The growth in international trade and investments around the EU Trans European Network -Transport (TEN-T) policy and the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is leading to increasing transport volumes between China and the EU. Cities are the key nodes in these growing national, regional and intercontinental transport networks and should contribute to and benefit from the increased trade.
However, without proper planning and management, those urban nodes can become blockages in national and international transport flows. Local congestion around hubs and terminals can lead to reduced network efficiency and increased levels of local air pollution.
Chinese cities have an opportunity to plan the development of safe, clean and affordable transportation systems. The impact that such development can bring in terms of economic opportunities, human wellbeing, and climate change are determined by the choices city leaders make today: a sustainable urban/spatial hub development will be part of “resilient cities” with logistic hubs as part of the urban structures.
The proposed Project is designed to bring together Chinese and European Cities (such as Hamburg, Barcelona, Gothenburg) along key trade routes to work together to optimize their leading roles as national, regional and international hubs.
The EU and China together can define a model of rising trade and prosperity combined with healthy cities. To this aim, Europe and China need to work together to maximize the benefits of trade while minimizing potential negative impacts on cities.