EC-Link Projects two projects’ proposal. 

1. An energy station project proposed by CECEP Zhuzhou urban energy conservation Co, Ltd under the CECEP group. The project is designed to provide heating & cooling to large areas in CBD, Commercial and residential areas. The main technology is Water sources heating pump. 

2. Zhongtian group pre-fabricated building material project, which the Zhongtian Zhuzhou company plan to build a factory to manufacture the materials for pre-fabricated assembling buildings. 

Zhuzhou already has experience of IFIs financing, ADB funding project on land rehabilitation and World Bank funding project. Still, as any Chinese municipality, Zhuzhou is constantly working to control its level of debt; for this reason, Zhuzhou is asking EC-Link Project support to explore more and diversified financing resources. 

EC-Link and Zhuzhou HURD will continue their on-going cooperation; in next future two parties will work together to collect potential candidate projects, prepare a more definitive projects’ list so to allow EC-Link to pre-evaluate which one could be financed by green financing mechanism. 

EC-Link Project Support Zhuzhou In Developing Passive House Projects 
20 Jun, 2019

In light of on-going collaboration between EC-Link Project and Zhuzhou municipality, a mission was organized to work on a real project currently developed in Zhuzhou.

The project is about the measurement for 3 built passive apartments and normal (traditional build) apartments. This research project has been carried out by Zhuzhou Mightier Construction Group, Hunan university design Institute, Hunan technical University and Tsinghua Tongfang Ltd. Co. 

Zhuzhou municipality is asking for EC-Link support in providing its expertise for inspecting the indoor environment and annual energy consumption of passive houses, testing and finding the best solution for building passive ultra-low energy building in hot summer and cold winter climate zone.

During the mission, EU expert and Chinese experts discussed in detail what has to be measured and how to measure. EC-Link experts recommended to measure apartments with enough detail to make assessment about the building physical properties in local passive house design. Therefore, it is recommended to measure a small number of apartments, their structures and systems in detail, rather than to measure a larger number of apartments with low depth. Moreover, it was suggested to add an occupant survey to the measurement and to install sensors and data loggers in wall structures and glazing systems.

Concerning EC-Link research on Green Building for Cold Winter & Hot Summer Climate Zone, EC-Link experts also showed sustainable approaches for green urbanization & green building (strategy, parameters, method and approach), and in particular the passive low-energy building in Zhuzhou climate as an integrated way for achieving green building in Hunan Province.

EC-Link Project and Zhuzhou will continue their cooperation in the green building sector, and already planned future missions to share results of on-going activities.

EC-Link Project At The International Horticultural Exhibition 2019 Presenting Its Projects On “Chinese Resilient Cities”
18 Jun, 2019

On 18 June 2019, a seminar on sponge city was organized by DutchFloriade World Expo 2022 at the INBAR pavilion. The theme is Climate Resilient Strategies for Water Sensitive Cities

It aims to discuss different approaches of urban design to minimize environmental degradation, scaling up investments in water supply and integrated urban water cycle, innovation in sustainable urban drainage and groundwater Systems and Sponge City aesthetics and recreational appeal.

The event saw a large and variegated participation from different countries like China, the Netherlands, Thailand, India, Indonesia, middle east and Africa.

In the seminar, Mr. Goet, Secretary-General of Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality has given an opening speech addressing the importance of the sustainability of our eco-system. Furthermore, lectures have been given on urban wetlands and sponge city approaches, effective management of groundwater for urban and agriculture areas. 

The Key expert of EC-link Project Ms. Xiaocun Ruan gave a presentation on implementation resilience in Zhuhai with an integrated approach on different scale, on city regional level, district level and building level. The presentation has concluded and emphasized the resilient city development is a task of everyone, not only the city decision makers, technical experts, but also citizens. 

The presentation received great appreciation among participants, in light of the effective work and cooperation developed from EC-Link Project and due to the great relevance of “resilient cities” in the Chinese contest.

EC-Link Project Invited To Participate At The 2019 Xuzhou International Forum On Urban Green Development
18 Jun, 2019

The 2019 Xuzhou International Forum on Urban Green Development was held from 10 to 12 June 2019 in Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of China.

The Forum was organized by UN-Habitat and Xuzhou People’s Municipal Government. The Forum provided a platform for communication between scholars, governments, cities, NGOs, Institutes and private sector companies. High-level researchers, policy makers, urban managers, experts, company leaders and media elites in China and abroad were invited.

The Forum aimed at reviewing how China and the rest of the world can leverage urban innovation and transformation, and the green technologies in support of innovation. The issues cut at the heart of SDG11 – how to steer change to ensure inclusive, safe, resilient cities and communities in a context of regeneration and change.

Green finance plays a fundamental role in sustaining Chinese ambitious urban development program; in upcoming years Chinese municipalities will develop more and more urban projects, they will need to move out from traditional finance solutions and to get closer to the many opportunities provided from green municipal finance.

EC-Link project was invited to provide a general outlook of green municipal finance sector in China and moreover, to show how practically it is supporting Chinese cities in such process.

EC-Link Key Expert presented on-going cooperation in Qingdao. Currently, the Project is supporting Qingdao in developing two green municipal finance projects. 

The Qingdao Green Public Transportation system demonstration project is designed to be implemented in terms of developing low carbon and green traffic. The project comprising 11 sub-projects, which includes the optimization of design on public transport network, bus lane planning in three major urban areas, bus ticket pricing system research, project risk research and other low-carbon public transport program research.

The Comprehensive energy efficiency improvement project is designed to retrofit public buildings and residential buildings in Qingdao city, for reducing energy consumption and improving the energy efficiency for existing buildings. The project foresees a comprehensive performance evaluation and economic analysis on the existing non-energy-saving public buildings in Qingdao, screen out the public buildings for energy conservation transformation and achieve the green building and green operation by such energy conservation transformation.

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

Europe-China Initiative Marks World Environment Day with Pilot Resilience Projects
10 Jun, 2019

Europe-China initiative marks World Environment Day by inaugurating multiple pilot resilience projects in Zhuhai city in southern China’s Guangdong province. The effort represents EC-Link’s ongoing initiative to build an EU-CHINA platform on resilient city development.

The pilot projects are designed to help Zhuhai city, one of EC Link’s pilot cities, better understand the challenges it faces in urban resilience development, review its ability to face them and unite its people, projects, and priorities, and thus reduce vulnerabilities to expected and unexpected impacts of climate change.

With a coastline stretching 690km and subject to tropical hurricanes during summer, the city is exposed to high risks of extreme weather conditions, including typhoons, heavy rainstorms and floods. The projects in Zhuhai for building a resilient city will act as a template to provide local experiences and good models of urban resilience for larger-scale or nation-wide practice.

China has seen an increasing number of cities with inadequate flood-control measures during its fast-urban sprawl. On average, around 200 cities are faced with the problem of waterlogging caused by rain or storms every year while many of the cities affected by flooding are desperately short of water.

EC-Link Project invited to Zhuhai, experts from the Netherlands and Italy, bringing best urban resilience experiences from Europe. Principles and processes of a resilient city’s construction and excellent examples of resilience development in European cities have been introduced to Zhuhai's Urban Planning and Technical Standard & Guidelines, laying the foundation for Zhuhai resilient city's development.

EC-Link experts also gave significant inputs to Zhuhai urban planning strategies in terms of management and protection of historical heritage. EC-Link contribution further enriches Zhuhai Urban Construction Archives (ZUCA) that, since 1983, constitutes the most important source of documentation for city’s urban planning, construction and management.

At the neighborhood level, a few micro plots and public seminars were held in a few of neighborhoods, encouraging public participation to realize the resilient city concept. Experts are to conduct a preliminary study for the city’s coastal areas -lover’s road. They will focus on creating a level and flood defense typology specific for the broader Zhuhai area by mapping the developing or transforming areas. 

Both European and Chinese sides agree to strengthen cooperation to help Chinese cities learn from European models, concepts and technologies of urban resilience.

The EC-Link project is a key component of the EU-China Partnership on Sustainable Urbanization, signed by the Chinese government and European Commission in May 2012. The initiative launched in November 2013 with the aim of assisting Chinese cities in implementing energy and resource-efficient measures by sharing experiences in sustainable urbanization with cities in Europe.

EC-Link Project at the 2019 EU-China Forum On Urban Scientific Research And Innovative Industry Development Forum
17 May, 2019

The EC-Link Project was invited to attend the 2019 EU-China Forum on Urban Scientific Research and Innovative Industry Development Forum, held in Tianjin on May 17, 2019.

China Center for Urban Development (CCUD) organized this fifth EU-China Forum on Urban Scientific Research and Innovative Industry Development focusing on Urban Development Powered by the Intelligent Economy.

The EC-Link Project also participated in the “Future of EU-China Smart Cities Forum”, which was an important opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas around urban scientific research and innovative industry development. 

The Forum saw the participation of European and Chinese city representatives, experts and high-tech corporate leaders, such as: Margit Noll, Chair, JPI Urban Europe Management Board; Mao Mingrui, CEO and Founder, Urban XYZ Co., Ltd.& Secretary General, Cloud Platform Innovation Center, Beijing Municipal Institute of City Planning and Design; Liu Daizong, China Sustainable Cities Program Director &China Transport Program Director, World Resources Institute (WRI).

During the forum, the participants shared multiple views in analyzing the sustainable development of smart cities, particularly in China, such as: the importance of keeping a good balance between urban and rural settlements, the urgency to provide tailored services according to cities needs, the urgency to develop transport systems in line with cities’ requirements, and also the importance to sustain such important development with integrated green finance support.

EC-Link Key Expert Gianluca Ghiara joined the panel discussion and focussed his intervention on two main elements: the importance to create a platform among all major stakeholders (both public and private) involved in sustainable urban and smart cities development. 

To achieve important goals and results it is necessary to create a structure of knowledge able to face the many challenges ahead. Moreover, it is essential to mobilize the public opinion: citizens need to feel and be actively involved as fundamental element of such evolution. Laws, regulations, technology evolution are fundamental only in the moment that people are fully engaged and understand the central role played. 

The Joint Declaration on the EU-China Partnership on Urbanisation signed by the EU and Chinese leaders in 2012 opened a new chapter for the EU-China urbanisation cooperation. Since then, the two sides have witnessed wider, deeper and more practical cooperation. EC-Link and CCUD are both working on expanding and deepening such urbanisation cooperation between Chinese and European cities. 

The event was also the occasion to reaffirm strong willingness from both EC-Link Project and CCUD to strengthen their on-going collaboration in multiple areas such as: Belt & Road Initiative, Municipal Green Finance and Climate Change Adaptation.

EC-Link Project and IGDP Met to Strengthen Their Cooperation
11 Apr, 2019

EC Link and the iGDP (innovative Green Development Program) met in Beijing in order to strengthen their cooperation in light of their common interest to support local municipalities in developing low carbon projects and verify opportunities of cooperation.

iGDP is the executing agency of the Green and Low Carbon Development Think Tank Partnership (GDTP) and committee member of Green Finance Committee of the China Society for Finance and banking. In order to tackle climate change challenges, IGDP’s mission is to advance robust policies and actions to address green growth challenges, create analytical tools, share professional knowledge, and facilitate multidisciplinary dialogues that foster integrated solutions for regions, cities and communities.

EC-Link and iGDP agreed to work in linking their massive network developed throughout their extensive programs. Indeed, while EC-Link focused its attention in supporting the dialogue among Chinese and European cities, iGDP set up the Green Low-Carbon Development Think Tank Partnership (GDTP), an informal platform that brings together China’s leading low-carbon research institutes, economists, and well-known energy and environmental experts. 

Moreover, EC-Link and iGDP share common interests also in the development of specific programs within municipal green finance sector and Belt & Road Initiative.

EC-Link Project and iGDP will continue their dialogue also to verify opportunities for the development of trainings, workshops and forum on green finance and low carbon policies sectors.

EC-Link Project and CCUD Met to Strengthen Their Cooperation
09 Apr, 2019

EC Link and the CCUD (China Center for Urban Development) met in Beijing in order to strengthen their cooperation in light of their common interest to support local municipalities in developing green sustainable solutions.

CCUD is a public institution under the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Since its establishment in 1998, it has been providing guidance to pilot cities and towns for urban development across China; formulating hundreds of socio-economic development plans, spatial development plans and land use plans for local governments; building financial platforms to serve urbanization, urban development and smart city construction; organizing multiple high-level international forums on urbanization and urban development; and building itself as national top think tank on new urbanization.

China is posing itself in front of a unique set of urban challenges that rapidly need to be addressed to ensure that Chinese cities remain liveable, productive and sustainable. As China’s urbanization rate is slated to grow over 60%, the need to address these urban challenges is all the more pressing.

With a shared vision and common interest in supporting Chinese cities’ sustainable development, EC Link and CCUD agreed to work together enlarging and exchanging their network in order to provide better solutions to Chinese municipalities. Moreover, both organizations will cooperate in organizing joint actions and initiatives in multiple sectors, such as compact urban development, transport planning and management, urban energy management and sustainable industry development.

EC-LINK Project Participating at The CCICED Roundtable Meeting In The Netherlands
08 Apr, 2019

On April 8, 2019 EC-Link Project was invited to participate at the CCICED round table meeting held in The Hague (Netherlands). 

The China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) was founded in 1992 as a high-level international advisory body, it serves as a platform for exchanges on environment and development policies between China and the international communities, for promoting collaborative efforts to achieve ecological civilization, and for advocating innovative and better governance system of the global environment. 

The round table meeting has organized to discuss how urbanization processes and patterns might influence environmental improvement, in both China and elsewhere in the world. During these discussions, the Task Force on Green Urbanization and Environmental Improvement showed preliminary results from its Special Policy Studies (SPSs). International experts from China, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Belgium have presented their research findings and case studies and reflected on the SPSs preliminary results, from the perspective of Chinese urban development towards 2035. 

EC-LINK project provided its extensive experience on green urbanization in China & in Europe, providing useful insights to all international experts. The Project will continue the dialogue with CCICED and the cooperation with cross sections’ international & domestic organizations and experts in order to support adequate development and implementation of strategy & policy in Chinese green urbanization sector. 

EC-Link Project Participated at the Fifteenth International Conference on Green and Energy-Efficient Building & New Technologies and Products Expo
03 Apr, 2019

The EC-Link Project, funded by the European Union (DG DEVCO) in cooperation with the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD), participated in the Fifteenth International Conference on Green and Energy-Efficient Building & New Technologies and Products Expo held in Shenzhen on April 3-4, 2019. During the event, high level European and Chinese speakers introduced and shared practical experiences of on-going EU-China International Programs in the Green Building Sector.

The EC-Link Project hosted a Forum entitled: “Sino-Europe Green Building & City Forum”.

The Forum saw also the participation of Local Government representatives, academicians, and Chinese private companies. Main objective of the Forum was to introduce European experiences and best practices in the Green Building Sector. It received great appreciation from the participating Chinese stakeholders, both in terms of knowledge sharing and potential for future cooperation with the Project (http://www.eclink.org/eclink/en/frontpage).

Andrea Claser, Team Leader of the EC-Link Project, introduced the Project and its purposes,highlighting the work it is doing to support the dialogue between European and Chinese cities and the correlated introduction of best practices among multiple sectors, such as: sustainable urban planning, green building, as well us water and waste management and municipal green finance.

At the Forum, the following Chinese and European experts were invited: GUO Zhenwei - Deputy Director, Green Building Research Center, Chinese Society for Urban Studies; Dirk Schwede - Director,Energy Design (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.; WU Zhetao - Design Director, ISA-designLtd.co; Peter Sailer - Project Director, Sino-German Urbanization Partnership,GIZ and Stefan Schirmer - Senior Architect, German Energy Agency (DENA).

The focus of all presentations was to find,analysing different scales and angles, a successful correlation between energy efficiency and green building sector so to have greener urban development.

On the scale of green building, great attention was given to the importance of selecting the right technological solution according on different levels in terms of climate and resource efficiency. Mr. GUO Zhenwei introduced the practice that CSUS made which integrates the German DGNB system, British BREEM system and French HQE system by ‘dual certification’. Mr.Dirk Schwede introduced active house technologies analysing present policies and technologies and providing practical suggestions for their effective introduction within Chinese market. Mr. Stefan Schirmer explained dena’s approaches on promoting net-zero energy consumption building in hot and humid area. 

Moreover, speakers also touched upon the energy-saving approaches on city level. Mr. WU Zhetao introduced the concept of “living with ocean” facing climate change, and their practices in applying the concept into urban design, industry development and ecological environment of coastal cities in Europe and China. Mr. Peter Sailer explained the Energy Efficiency Policy in Germany, which provides a package of tools in order to reach the goal of reducing 40% GHG emission by 2025 (comparing to 1990).

The EC-Link Project is fully committed in supporting Chinese municipalities in reaching such ambitious goals. Indeed, the participation to the Expo, was also an occasion to meet with cities’ representatives, such as Zhuzhou, so to improve on-going cooperation activities.

For instance, in the frame of the pilot actions implemented by EC-Link in agreement with the cities of Guilin and Zhuzhou, a research paper “Design guidelines for energy-efficient residential buildings in the hot summer and cold winter climate zones in China” was elaborated, through the academic cooperation of Chinese and EU experts aimed at guiding Chinese cities not only on strategies and policies, but also on the best practices from European and Chinese cities.

Another pilot action, involving the Zhuzhou Municipality and the Stuttgart University, is on-going.It aims at contributing to the development of a localized Energy-efficient building code. Moreover, EC-Link is also cooperating with Qingdao municipality to develop municipal green finance projects for comprehensive energy efficiency improvement project for existing buildings; a similar cooperation will start soon also with Zhuzhou municipality.

“Green” is increasingly becoming a competitive selling point, as more and more Chinese municipalities and developers are placing a focus on green construction.

Reducing energy consumption in the building sector is one of the most important measures for global energy reduction and climate adaptation. The adoption of state-of-the-art green building technologies and solutions is a key part of China’s sustainability and environmental protection goals. Europe can support such significant developments with the necessary expertise in the full supply chain,covering planning & design, construction and operational stages. Scientific development philosophy must be steadily created and seriously implemented, so is the concept of urban sustainable development.

The EC-Link Project will continue its work to sustain cooperation and dialogue among European and Chinese cities so to support the best exchange of knowledge within the green building sector.

EC-Link Project in Qingdao to Develop Technical Training on Municipal Green Finance
02 Apr, 2019

EC-Link held a technical training on Green Municipal Finance in Qingdao meant to support Qingdao HURD and technical stakeholders (Sino-German Eco Park, China State Construction Engineering Corporation, China Academy of Building Research, and China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group) ECin developing municipal green finance projects.

In particular, the focus of the training was to assist Qingdao agencies in the financial planning of their projects so to link them to potential finance funds, banks and projects such as the Shandong Green Development Fund (SGDF), Felicity Project, KfW, ADB, AFD, etc.

Mr. Liu Yuyong, deputy director of the Housing and Rural-Urban Development Bureau, attended the meeting. He emphasized how, in recent years, the Bureau has comprehensively promoted green buildings by focusing on the concepts of green development and “transformation from old to new driving forces”. By leveraging on the opportunities of China-EU and Sino-German on-going cooperation, Qingdao established a green eco-zone index system and a low-carbon eco-city expert cooperation mechanism and adopted the international concept of green city to promote the construction of ecological urban areas such as in the Sino-German Eco Park.

EC Link Team, together with Qingdao HURD, conducted a set of site visits and worked with local project teams on data collection to have a better understanding of to the projects and effectively assess their potential for receiving future financing.

Indeed, EC Link Project plans to support the launching of one (or more) pilot project on municipal green financing in Qingdao. Through the introduction of capital coming from the Asian Development Bank, Kfw as well as Shandong Green Development Fund, it will be possible so to enhance and expand international cooperation in the municipal green finance sector.

China Urban Green Finance – Third Network Meeting
18 Mar, 2019

EC-Link Project organized the China Urban Green Finance - Third Network Meeting at the European Embassy in Beijing. In line with on-going EC-Link Project’s activities, the Meeting was organized so to provide:

  • An overview of Green Finance investment framework in China;
  • Taxonomy of mechanisms to support Green Finance;
  • Assess the China case in relation to actual programs of support; 
  • Provide some recommendations on potential gaps which future support could bridge.

The meeting saw the participation of more than 40 people representing major European and Chinese stakeholders involved in the municipal green finance sector.

Within three hours of active discussion, Participants focused their attention towards three main topics:

  1. Ms. Jiu Miao (Director, Technology Promotion Center, MoHURD), presented “Outlooks and prospects of China’s green buildings and green industry”; focusing on ways to potential cooperation between the E.U. and China, hopefully setting same standards for green buildings;and due to present subsidies exist for green buildings in 14 Chinese provinces, how it’s possible incentivize developers to introduce in China best available technique within the sector.
  2. Mr. Christoph Nedopil Wang (Director of Greening the BRI, IIGF) presented “Green urban transport in China: an opportunity for green finance”; focusing on how to align the two worlds of green transportation design/tech/engineering and municipal green finance; highlighting how, due to the lack of knowledge within the transport sector, the finance community can contribute by spreading awareness within the sector.
  3. Finally, Mr. Gregor Grossman (Junior Advisor, Sustainable Infrastructure Alliance - GIZ), made a presentation on “Sustainable infrastructure standards in China and support for municipal green finance projects”; highlighting how there are standards differences between sectors as well as differences between countries. Standards need to use sustainability criteria that make it possible to compare projects across regions and countries. So, the standard has to have a certain amount of flexibility to set international best practice.

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 To Support Luoyang HURD And Yibin District Actions In “Waste Management And Belt And Road Initiative”
06 Mar, 2019

On March 6th, 2019, EC-Link Project performed a mission to Luoyang with the purpose of strengthening cooperation with local HURD and Yibin District. 

EC-Link’s Delegation met with Luoyang HURD represented by Ms. Wang Fenjuan, the deputy director. EC-Link was asked to plan a series of joint trainings within the solid waste management sector, one of the 7 main sectors covered by the Project.

As explained during the meeting, Luoyang Municipality, through the work performed by Luoyang Van Resource Ltd, has the intention of developing a “comprehensive solid waste system” meant to create a sustainable and replicable method to manage construction waste generated every year by the Municipality.

To reach such an ambitious goal, local HURD and EC-Link will cooperate in the organization of a series of trainings dedicated both to public and private representatives, providing relevant and practical insights on Europe’s most advanced experience in the separation, classification and management of construction waste.

The Project will also allow Luoyang to strengthen the long-lasting cooperation with European municipalities and companies able to promptly answer to their needs.

EC-Link Delegation met also with Yibin District represented by Mr. Zhang Minkai, the deputy director.

Under the strong support of Luoyang Municipality, Yibin District is expected to become a future “Chinese ecological and environmental showcase” with the aim of finding the synthesis between local sustainable development and successful business development.

District’s representatives explained that the approved plan will focus towards three main areas: 

  • Improvement of present agricultural sector; 
  • Introduction of upscaling manufacturing solutions, and 
  • The development of a scientific innovation incubator.

On this regard, being Luoyang one of the main starting points of the “Belt and Road Initiative”, it was also proposed to EC-Link to jointly develop a research on “Industrial Innovation” reflecting the so-called Made in China 2025 strategy inspired by Germany’s “Industry 4.0” strategy.

This ambitious Plan, following the strong commitment and desire expressed by Yibin District and Luoyang Municipality, will have to be settled following best European experience with the final goal of initiating the “Sino-Europe (Luoyang) International Cooperation Industrial Park” destined to attract the best international enterprises and talents together for the creation of a liveable and eco-sustainable environment.

EC-Link Project Meets With ETS and ECECP, On-going EU-China Cooperation Projects 
29 Jan, 2019

On January 28, 2019, EC-Link Team met with ETS (EU-China Emission Trading System) and ECECP (EU-China Energy Cooperation Platform), in order to strengthen on-going dialogue and verify opportunities of cooperation. 

During the initial discussion, it was highlighted that the overall objective of ETS project is to enhance cooperation with China on climate change by establishing a regular political dialogue on emission trading and continuing to support China in building a nation-wide emission trading system that contributes to reduce its emissions. To this end, the project pursues two more specific objectives: the first one is to establish and then reinforce a political dialogue between China and the EU on the development of emission trading in both constituencies; the second objective is to support China in building its national emission trading system. 

On the other hand ECECP, a 3.5 million Euro project aimed at enhancing the EU-China cooperation on energy. This enhanced cooperation should help increase mutual trust and understanding between China and the EU and contribute to a global transition towards clean energy on the basis of a common vision of a sustainable, reliable and secure energy system. Reinforce the political dialogue between China and the EU and create conditions for better access for EU business to energy-related markets is key elements for the implementation of the ECECP.

Thanks to the open dialogue, it was agreed a multi-level approach:

  • EC-Link Project, together with ETS Project, will verify opportunities to develop cooperation for the development of trainings for Chinese officials, in particular related to the on-going work performed by EC-link in green financing and how integrate that together with the on-going ETS system.
  • EC-Link, together with ECECP, will verify opportunities to organize joint event to support the introduction of European clean energy solution within Chinese municipalities in particular in the area of district heating, hot-cooling systems, and for the sustainable introduction of clean energy solutions.
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.

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.

EC-Link Project Initiates the “China Urban Green Finance Network”
26 Sep, 2018

EC-Link has received an increasing recognition by Chinese cities providing useful support to their efforts towards sustainable development. 

Based on Project’s on-going activities within Municipal Green Finance sector, on September 26, 2018, EC-Link initiated the China Urban Green Finance Network in an official meeting held in European Embassy at the presence of Mr. Jerome Pons, Head of the Head of Development and Cooperation Section in European Union; 45 participantsfrom over 30 financial institutions joined, including World Bank, AsianDevelopment Banks, AFD, KfW, ICBC, ABC, Jiangsu Bank and Industrial Bank etc.

Mr. Pons gave his warm congratulations to the establishment of CUGFN andexpressed his expectations to the great potential of network cooperation facingthe Sino-Europe green city development. 

The attendants exchanged opinions on challenges and (increasing) opportunities of green municipal financing in urban projects while pursuing the namely Ecological Civilization in China.

During the meeting, it was 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 Chinese and International Institutions in the definition of “Green”.

Green Finance for the development of green projects needs a common vision among Chinese ministries, especially MoF and MEE; but in many cases such alignment is not present and local governments have difficulties in properly selecting green projects at local level. 

CUGFN is composed by a stable group of work (composed from European and Chinese banks, international funds, think tanks, etc.) meant to sustain the development of research, events and projects within green municipal finance segment. EC-Link will coordinate financial institutions and donor agencies so to joint forces and leverages multiple resources both from international agencies as well as the Chinese institutions.

EC-Link is supporting Chinese municipalities in investigating and recommending sustainable funding mechanisms, particularly in relation to their capacity to fund green investments designed to implement climate policies and green projects.

China Urban Green Financing Forum Held to Spur Sustainable and Innovative Urban Investment
06 Jul, 2018

The China Urban Green Financing Forum was held on July 5th by the Europe-China Eco Cities Link project (EC Link) in cooperation with the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA) to establish a network of cities, expertise and financing institutions in implementing green investments collaboratively.

The forum was supported by the Delegation of the European Union to China and the Department of Building Energy-Saving and Technology at the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD). It envisaged the network will help MoHURD and Chinese cities in promoting innovation in green finance products and structuring tools, the popularization of green finance and sustainable solutions for low-carbon urban financing.

“Moving to a green economy is now a central and strategic priority for both China and the EU”, said Chris Wood, Minister and Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to China. "Cities have a key role to play in the transition towards a low carbon, resource-efficient and sustainable future. However, cities will require financial means to achieve these."

“Green finance and market-based mechanisms are both strategic and innovative tools to improve the complementarity of public and private resource allocation and contribute to the development of low carbon industries. The EU has been supporting cities in strengthening the potential to lead the low-carbon transition through better regulation, better funding and better knowledge sharing via various initiatives. As our long-standing partner, China will retain its crucial role, and the EU is committed to working with China towards a common green future”, Wood added.

China has committed as part of the Paris Agreement to bring carbon emissions to a plateau in or around 2030. Pushing ahead with urbanization, China expects to see more than one billion people - accounting for more than 70 percent of the country’s population - reside in cities by 2030, making the country home to the world’s largest urban population.

In order to keep to the its carbon commitment, green and low-carbon urban planning and policies will be essential. Cities, which contribute 70 percent of China’s total energy-related carbon emissions, present the greatest opportunity for meeting national and global climate targets, as well as the country’s long-term development strategy.

Director General Su Yunshan from MoHURD said that green financing plays a decisive role in promoting cities' green development in particular in sectors of green transport, green building, clean energy, etc. “Promoting urban green financing relies on collaborative coordination among all departments under an effective and solid mechanism, and financing institutions should proactively explore new products and new cooperation based on cities' real needs”, said DG Su who recognized the importance of EC-LINK in helping cities address new challenges in the rapid urbanization process.

Around 200 officials, professionals and entrepreneurs from the urban planning, environmental and financing sectors attended the forum, bringing deeper insights into urban green development issues and innovative sustainable green financing solutions and policies. A number of internationally leading financing institutions and cities initiatives introduced their respective green financing tools and projects, with focus on how to develop and apply bankable projects in the Chinese cities 'context.

The EC-Link project is a key component of the EU-China Partnership on Sustainable Urbanization, launched in November 2013 with the aim of assisting Chinese cities in implementing energy and resource-efficient measures by sharing experiences in sustainable urbanization with cities in Europe.

Europe-China Initiative Marks World Environment Day with Green Building Workshop
02 Jul, 2018

A green building workshop was held by the Europe-China Eco Cities Link project (EC Link) in cooperation with southern China’s Guilin City in southern China’s Guangxi province from the 28th to the 29th of May to mark World Environment Day which falls on June 5th.

The event was designed to tailor a strategy according to the specific needs of Guilin city, one of EC Link’s pilot cities. Guilin's climate is used as a microcosm for the project as nearly 20 percent of China has similar conditions, making up one-third of its population. Guilin city wants to become a leader in green building technology and has been developing multiple projects in order to introduce in China more cost effective solutions.

This initiative reflects EC Link’s continuous efforts to build an EU-CHINA platform on low carbon and ecological city development. The major objective of the meeting is to identify common interests and cooperative opportunities between Chinese cities and their European counterparts in the green building development.

EC-Link Project invited to Guilin foreign experts bringing best European experience within the Green Building sector; attending to the meeting were more than 300 officials, professionals, experts and entrepreneurs from China and European countries, including the vice mayor of Guilin Municipality, chief engineer of Guangxi Provincial HURD, representatives from other pilot cities include Weihai, Changzhou, Qingdao, Zhuzhou, Xixian New Area, Hefei and Liuzhou.

As a result of two days technical discussions, policies, technologies, market mechanisms and good local practices will enter into a key research report on green buildings in sub-tropical climate zones; beside introducing latest technology solutions, the report will also address implementation, monitoring and management strategies.  

This fruitful discussion will be continued within multiple pilot projects and manifold experiences are going to be introduced into other parts of the country with similar climate conditions. Both European and Chinese sides agree to put more project resources to help pilot cities learn from European cities’ noteworthy green building technologies, know-how and good practices and evolve more effective green building development strategies to fit their specific climate features.

EC-Link Project and Guilin Municipality will continue their dialogue in order to strengthen their on-going collaboration in order to support the sustainable urban development of the Municipality.

The EC-Link project is a key component of the EU-China Partnership on Sustainable Urbanization, which was signed by the Chinese government and European Commission in May 2012. The initiative was launched in November 2013 with the aim of assisting Chinese cities in implementing energy and resource-efficient measures by sharing experiences in sustainable urbanization with cities in Europe.

European and Chinese Cities Keen to Work Together to Embrace Resilience Strategies
31 May, 2018

Several European cities and Zhuhai City in southern China’s Guangdong province are willing to step up further cooperation to embrace resilience strategies after a workshop by the Europe-China Eco Cities Link project (EC Link) in Zhuhai from the 12th to the 13th of June.

Resilience strategies in a global sense are when a city understands the challenges it faces; reviews its ability to face them and unites its people, projects, and priorities, so urban centres can act collectively to meet their resilience challenges.

The EC-Link Project invited to Zhuhai senior advisors, experts and urban planners from Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Bologna and Valencia, who brought proposals for comprehensive urban water strategies and effective European solutions to transforming a city under risk of great natural disasters, such as earthquakes, or floods into a resilient and sustainable city. Attending the meeting were around 100 experts, officials and professionals, including the director of Zhuhai Municipal Bureau of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (HURD), chief engineer of Zhuhai MBHURD and leaders from Zhuhai Institute of Urban Planning and Design.

Zhuhai, one of EC-Link’s pilot cities, seeks to identify the best practices of storm management, water management and urban resilience governance. With a coastline stretching 690 km and under the influence of tropical hurricanes during summer, the city is exposed to high risks of extreme weather disasters such as typhoon, heavy rain storm and floods. These threats were epitomized by Typhoon Hato, which inflicted direct economic losses exceeding 20 billion yuan on the city.

The city is poised to revise its general urban planning before 2020 which requires an upgrade of urban resilience in a systematic way. Experts from the European cities reviewed the Zhuhai Urban Planning and Design Technical Guidelines and gave advice on investment decisions, social inclusion and other technical elements. The meeting reflects EC-LINK's continuous efforts to build an EU-CHINA plafform on low carbon and ecological city development. After the meeting, both EC-LINK Project Zhuhai city planners will continue their dialogua in order to evolve pilot proposals and a disaster risk management framework of Zhuhai to assess, plan and enhance the capability of responding to natural hazards.

The pilot project in Zhuhai for building a resilient city will act as a template to provide local experiences and good models of urban resilience for larger-scale or nation-wide practice. China has seen an increasing number of cities with inadequate flood-control measures during its fast urban sprawl. On average, around 200 cities are faced with the problem of waterlogging caused by rain or storms every year.

The EC-Link project is a key component of the EU-China Partnership on Sustainable Urbanization, which was signed by the Chinese government and European Commission in May 2012. The initiative was launched in November 2013 with the aim of assisting Chinese cities in implementing energy and resource-efficient measures by sharing experiences in sustainable urbanization with cities in Europe.

EC Link Project and ICLEI meet to strengthen their cooperation
11 May, 2018

EC Link and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability met in Beijing in order to strengthen their cooperation in light of their common interest to support local municipalities in developing green sustainable projects.

ICLEI is a leading global network of more than 1,500 cities, towns and regions committed to building a sustainable future. For the past 25 years, ICLEI has maintained that local action is at the center of global change. ICLEI multidisciplinary network continues to develop and apply practical strategies, tools and methodologies that bring about tangible local progress worldwide. ICLEI Network works collaboratively in more than 100 countries, leveraging local assets to address pressing urban challenges and impact over 25 percent of the global urban population by helping local municipalities to become sustainable, low-carbon, resilient, ecomobile, biodiverse, resource-efficient and productive.

EC Link and ICLEI 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 events and projects in multiple sectors, such as green financing, circular economy, green consumption & public procurement, eco-mobility, low carbon urban planning.

EC-Link Project and the European Chamber of Commerce meet in order to support together European companies in their dialogue with Chinese municipalities
03 May, 2018

EC-Link Project and the European Chamber of Commerce (member of EC-Link Project’s Consortium) met in order to support together European companies in their dialogue with Chinese municipalities.

EUCCC was represented by Carl Hayward, Cecilia Rovelli, Antonio Salvador, Maxime de Coudenhove, Kevin Gao, Tianyi Zheng; moreover the meeting was attended from many European companies such as: GIZ, Veolia, Euro-Sino Invest, IFC, Air Liquide, European heating industry, Capital 8, Engie, etc.

As introduction to the meeting, it was mentioned that after signing the Joint Declaration on the EU-China Partnership on Sustainable Urbanisation in Brussels on 2012, the EC-Link Eco-City Network Project (EC-LINK) was launched in November 2013 as a key component for the cooperation on the implementation of China’s urban low-carbon development framework.

In order to support the fruitful dialogue among European and Chinese stakeholders, the Project’s assumption foresees the establishment of an EC-Link Eco-City Network, constituted by several sub-groups (City Network Units – CNUs) of cooperating EU and Chinese cities. EC-Link final aim is to trigger parallel Learning & Cooperation processes aimed at an effective joint work of EU and Chinese cities in the long term.

City Network Units (CNUs) are composed by European and Chinese cities interested in triggering parallel learning and cooperation processes (i.e. specific technologies, practices, procedures, etc.), aimed at an effective joint mutual work and long term exchange.

Participants showed great interest in the practical procedure of participating in the EC-Link project; on this regard, it was agreed that EC-Link and EUCCC will strengthen their dialogue also in light of further areas of cooperation.

EC-Link Participate to the “UN Science-Policy-Business Forum”
01 May, 2018

EC-Link Project was invited to participate to the UN Science-Policy-Business Forum on the Environment held in New York on May 1-4, 2018.The UN Forum was framed around the following key streams:

  • Technology and innovation as game changers;
  • Innovative policies required to grow green technology markets;
  • Markets and Finance: Sustainable Finance, sustainable CSR and innovative Public-Private Partnerships for the Environment.

EC-Link made anintervention related to “Growing Green Technology Markets - Lessons from China”; indeed the presentation receivedgreat attention due to the interest that foreign stakeholders are giving to China and in particular to the internal (but not only) development of green finance and municipal green finance.

Moreover, EC-Link was able to promote on-going activities in particular regarding Municipal Green Financing Sector and to verify the possibility to develop future cooperation with stakeholders present at the Forum.

EC-Link Project and CSTB Ready to Start Their Cooperation
27 Apr, 2018

EC-Link Team met in Zhuhai the Centre Scientifique et Technique du Batement (CSTB). The Agency operates on behalf of French cities such as Grenoble and Nantes.

CSTB delegation was represented by Cristina Garcez – Urban Strategies Director; Daniela Belziti – Project Manager; Wu Dan – China Project Manager.

The meeting focused on the possible cooperation with CSTB in the frame of CNU activities on Sustainable Urban Planning and Green building sectors, also in light of the best practices presented by Cristina Garcez, Daniela Belziti and David Mangin, who attended EC-Link sub-forum held in the frame of Zhuhai International conference on Green building.

CSTB has great experience in France in the development sustainable urban plans; this experience has been already integrated developing successful cooperation with local cities such as Jingzhou, Qingyun, Jilin and Panshi. CSTB successful experience is based on taking into account each city’s history and needs and merging them also with specific social and economic aspects. Moreover, CSTB has been developing the Building Information Modeling (BIM); it supports the emergence of the «eco-districts» concept relying on multi-criteria KPIs systems in response to different aims and stakeholders’ strategies at both local and national levels; moreover, BIM could support the development of municipal eco-city label in Chinese cities.

It was agreed to strengthen communication among two Teams in the frame of a complete Training and CNU proposal. EC-Link will keep informed its Pilot cities (but not only) regarding future on-going activities.

EC-Link Project and Zhuhai Municipality Ready to Strengthen Their Cooperation
10 Apr, 2018

Zhuhai – April 3rd, 2018

EC-Link Project and Zhuhai Municipality met in the view to strengthen their cooperation within Project’s activities. EC-Link and Hefei municipality have a long lasting cooperation that was expressed in the co-organization of the International Inter-City Lab held in Zhuhai in 2017.

Zhuhai Delegation was led by Mr. Zhaohui Wang, Director of Zhuhai Housing & Urban-Rural Development Bureau, together with Qiancong Peng, Director of Zhuhai Urban-Rural Planning & Information Center; Zhentao Zhang, Vice-Director of Zhuhai Urban-Rural Planning & Information Center; Meng Zhou, Vice-Director of Zhuhai Urban-Rural Planning & Information Center;  Zhiming Xu, Director of Zhuhai Municipal Building Energy-Saving Office; Guan Liu, Director of Zhuhai Architecture Design & Research Institute.

Director Wang first of all expressed the importance of the on-going cooperation with EC-Link Project and the willingness to strengthen it in upcoming months. More specifically, he stressed that the dialogue could be based on multiple aspects:

  • Green building sector for sustainable urban development
  • Land reclamation & harbour city development
  • Sponge city & resilient city
  • Low carbon urban planning
  • Flood prevention for planning & building regulations

EC-Link and Zhuhai agreed to organize a series of training events to be held in May and June, 2018. The training events will see the participation of International stakeholders and experts; at the moment is confirmed that European cities of Valencia (Spain), Bologna (Italy) and Rotterdam (Netherland) will send their delegations to Zhuhai in light of EC-Link “City Network Unit” activity meant to facilitate the dialogue and fruitful cooperation among European and Chinese municipalities.

EC-Link Project and Hefei Municipality Ready to Strengthen Their Cooperation
09 Apr, 2018

EC-Link Project and Hefei Municipality met in the view to strengthen their cooperation within Project’s activities. EC-Link and Hefei municipality have a long lasting cooperation that was expressed in the co-organization of the International Inter-City Lab held in Hefei in September 2017. Hefei Delegation was led by Mr. Daoyun Ma, Director, Hefei Urban Construction Bureau, together with Xueqing Hou, Division officer, Hefei Urban Construction Bureau; Shaochen Pan, Chief Planner, Anhui Provincial Urban Planning & Research Institute; Dongbing An, Director, Anhui Provincial Architecture Science Design & Research Institute.

Director Ma, Director of Hefei Urban Construction Bureau expressed his interest in deeper involvement of EC-Link activities. He wishes that future cooperation would tangle their current key challenge on the water contamination of Nanfei River, which is the mother river of Hefei City. Director Ma explained to EC-Link Team that the pollution is mainly due to the incomplete separation of drainage and sewage systems in downtown.

EC-Link Project and Hefei HURD agreed to keep constant communication in order to organize within June a technical site visit that will see the participation of International stakeholders and experts.

EC-Link Project participated at the 14th International Conference on Green and Energy-Efficient Building & New Technologies and Products Expo
06 Apr, 2018

Launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, on April 2-3, 2018, EC-Link Project participated to the 14th International Conference on Green and Energy-Efficient Building & New Technologies and Products Expo held in Zhuhai in the International Convention & Exhibition Centre. During the event, high level European and Chinese speakers introduced and shared practical experience of on-going EU-China International Programs in Green Building Sector.

EC-Link Project hosted a Forum on Green Building entitled: “Europe-China Forum on Eco-City and Energy Efficiency Innovations”.

The Forum has seen the participation of Chinese Local Governments (Zhuhai, Hefei, Tianjin, etc.), academicians, and Chinese private companies. The intent of the Forum was to introduce to the audience European experience and best practices in the Green Building Sector.

Mr. Andrea Claser, Team leader of EC-Link Project, introduced the Project and its purpose, highlighting the sustenance that it is giving in supporting the dialogue between European and Chinese cities and correlated introduction of best practices among multiple sectors such as: sustainable urban planning, green building, and water and waste management.

The first presentation “The Development of Eco-City: Cases Sharing” was from Ms. Cristina Garcez (director of Regional Strategy Office of Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy in France) and Mr. David Magnin (professor of School Architecture, University of Marne-La-Vallee in France); they have given different eco -city cases in France and in China in order to compare them, from different approaches and thus in different results.

The second presentation “Refurbishment in EU – Challenges and Game Changers” was given by Mr. Uwe Bigalke, the team leader of division of energy – Efficient Buildings of German Energy Agency.  He has presented the new techniques and method of how to improve energy efficiency in renovated building.

The third presentation “The innovation and Development of passive House in China” was from Mr. Li Congxiao – deputy secretary general of Green Building Council of Chinese Society for Urban Studies. He provided many good examples of passive houses in China and the techniques in details.

The fourth presentation “The sustainable rehabilitation of villages and old neighbourhoods with their inhabitants” was from Mr. Jean Mark Natali, the founder & Chairman of URBANIS. He stressed the social aspects of the sustainability and inhabitants’ involvement in such process. The fifth presentation “Eco-cities assessment: pragmatic approach and examples to foster pedagogy, adaptability, operational capability and innovativeness” was from Ms. Daniela Belziti- the project manager of smart and Sustainable City in French Scientific & Technology centre for Building.  She pointed out the importance of government support/regulations/assessment for making an eco-city.

The Forum received great appreciation from present Chinese stakeholders, both in terms of knowledge sharing and also in light of future possible cooperation with EC-Link Project.

EC-Link Project Participate at The International Conference “LABIRYNTH OF WATERS”
23 Mar, 2018

On March 23rd, 2018, EC-Link Project participated at the International conference: “The blue challenges and opportunities: from strategy into action - LABIRYNTH OF WATERS”, in Parma (Italy). The aim of this International Conference was to focus on the sub-national and national governments policies in relation to the climate change actions linked to the water management resources: water scarcity, flooding and extreme natural events.

Ms. Dai Guowen, Deputy-Director of EC-LINK Project (Europe-China Eco Cities Cooperation Project) and Director of International Cooperation Center, China Eco City Academy (CECA) delivered a speech on “Water Management in Chinese Cities: Policies and Cases”. Water sector is receiving great attention from both Chinese Central and Local Governments; the presentation was an important opportunity to share, within an international audience, on-going development and results achieved from Chinese municipalities in light of Chinese urban sustainable development.

Europe-China Eco-Cities Link (EC-LINK) Project- Brief description and Programme Until September 2018
24 Jan, 2018

The importance of innovation and socio-economic aspects in sustainable urbanisation has been recognised by the EU and China in their Joint Declaration on the EU-China Partnership on Urbanisation since 2012.

In China, the management of an exceptionally rapid urban growth poses considerable challenges to policy-makers and city planners. In such a delicate context, physical city planning cannot be considered in isolation from governance aspects, related for instance to land use and resources for city financing. Urban infrastructures and public services also call for a balanced and integrated planning so as to minimise or avoid the negative socio-economic, human and environmental impacts; most of all, Chinese cities must also be viewed as engines of growth and innovation, often attracting large shares of R&D investments and consequently source of business opportunities for European stakeholders.

The Europe-China Eco-Cities Link (EC-Link) project is a key component of the EU-China Partnership on Sustainable Urbanisation, and it represents the ultimate synergy between national requirements and city’s needs. Supported by the European Commission DG Development and in cooperation with the Chinese Ministry of Housing Urban and Rural Development (MoHURD), EC Link aims to assist Chinese in implementing energy and resource-efficient measures by sharing experiences in sustainable urbanisation with European cities.

The development of cities in China is taking place at impressive pace and has affected millions of citizens involving many aspects of city planning and development, such as infrastructures, regulatory regimes, taxation, health, education and culture. EC Link commitment is to bring together a wide-ranging partnership of stakeholders in Europe and China so to create an innovation platform for developing innovative solutions in sustainable urbanisation that rely on European advanced knowledge and technologies.

Moreover, the project supports MoHURD in four strategic activities:

  1. Demonstrating good practice approaches to implement low carbon solutions for the sustainable development of human settlements. Good practices have been identified and made available through the toolboxes already developed, based on European and Chinese eco-city practices.
  2. Creating testing grounds for innovations in the 9 sectors covered: compact urban development, clean energy, green buildings, green transportation, water management, solid waste treatment, urban renewal and revitalization, municipal financing, and green industries.
  3. Improving Chinese Municipalities' capacity to finance appropriate solutions.
  4. Creating the best conditions to establish a mutual and long lasting cooperation between Chinese and European cities.

In order to practically achieve the important goals related to these activities, EC Link implemented a series of events called Inter-City Laboratories (ICLs) focussing the attention on 6 major sectors: low carbon cities, green building, green transport, water management, solid waste management and clean energy. Each ICL had a duration of 2-3 days and the involvement of 15-20 Chinese cities and 10-15 European ones. During these events, Chinese and European municipalities, represented from public officials, multi-utilities Companies, industrial associations and private companies, had the opportunity to trigger processes of mutual collaboration.

For this reason, ICLs are not only thought as a vehicle of exchange of knowledge and experiences among cities that share the interest for the same sectorial topic aimed at sustainable urbanisation, but, above all, they represent the starting point for the creation of a mutual and long lasting cooperation between Chinese and European cities.

This cooperation will be generated by the establishment of the so called City Networking Units (CNUs). They are working partnership/group of cooperating EU and Chinese cities available to work together for shared objectives. The stated aim of the CNUs joint work is to identify common working/interest areas and projects for the sustainable development of human settlements and to agree a common working agenda for the elaboration of pilot actions with high replicability potential, to allow an effective know how transfer in several Chinese cities. As a result of the ICLs implemented until now, about six CNUs are going to be formalised.

Key issues/fields of the “Learning and Cooperation Processes” triggered within CNUs’ concept are:

  • Definition of CNUs work program and expected outputs of the cooperation;
  • Participation of local stakeholders in CNUs meetings (multi-utilities, ESCOs, green technology producers, etc.) and targeted visits to e.g. institutions, eco-districts, recovered industrial areas, water treatment plants, waste to energy plants, etc.;
  • Involvement of sectorial experts in the management and technical support to CNU activities.

Possible outputs of the joint work of Chinese and EU experts within CNUs activities can be:

  • Models of EU sectorial policies adapted to the context of other Countries (e.g. a comparison between the European Performance Building Directive and existing regulations on environmental sustainability and energy savings);
  • Models for the implementation of energy certification of building systems (procedures at municipal level/accreditation of energy certifiers/impact on real estate market, etc.);
  • Models for the governance of integrated urban services (role of multi-utility companies - water, energy and waste management)
  • Financial schemes for energy refurbishment of public heritage (e.g. adaptation of ELENA facility model, ESCOs and Energy Performance Contracts);
  • Feasibility studies to adapt technological innovations developed in the EU to the needs of Chinese cities;
  • Business agreements among EU and Chinese Multi-utilities companies (from know-how transfer to Joint Ventures). 

EC Link is expected to contribute in creating the conditions for large scale public and science-industry cooperation on sustainable urbanisation that can address the challenges China and Europe face in this area. The Project will provide in-depth insights on EU-China cultural and socio-economic aspects on urbanisation; specific impacts are expected in the field of city planning, policy making, regulatory regime, governance and public services.

It is also expected to increase the capacity of European industrial actors to develop and provide more effective solutions for the needs of sustainable urbanisation, and for Chinese city planners and managers to make informed choices on innovative technologies.

Hefei Inter City Lab (ICL) – Hefei, 19-21 September, 2017
25 Sep, 2017

On September 19-21, EC-Link Project, with the support of MoHURD, EUD and the Hefei Municipality has organized an Inter-City Lab (ICL) focused on water management, solid waste management and clean energy sectors.

The event has seen the participation of 120 delegates representing 8 European cities (Barcelona, Berlin, Bordeaux, Hamburg, Liverpool, Mannheim, Valencia and Växjö), 7 Chinese provinces (Anhui, Guangdong, Guangxi, Henan, Hunan, Qinghai and Shandong), 9 Chinese municipalities (Changzhou, Guilin, Hefei, Luoyang, Nanjing, Qingdao, Weihai, Zhuhai and Zhuzhou), representatives from local and provincial academies and research centers, European and Chinese experts.

During the event, among the many speeches, Ma’am Tong Guichan, Director of the Division of International Cooperation of MoHURD, affirmed the crucial importance of sustainable development of Chinese cities and the strong support of MoHURD to EC Link Project; Mr. Wang Daorong, Deputy Director General of Hefei Municipality, stated the great commitment of Hefei City to develop more environmental sustainable projects and the great importance of events like Hefei ICL where Chinese cities have the opportunity to share their experience with multiple European ones; Mr. Andrea Claser, Team Leader of EC-Link Project, stressed the full commitment of the Project to be a key component for Chinese and European cities in order to share mutual experiences and hopefully develop long term cooperation; Mr. Florian Steinberg, Senior Urban Planner – EC-Link, provided important insights and specific examples about ongoing Chinese urban renewal and revitalization.

During the three days gathering, European and Chinese representatives have been sharing experiences and knowledge with the intent to create the so called City Network Units (CNUs); these new established working groups of Chinese and EU cities (CNUs) will work together to adapt selected practices/procedures to the Chinese urban context, so to allow an effective know how transfer.

In upcoming months, European and Chinese cities will work together with the intent to develop joint technical teams meant to be the baseline of long term cooperation programs and technology exchange in multiple areas such as: water governance and integrated river basin, zero landfill policy, renewable energy from bio-waste, urban storm water management, district heating from co-generating power plants, waste water treatment for the removal of harmful pollutants, municipal solid waste management, and many others.

EC-LINK Team Visited City of He Fei for Strengthening the Cooperation
30 Aug, 2017

On 11th of August, 2017, EC Link Team met with He Fei HURD representatives.

The mission was organized to strengthen the dialogue with one of EC-LINK 10 pilot cities, discuss about ongoing Project’s activities (in particular about Hefei ICL), cooperation activities between He Fei and possible European cities and have a better understanding of ongoing projects in He Fei.

During the mission, EC-LINK team member firstly introduce the new development of the project since 2017 and the concept of City Network Unit (CNU). Mr. MA Daoyun, Deputy-Director of Hefei Urban-Rural Construction Committee, expressed his understanding and expectation of the EC-Link project and stressed the interest for He Fei to continue to have an active role and fully support the ICL activity which held in He Fei this September.

Moreover, He Fei representatives highlighted the importance to solve the water environment governance issues in Hefei, including: Chaohu Lake comprehensive management and the remediation work to the source of water pollution.

 EC Link Team assured that the Project will provide constant support to He Fei city in terms of projects development and for the selection of European partners ready to provide the ecological technology and European experience of industrial restructuring.

EC-LINK Team Visited City of Guilin for Strengthening the CooperationEC-LINK Team Visited City of Guilin for Strengthening the Cooperation
29 Aug, 2017

On 4th of August, EC-LINK team met with Guilin Housing and Urban-Rural Development (HURD). And this is the second trip during this week. The mission was organized to strengthen the dialogue with one of EC-LINK 10 pilot cities-Guilin, discuss about ongoing Project’s future activities (in particular about Hefei Inter City Lab), cooperation activities between Guilin and possible European cities and have a better understanding of ongoing projects in Guilin.

During the mission, Mr. Chen Qing, Chief Engineer of Guilin HURD and Deputy director of the administrative committee of Lingui New District summarized the cooperation with EC-LINK project in the past, and will fully support the City Network Unit(CNU)green building training held in Guilin. The meeting have convened the various departments (Development and Reform Commission, Urban Management Committee, Water Conservancy Bureau, Huaneng Company, City Planning Institute), to discuss the possible problems in work and to seek some possible project cooperation with EC-Link. EC Link Team assured that the Project will provide constant support to Guilin city in terms of projects development and for the selection of European partners ready to support Guilin’s urban sustainable development.

EC-LINK Team Visited City of Zhu Zhou for Strengthening the Dialogue
28 Aug, 2017

On 2nd of August, 2017, EC Link Team met with Zhuzhou HURD representatives.

The mission was organized to strengthen the dialogue with one of EC-LINK 10 pilot cities, discuss about ongoing Project’s activities (in particular about Hefei ICL), cooperation activities between Zhuzhou and possible European cities and have a better understanding of ongoing projects in Zhuzhou.

During the mission, Mr. HE Anguo, Director of Zhuzhou HURD, stressed the interest for Zhuzhou HURD to continue to have an active role within EC Link and their hope to sign soon technical agreements with European cities.

Moreover, Zhuzhou representatives highlighted the full commitment of the city to develop projects focusing their attention to the green building sector. Indeed, during the meetings, it was introduced: the "Zhuzhou Green Building Action Implementation Plan", the “energy saving & retrofitting Plan”, the development of a large monitoring platform for public buildings and the implemented "Dragon Bay German House" Project.

EC Link Team assured that the Project will provide constant support to Zhuzhou city in terms of projects development and for the selection of European partners ready to support Zhuzhou’s urban sustainable development.

EC-Link team in Zhuhai
01 May, 2017

The EC-Link team met with Vice-Mayor Yisheng Zhang in Zhuhai on 19 April 2017. The Vice-Mayor reaffirmed Zhuhai's interest in cooperating with European cities and institutions on creating sustainable urban environments. Meetings with the Director and Vice-Director of the municipal Housing and Urban-Rural Development Bureau and the local EC-Link project task force confirmed their strong support for EC-Link.

Web 2.0: EC-Link linking Europe-China: EC-Link at the EUCCC Joint Working Group Meeting
12 Apr, 2016

How can European enterprises engage in China’s rapid urbanization process and the many opportunities it brings? How can Chinese cities benefit from European technologies and know-how?

At the Beijing office of the European Chamber of Commerce China today, the EC-Link project team introduced how the project might become a bridge between Chinese cities and European enterprises, with the newly launched project website being a key channel.

The newly launched website (eclink.org) includes:

  • Information on the 30 pilot projects across the 10 pilot cities and 9 sectors
  • Requests for technologies, capacity building and financial support from 30 pilot projects of EC-Link
  • Urbanization and project news
  • Toolboxes for the 9 sectors of the project

Representatives from European businesses demonstrated keen interest in the subject, particularly the needs and requests from pilot cities. Participants explored what makes for an actionable request, i.e. a request that could result in a cooperation/business opportunity.

Beyond the recently re-launched project website, EC-Link is assessing whether and how a separate Web 2.0 portal could bring cities and experts together. The team gave EUCCC member companies an opportunity to participate at an early stage of defining the core features of the upcoming portal.

Mr. Li Hailong, EC-Link Project Director, introduced the China Society for Urban Studies and China Eco-City Academy and shared new cooperation opportunities. He invited European enterprises to participate in the project activities and to contribute to pilot project development.

Over 50 representatives from European businesses participated in the meeting from Beijing, and 10 attended via video-tele conference equipment from Shanghai.

Intercity Lab On Green Transport
28 Mar, 2016

The EC-Link pilot cities face similar challenges, yet each city takes diverse approaches and makes thus different experiences. Therefore INTERCITY LAB was established to create a knowledge community of municipalities and to share the insights gained from similar sustainable urban development projects.

Taking one of the cities’ current project as a case study, city representatives receive advise from their peers having similar experiences: the case clinic format enables municipalities to share different perspectives, while learning from what worked well and what did not work so well. To further bring in insight and suggestions to the cities, European experts are invited to comment and present best practices related to the case, from both the European context and the Chinese landscape.

The INTERCITY LAB in Changzhou last October focused on green transportation projects, with the morning session dedicated to transit-oriented transportation planning in Changzhou Xinbei District. In this session, Atlas Chan from Arup shared extensive know-how and experience in urban planning in China with a transit-oriented approach.

Weihai’s street car planning project and Liuzhou’s Bus Rapid Transit system were presented during the second half day. By working in groups and providing advise to these two cases, participants shared their experience and learned from peer practice, as well as gained valuable input from the various experts present, including Sun Shengyang, GIZ transportation and Liang Yuelin, expert from Siemens Mobility. Project financing mechanisms were also discussed with expertise brought in by Adolfo Guerrero and Zhang Yu from Cities Development Initiative for Asia.

Participants in this workshop included representatives from the various pilot cities at the working level, European experts and companies. Distinguished guests Dr. Hou Wenjun, Deputy Director of Department of Building Energy and Science & Technology of MoHURD, and Mr. Ji Xiaodong, Deputy Director of Changzhou Xinbei District City Administration and Construction Bureau delivered keynote speeches. This event was co-organized with the Changzhou Xinbei District City Administration and Construction Bureau.

Intercity lab on sustainable water management
28 Mar, 2016

Zhuhai, one of the two integrated pilot cities of EC-Link, is planning the regeneration of its river Qianshan. In this process, Zhuhai invited and hosted the EC-Link learning community of pilot cities to discuss sustainable water management practices.

Following an introduction of challenges faced in the frame of the Qianshan river rehabilitation, participants, including representatives of various municipal water bureaus, European and Chinese experts and companies, discussed related issues and came out with a common understanding that innovative technical monitoring and remediation solutions surely are important aspects, however good regional coordination soon appeared a key success factor.

Best practices from England as well as the Liao River management experience in China were shared by Atkins representative and water experts Simon Spooner. Solutions for better water stewardship were suggested by Pin Tian from Bureau Veritas.

An innovative Sino-German cooperation project on wastewater management in Qingdao, semi-central, was presented as inspiration to cities planning for waste water treatment plants, such as Xixian and Weihai. The semi-centralized system, integrating streams of waste water treatment, waste treatment and heat supply, offers a more efficient solution than a centralized option. During the discussions, participants actively debated on the feasibility of replicating this approach with regard to the project financing and general awareness towards decentralized solutions.

Sponge city concepts from various cities in Europe were shared by Dr. Giovanna Rossato, from the architecture and planning firm Progetto CMR, in response to questions from the city of Zhuhai planning its sponge city concept.

Participants were impressed by the interactive format of the workshop and comment the INTERCITY LAB as mind-opening, inspirational and meaningful.

EC-Link Project Launched
25 Mar, 2015

Beijing, 25 March 2015-The Europe China Eco Cities Link project (EC Link) was officially launched on 25 March 2015 in Beijing, as a sub-forum event of the Eleventh International Conference on Green and Energy Efficient Buildings. The project is supported by the European Commission Directorate General for Development Cooperation, and by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Rural Development (MoHURD) in China. It has a total budget of 9,3 million EUR and its implementation will last until November 2017.

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.

Urbanization is a worldwide trend, and while the challenges facing cities in Europe and China are very different, sharing and partnering at the municipal level holds great potential to help address social, economic and environmental sustainability issues. China can benefit from European know-how in order to meet its sustainability related goals, while Europe can integrate knowledge gained from pilot projects conducted in China.

To address this ambitious agenda, EC-Link has set-up the only cross-sector interdisciplinary platform between China and Europe on urbanization. It works with municipal governments to pilot low-carbon solutions for tomorrow’s eco-cities, it provides access to European excellence in planning for sustainable urban development, and it creates a unique knowledge base to scale-up best practices and support China’s New Urbanization Strategy.

The EC-Link team offers personal support with access to networks, know-how, best practices, toolboxes as well as financing sources. It also offers, in partnership with MoHURD, regular training to municipal actors on various topics related to sustainable urban development.

EC-Link will support pilot initiatives in ten selected Chinese cities, developing projects in nine key sectors including 1) Compact Urban Development, 2) Clean Energy, 3) Green Buildings, 4) Green Transportation, 5) Solid Waste Management, 6) Water Management, 7) Municipal Financing, 8) Urban Regeneration and 9) Green Industry. These projects will be complemented by the development of toolboxes to disseminate their results and supplemented with technical assistance. By working hand-in-hand with China's central government and municipalities, the results of these pilot projects will feed into policy guidance.

The EC-Link pilot cities are: Zhuhai (Guangdong province), Luoyang (Henan province), Weihai (Shandong province), Changzhou (Jiangsu province), Qingdao (Shandong province), Zhuzhou (Hunan province), Guilin (Guangxi province) , Xixian New Area (Shaanxi province), Hefei (Anhui province), and Liuzhou (Guangxi province).

The EC Link project team is located at the Chinese Society for Urban Studies (CSUS) in Beijing.

EC-Link Pilot Cities Selected
09 Mar, 2015

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