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.