Compact Urban Development
The relevance of “compact urban development” (CUD) has become a key element of today’s discussion on spatially-efficient and high-quality urban spaces, which can support energy-efficiency and low-carbon development. Governments play an important role in regulating urban spatial forms and land development through infrastructure development, taxation, and land use regulations.
The EC-Link Project aims to support Chinese cities in addressing energy problems in cities and improving energy management in urban areas, proving recommendation in multiple areas, such as: Compact urban development, Use of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), Resilience from impacts of climate change through adaptation measures, etc.
Fifty four per cent of the world’s population live in cities. Expansion of urban land during the first three decades of the 21st century is predicted to be greater than the cumulative urban expansion in all of human history. To better understand the societal and environmental implications of this growth, scientists have turned to data science to predict urbanisation.
“Some of the biggest environmental changes we’re seeing nowadays are occurring at a very large scale, over long time periods. To guide urban planning policy, we need accurate models to study the potential impacts of urbanisation in the long term,” says Jing Gao, data scientist at the University of Delaware.
Gao and her team have developed a computer model that uses 15 of the best global datasets, including accurate satellite data over 40 years, to predict how urbanisation will unfold up to 2100.
The pandemic has definitely taken a vice grip of the entire world’s institutional paraphernalia which has severely affected not only the public health mechanisms but also economies across the globe. However, the present piece shall be hovering over an offshoot of this pandemic which has been incessantly ignored by the world at large. The problem in question shall pertain to the issues of affordability as well as sustainability when it comes to housing. Sustainability has been echoed in various international instruments starting from Stockholm Declaration of 1972 to Montreal Protocol in 1987 to Earth Summit in the year 1992. But the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals have put the sustainability debate at the forefront in the international legal regime. But, the inter-relationship of sustainability with the housing mechanism has not been explicitly recognised under the international legal regime.
Humans have been flocking to cities for centuries. Two hundred years ago, just 2% of the global population lived in urban areas; today, more than half the population does.
Experts expect this trend to hold throughout the 21st century. Although urban areas cover only a small fraction of habitable land, a novel urbanization model suggests that fraction could increase sixfold by 2100, which could have serious consequences for the health of the planet. Cities produce roughly three quarters of the world’s carbon emissions. But just because urbanization has been linked to climbing emissions in the past doesn’t mean it needs to be going forward, experts say.
In the north of Beijing, not far from the “Bird’s Nest” National Stadium, a four-storey orange building hums quietly. It doesn’t look too different from the other buildings on the campus of China Academy of Building Research, or from the millions that rise up every year in China. Yet, it is running on only one-fifth of the total energy used by similar office buildings in the capital city.
The building is part of a movement to make China’s buildings more sustainable. By some estimates, almost half of the world’s construction will take place in China in the coming decade. The country already builds two billion sq m of new floorspace each year – if laid out over a single storey, that would cover 1.3 times the size of the entire footprint of London. It’s an extraordinary figure, especially when you consider that worldwide, the buildings and construction sector accounts for around 39% of carbon dioxide emissions released from energy use and industry.
Late last year, what is thought to be a bat-associated coronavirus infected humans in Wuhan, a city of 11 million in China, possibly after a stopover in illegally traded pangolins—setting off a global pandemic. This kind of thing has happened before—with AIDS, SARS, and MERS, for example. Much remains unknown about the biology of COVID-19, which is alarmingly communicable by people with few or no symptoms. But an epidemic is only part biology. It is also driven by cultural factors, and urbanization is a crucial aspect. As sites of large gatherings and dense living conditions, cities offer the perfect settings for the spread of infection, yet their role seems to have often gone unremarked in discussions of the pandemic.
Across the world, cities are on the frontline of the unfolding COVID-19 crisis. Starting from metro cities with overwhelmed heath care systems, they are experiencing unprecedented strain across social, economic and environmental systems as economies grind to a standstill. Public transit systems are in a financial tailspin. Already a challenge at the best of times, the struggle to provide even basic access to water and sewerage is now especially acute in many growing cities across the global south. Daily wage earners and the urban poor of all stripes are suffering the most from the dual blows of lost income and a scarcity of city services and social safety nets that can protect them at a time of need.
For the past four decades, globalization and urbanization have been two of the world’s most powerful drivers. Global trade increased from under 40% of the world’s GDP in 1980 to over 60% today. Over the same period, the number of people living in cities more than doubled to over 4 billion people today — more than half the world’s population.
COVID-19 will reverse both of these trends, increasing the distance both between countries and among people. Some will laud these changes for increasing safety and resilience. But a world that is less global and less urban would also be less prosperous, less stable and less fulfilling.
As was discussed in a webinar on the Health Silk Road organized recently in the Swedish capital Stockholm by the Belt and Road Institute in Sweden, speakers noted that the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the unpreparedness of most countries in the world, including in the advanced sector, to face such a crisis in terms of the physical requirements such as hospital beds, intensive care units beds, personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, disinfectants, medicines, and testing equipment and materials. There are many reasons for this shortcoming, but the obvious answer is building an infrastructure and industrial capacity that can cope with such emergencies.
Cities are at the center of this pandemic, as they have been during so many plagues in history. The virus originated in a crowded city in central China. It spread between cities and has taken the most lives in cities. New York has become the world’s saddest, most dismal viral hotspot.
Hunkered down at home, rarely venturing into hauntingly empty streets, most of us are still at a loss at how urban life will look afterwards. Will restaurants survive and jobs come back? Will people still travel in crowded subways? Do we even need office towers when everyone is on Zoom? Come to think of it, the idea of living on a farm seems suddenly attractive.
Cities thrive on the opportunities for work and play, and on the endless variety of available goods and services. If fear of disease becomes the new normal, cities could be in for a bland and antiseptic future, perhaps even a dystopian one. But if the world’s cities find ways to adjust, as they always have in the past, their greatest era may yet lie before them.
As COVID-19 continues to spread across the UNECE region, local governments are on the front lines of addressing this unprecedented pandemic. With the ambition to amplify local solutions, UNECE will bring together mayors from Europe, North America, Central Asia and the Caucasus to strengthen the resilience of cities to emergencies, including to COVID-19. With some 75% of the population living in cities, the UNECE region is among the most highly urbanized in the world, turning resilient cities into key drivers for sustainable development in the region.
The Forum of Mayors will be held on 6 October 2020 at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, with possibilities for online participation. While local responses to the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the immediate focus in many cities, the Forum will also give space to discuss long-term resilience strategies in cities, including actions mitigating the effects of climate change and natural hazards.
Leading designers, architects, engineers and landscape architects will be presenting their creative ideas on how to improve outdoor thermal comfort in public spaces at the “Cool Abu Dhabi” competition, being hosted by Abu Dhabi's Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) with prize money worth $100,000.
The key focus of the global creative ideas’ competition is to improve outdoor thermal comfort in public spaces by mitigating the impact of the Urban Heat Island Effect in the city.
Outdoor thermal comfort conditions influence several choices that inhabitants make every single day - to walk to a local shop, take public transit, cycle, eat outside at a restaurant, talk with colleagues, friends, and neighbors or simply go to a park, said experts.
The target of this year's old communities’ renovation was clarified at the State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on April 14.
According to those at the meeting, the government will enhance the renovation of old communities to improve people's livelihoods and expand domestic demand. The move will improve people's living conditions, expand domestic demand and boost consumption, Premier Li said at the meeting. Since 2019, Premier Li has inspected multiple times the renovation of old residential communities in urban areas during his inspection tours.
In an old residential community in a western province, local residents told the Premier that they were willing to spend some money on the renovation of the old residential area subsidized by the government. And another old community in the eastern part of China has introduced social forces in renovation, bringing day care, housekeeping, and healthcare services to the community, which is widely welcomed by residents.
The Covid-19 pandemic has morphed into a global economic crisis. All activity is grinding to a halt with unemployment on the rise. Stock market value has declined by more than USD 27 trillion. The United Nations predicts that the world economy will go into recession in FY’21 with an anticipated loss of trillions of dollars of global income. IMF has announced a negative-growth forecast. Oil prices have fallen to historic lows. The world order is in flux.
The GOI has taken a bold decision to prioritise the lives of its citizens and face the consequences of the economic fallout. This leadership has undoubtedly helped mitigate the spread of the infection in the country. Many other countries have delayed this decision with debates on compromising economic activity in the face of higher infection risk. Regardless, it is evident that all nations will face an unprecedentedly different global economic paradigm than the one merely two months ago.
By 2050 around 80% of the world's population will be living in urban areas. Currently, they occupy 3% of the Earth's surface but produce around 72% of greenhouse gases. Growing urbanization along with climate change will have a serious impact on our life in cities in terms of air quality, warmer temperatures and higher flood risk.
But solutions to reducing the environmental impact and improving people's quality of life has been found in nature. Scientists working at the European project URBAN Green-Up in Valladolid, Spain are testing Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) that could allow sustainable urban development.
Most of us spend a large chunk of our lives in one building or another, but have you ever stopped to consider the greenhouse gases linked to the construction of these buildings?
One way to reduce greenhouse gases is the use of recycled and more environmentally friendly building materials.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) International Resource Panel has just published a recent report titled Resource Efficiency and Climate Change: Material Efficiency Strategies for a Low-Carbon Future. Commissioned by the G7 countries, it shows that natural resource extraction and processing account for more than 90 per cent of global biodiversity loss and water stress, and around half of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The findings point to opportunities to reduce these impacts through material efficiencies in homes and cars.
In recent years, Chinese urban planning and design has often captured international media attention and drawn ridicule. Photo essays have depicted a wide range of urban trends, including tourist theme parks staffed by dwarfs, oversized buildings resembling human figures and inanimate objects, dozens of so-called “copycat towns” modeled on famous foreign cities, and, perhaps most notably, China’s vast “ghost towns,” which are expansive futuristic cities with hardly any residents. Unfortunately, scant attention has been paid to the most serious problem inflicted on China’s cities: urban sprawl.
Urban sprawl, most commonly defined as dispersed, excessive, and wasteful outward urban growth, occurs when urban spatial expansion outstrips the rate of population growth. While in the United States and other Western countries, urban sprawl is often characterized by the growth of suburbs filled with single-family homes, in China, cities are often developed well beyond the urban core, leaving vacant sections in between and requiring the expansion of infrastructure.
Cities today are responsible for some 75 per cent of global energy and resource use, and some 70 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. Rapid urbanization and unsustainable practices in all sectors from transport to buildings and construction to waste management to energy will amplify the environmental impacts of cities. Most of urban growth today is unplanned, fragmented and incoherent, and those cities that will see the biggest increase in urban population, lack urban and spatial planning capacity. This leaves gaps in environmental protection and in access to important services for many citizens.
Luckily, urban communities are ready for a new style of living that is kinder to residents and the planet alike and are exploring ways to do so. The International Resource Panel report ‘Weight of Cities’ found that cities can achieve some 30 to 55 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and resource use by using better spatial planning and urban design, higher sector and cross-sector efficiency and circularity, and more sustainable lifestyles and consumption patterns.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat, and the Commonwealth Secretariat, in collaboration with several United Nations entities, have developed a law and climate change toolkit to promote climate-smart urbanization.
Global heating has been described as the “defining issue of our time”. An effective response to climate change requires deliberate and sustained action from both state and non-state actors that is anchored in nationally determined contributions. Implementing these contributions requires supportive regulatory and institutional frameworks and a regular assessment of their adequacy and effectiveness.
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:
- http://www.eclink.org/eclink/en/sectors/about (for English)
- http://www.eclink.org/eclink/zh/sectors/about (for Chinese)
Rapid urbanization is the defining megatrend of our times. It is shaping the way we live and the future of development in the 21st century. By 2030, 60% of humanity will be living in cities. Cities produce more than 70% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions and consume two-thirds of the world’s energy. There is an urgent need to prepare cities to face upcoming challenges.
Urbanization has direct implications for climate change, widening inequalities, population growth, aging, rising demand for resources and services, increased air pollution, and depletion of natural resources.
The Forum was officially opened by His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council, and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, accompanied by the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, in a colourful, high tech ceremony.
In his video message, the UN Secretary-General thanked Abu Dhabi for hosting this first ever World Urban Forum in the Arab Region.
He noted that urbanization is one of the megatrends of our times and steering it well, will help address global challenges such as climate change.
“As we embark on a Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, the world’s cities, towns and communities will be at the heart of this work”, said the UN chief.
Urban agglomerations are engines of economic growth. As such, sustainable economic growth demands sustainable urbanisation. There is evidence which indicates that higher the non-agricultural labour share, higher is the log of output per worker in the non-agricultural sector. However, this relationship is true for the agricultural sector as well. This implies how the growth of cities has a positive influence on national productivity. But this also implies that the benefits of economic growth driven by urbanisation get transmitted into the rural areas. This underscores the importance of cities in improving the agricultural productivity of a nation assuming that the channels, by which the above-mentioned transmission takes place, are intact.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is characterised by a considerable surge in new digital technologies and artificial intelligence. This trend has created a significant impact on urbanisation and has played an essential part in the establishment of smart cities. With innovation harnessing enhancements across numerous areas of modern life, it is natural that technological advancements are applied to the places closest to us, in our homes and communities. Abu Dhabi will be the focus of attention for those interested in sustainable urban development during WUF10, as the city draws in experts in the smart and sustainable cities industry around the world. More than 100 ministers and about 20,000 people from more than 160 countries will attend a series of discussions focused on sustainable smart cities.
AI4Cities is a three-year EU-funded project bringing together leading European cities looking for artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and meet their climate commitments. Helsinki (Finland), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Copenhagen (Denmark), Paris Region (France), Stavanger (Norway) and Tallinn (Estonia) are the six European cities and regions involved in this project that has just kicked off. Through AI4Cities, these cities and regions will go through a Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) process, an innovation procurement tool that enables the public sector to steer the development of new solutions directly towards its needs.
In 2010, the rate of people around the world living in extreme poverty—that is, surviving on less that $1.25 a day—was officially cut in half since 1990. It was the crowning achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, the global framework developed by the United Nations and others in 2000 to catalyze transformative economic development. This progress, however, was built on the edifice of the post-World War II economic order: the capital markets, trade and migration networks, digital infrastructure, and institutions that were designed to enable global commerce between nations and thereby encourage cooperation and peace among them. Practically every driver that facilitated this dramatic reduction in global extreme poverty—the global exchange of goods, services, and capital through transnational markets; the regional movement of production and manufacturing hubs that created global value chains; and the flow of ideas, innovation, and data that undergirded the digital economy—stemmed from an order designed to serve and support nation-states.
Cities have always played a central role in economic development by bringing workers and entrepreneurs together, spurring innovation, and sharing resources including infrastructure more efficiently. This should be good news for developing Asia: by 2050, there is projected to be 2.96 billion people living in the region’s towns and cities – 64% of all the entire population – up from 1.84 billion – or 46% of the population – in 2017. Unfortunately, while the region’s cities are sure to grow in size, they may fail to fulfill their potential as engines of growth and job creation due to underinvestment in urban infrastructure, a lack of affordable housing, and unsynchronized spatial and economic planning.
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.
Denmark is at the forefront of the urban tech movement. Ten startups selected by leading Danish companies within sustainable urban development, are showcasing their cutting-edge ideas this week.
From energy-producing windows to geotechnical analysis systems, the ideas range widely among ten startups selected to take part in the Urbantech Program. All have one thing in common: they can make our cities more sustainable.
Through partnerships with a number of Danish companies, the program contributes to the development of new solutions for the cities of the future. It will run over three years, supporting 10 startups each year. The goal is to help these startups make construction more efficient, buildings and energy systems more flexible, and public spaces more multifunctional.
Over half of the world’s population now live in cities, with numbers expected to double by 2050, but while urbanization poses serious challenges, cities can also be powerhouses for sustainable development; something the UN is spotlighting on World Cities Day, marked 31 October.
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) will host a celebration at its Paris Headquarters on Thursday, convening representatives from all corners of the world for discussions on how cities can combat the climate crisis, create more inclusive urban spaces, and contribute to technical innovation.
Cities provide a wealth of opportunities, jobs included, and generate over 80 per cent of gross national product across the globe, according to UN estimates. Urban areas also account for between 60 and 80 per cent of all energy consumption, despite only occupying three per cent of the planet’s surface and are responsible for three quarters of all greenhouse gas emissions.
Cities and local authorities from across the globe are racing to find practical solutions for meeting rising energy demands and an increasing vulnerability to climate change, amidst rapid population growth rates. In June, the City of Helsinki hosted the kick-off to an international study trip of representatives from 23 different cities from Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Rwanda, South Africa and Europe to exchange on successful projects for sustainable urban development and climate resilience. In exchanging directly on the lessons learned in the area of smart, low-carbon energy supply, citizen engagement and regeneration by urban planning, climate change and energy experts from the three host cities Helsinki (Finland), Bologna (Italy) and Warsaw (Poland), the delegation gathered practical input for the development of their own low-emission development strategies.
Building cities sustainable enough to meet future needs will require new ways of thinking and working, as well as new kinds of multi-stakeholder initiatives and partnerships, according to a flagship report published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and UN-Habitat. The publication explores future policy pathways for policymakers and stakeholders to “reimagine the built and natural environments in the region’s cities.”
The report titled, ‘The Future of Asian and Pacific Cities: Transformative Pathways Towards Sustainable Urban Development,’ describes 15 policy pathways across four priorities to guide future urbanization: urban and territorial planning; urban resilience; smart and inclusive cities; and urban finance.
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.
A national fund to encourage developers and building owners to introduce eco-friendly innovations is getting a $20 million boost.
The top-up of the green building innovations fund will encourage more tie-ups between the built environment industry and the research community, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong on Wednesday (Sept 4).
Mr Wong announced the top-up of the Building and Construction Authority’s Green Buildings Innovation Cluster (GBIC) programme at the opening ceremony of the inaugural International Built Environment Week (IBEW).
“Black, gray” was people’s deep impression of Zhuzhou in those years. As an industrial town, Zhuzhou was ever twice listed as one of the “Top Ten Air Pollution Cities in China” in the early 21st century. However, after years of continuous efforts, Zhuzhou has made great changes out of its painful transformation and upgrading. “Green and watery” has become a new impression of people and a new image of the city.
And “industrial civilization and ecological livability” has become a new label for the city.
The mud left by the flood has been cleaned up, and the vegetation is verdant and vivid along the Xiangjiang River Scenic Belt.
The Shandong FTA Network covers 3 cities of the province: Jinan, Qingdao and Yantai; each of the three has its own characteristics. In the recently approved Overall Plan of China Pilot Free Trade Areas including (Shandong), (Jiangsu), (Guangxi), (Hebei), (Yunnan), and (Heilongjiang), the Qingdao FTA covers an area of 52 square kilometers, accounting for about 43.3% of Shandong FTA, and is the largest one among the three; it undertakes 106 pilot tasks of reform and innovation, accounting for 94.6% of all pilot tasks of the province. By taking the opportunity that the free trade area got approved, Qingdao will use its advantages as various economic functional zones designated by the country such as Qingdao West Coast New District, China-Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Zone, Qingdao Bonded Zone, Qingdao Economic and Technological Development Zone and Qingdao International Economic Cooperation Zone, to build itself into a pilot zone for deepening reform and opening up, a leading area for building a new platform for international cooperation under “the Belt & Road Initiative”, a pioneering zone for promoting high-quality development, and a demonstration zone for building a modern international metropolis.
On August 29, China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE) and the Social Sciences Academic Press (SSAP) jointly released the Blue Book on Sustainable Development: China Sustainable Development Evaluation Report (2019). Based on the basic framework of China’s indicator system of sustainable development evaluation, the report provided a comprehensive and systematic data validation and analysis, and ranked sustainable development of the country, provinces and large and medium-sized cities in 2018. Among the cities ranked, Zhuhai surpasses Shenzhen, Beijing, Guangzhou and other cities, ranking atop in the comprehensive ranking of sustainable development in 2018.
Gdansk boasts new water retention facilities as of this month. Four rain gardens, three small retention parks and a "backyard" retention system between residential buildings were installed in the Polish city. The total area of small retention facilities is nearly 20 hectares which can collect nearly 1.5 thousand cubic meters of water.
The purpose of these small retention facilities as an adaptation measure to climate change in the field of water management is to increase the resilience of cities, emphasizes Ryszard Gajewski, president of Gdańsk Waters. This is associated with a simultaneous solution to the problem of managing excess water and its insufficiency a result of prolonged periods of drought. At a time when consumption of raw materials, including water, should be reduced, it is very important to treat rainwater as a resource, he believes. That is why the municipal service encourages investors and residents to design objects with the least nuisance to the environment and such based on natural solutions.
As the capital of the Emilia Romagna Region, Bologna has plenty of experience in developing climate and sustainable energy action plans, being an active member of the European Covenant of Mayors since 2008. Over the years, the city has been aiming to incentivise citizens to become active and responsible stakeholders for the sustainable development of their own neighbourhoods. Through its involvement in the Urban-LEDS II project and the city network ICLEI – Local Governments of Sustainability, Bologna has shared its experience in bringing on board the public when delivering on its climate action and sustainable energy action plan (SEAP) with its international city peers.
“Weihai should move onto the path towards an exquisite city” – this is the ardent expectation of General Secretary Xi Jinping and is the general goal of the city. To qualify as an exquisite city, it should not only looks at its trunk roads, new district areas, and overall appearance; but also should look at its back streets, old towns and the corners where are most easily overlooked and are often more representative of the city construction quality and standard. To construct an exquisite city, it is largely by “renovation and reconstruction”, and by “leaders going out to the sites”. And an exquisite city comes into being in the residential communities and in the streets, rather than in the office or conference rooms.
Pan-territory integration is a distinctive feature of Weihai’s urban development, and exquisite city is the requirement on Weihai’s development. It should adhere to the concept of pan-territory integration in promoting the construction of the exquisite city, accelerate transformation of the old downtowns and opening of new areas, pay more attention to the vast towns and villages, solidly promote the construction of good towns, and carry out “five improvements” and “seven reforms” in rural villages, striving to create more refined towns, exquisite communities, and exquisite villages.
Yuehua Garden has been undergoing renovations of a number of items since the beginning of May, learned the reporter today from the Yuehua Garden, a subsidiary of Zhuhai Urban Construction Group. This is a major transformation of the seaside park in recent years. The first phase is mainly focused on greening and asphalting the roads. And it has been completed and is open to Zhuhai citizens.
It is reported that laying asphalt on the main roads is one of the main tasks of this project. In order to make the park environment more beautiful and comfortable, the park has upgraded the main garden roads with asphalt pavement, and distinguished fast and slow trails by red and black colors. The total area covered under the project is over 10,000 square meters. Thus the cement roads with more than 20 years of history have been transformed into the clean and beautiful asphalt roads where citizens and tourists can not only walk in the garden, breathe fresh air, but also exercise in the beautiful scenery.
To speed up the comprehensive renovation of old communities in 2019 and the construction of livable demo residential areas which are designated as the provincial level, Mr. CAI Jun, deputy director of the Housing and Urban-Rural Development Bureau of Changzhou, led a team to the old urban areas to inspect the projects of comprehensive renovation of the old communities and construction of the livable demo residential area from August 8 to August 13. He supervised the progress of the projects and conducted a workshop discussion.
During the inspection, relevant project implementation units reported in detail the project progress, image, funding, difficulties, measures and next-stage plans, as well as gave suggestions.
The municipality of Braga is making headlines yet again with its environmentally friendly policies. The city’s northern urban district is hosting the ground breaking Intelligent Public Lighting trial project across 4.5 hectares of its terrain.
The new system has the following features – it can remotely manage and adapt lighting levels in the area, it can automatically check for lighting failures thanks to automatic failure notifications, it can measure the amount of energy consumption and the amount of energy saved, its interface allows you to see where on the map there is active lighting, it will also be possible to assign individual dimming and lighting calendars for individual lamps through a special interface. The devices are also equipped with motion sensors, allowing them to activate and deactivate depending on the traffic in their surroundings. The Intelligent Public Lighting is also constantly collecting data on ozone levels, amounts of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, temperatures, humidity etc. which it then stores on a cloud data server.
Deutsche Telekom announced that their customers in some parts of Bonn and Berlin will now be able to access their brand new 5G network. 5G is all the rage in the past couple of years, following the many scandals surrounding the Chinese tech giant Huawei and its plans of developing such networks. Countries in Europe have also been scrambling for ways to develop their own proper coverage systems. The work done by Deutsche Telekom is an important step in this journey into the future.
5G is an ultra-fast data network which is able to transmit data 1000 times faster than the 4G networks currently used by most citizens. Its main applicable purpose is for the development of future technologies and for use by self-driving cars, smart cities and connected factories.
The World Economic Forum today unveils its 2019 Technology Pioneers: tech firms from around the world, shaping their industry and their region in new and exciting ways. The 2019 cohort was selected by a committee of 59 leading technology experts, investors and entrepreneurs.
“Our new tech pioneers are at the cutting edge of many industries, using their innovations to address serious issues around the world,” says Fulvia Montresor, Head of Technology Pioneers at the Forum. “This year’s pioneers know that technology is about more than innovation – it is also about application. This is why we believe they’ll shape the future.”
As part of their selection, all Technology Pioneers can participate in a two-year programme with the Forum, when they have the opportunity to collaborate with their emerging tech peers, engage with industry leaders and work with public and private experts around the world. The 2019 cohort is invited to participate at the Forum’s upcoming meeting, the 13th Annual Meeting of the New Champions, Dalian, People’s Republic of China, 1-3 July.
Rejuvenation of rural areas in China will not be achieved at the cost of damage to the environment, a top agricultural official said on Monday.
“We cannot repeat our past mistakes to pollute first and then address pollution in the development of rural areas. We must follow a path of sustainable development,” Yu Xinrong, vice-minister of agriculture and rural affairs, said.
Yu said the environment in some rural places was badly damaged during industrial development in these areas in the 1980s and such development will not be repeated.
Authorities will guide green development of agriculture through the formulation and revision of national and industrial standards, including those on the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
Source: Global China Daily - http://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201907/03/WS5d1bf22ca3105895c2e7b49e.html
Climate change is the battle of the century. According to a 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report, the global temperature rise will likely 1.5°C as early as 2030. We may only have 12 years to act decisively in order to avoid catastrophic impacts on the planet and human beings.
The focus of most climate action today is on cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by current major emitters in advanced and middle-income countries. However, GHG emissions from lower-income, developing countries, which are still comparatively small today, will likely grow strongly in the coming decades as those countries embark on a trajectory of urbanization and industrialization, just as Europe and the UK head towards net zero emissions. According to a joint study by Tsinghua University and Vivid Economics, the 126 Belt and Road countries, excluding China, currently account for about 20% of global GHG emissions, but this ratio may rise to around two-thirds by 2050 if the carbon intensity of these economies only falls slowly (in line with the historical patterns displayed by developed countries).
Source: World Economic Forum - https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/07/belt-and-road-climate-future-change-green/
What links the building you live in, the glass you drink from and the computer you work on? Sand. It is a key ingredient of modern life and yet, astonishingly, no-one knows how much sand there is or how much is being mined.
Sand and gravel make up the most extracted group of materials, even exceeding fossil fuels. Urbanization and global population growth are fuelling an explosion in demand, especially in China, India and Africa. Roughly 32 billion to 50 billion tonnes are used globally each year, mainly for making concrete, glass and electronics. This exceeds the pace of natural renewal4 such that by mid-century, demand might outstrip supply. A lack of knowledge and oversight is allowing this unsustainable exploitation.
Source: Nature - https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02042-4
MIT and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden’s leading technological and engineering university, have announced a research collaboration focused on urban planning and development in Stockholm, Sweden.
The KTH-MIT Senseable Stockholm Lab will use artificial intelligence, big data, and new sensor technologies to help the city evolve into a more livable and sustainable metropolis. The City of Stockholm is part of the collaboration, which will commence work this spring and is planned to span five years.
The announcement was made during the recent 2019 Forum on Future Cities at MIT, a conference produced in association with the World Economic Forum’s Council on Cities and Urbanization.
Zhuhai will systematically promote the national land space planning while taking into account both economic development and environmental protection.
It will further reconcile the provincial land space planning. By using the third national land survey results, it will simultaneously promote Zhuhai’s national land space planning, striving to complete before the end of the year and effectively playing the guiding role of strategy and the role of rigid control. The planning will consider both people’s livelihood and livability, to complete special and detailed planning at high level. It will complete the planning of forest towns, the overall planning of nature reserves, the planning of forest management and the planning of state-owned forest farms, the special plans for promotion of district-level urban renewal, so to promote the landmark projects such as urban balconies, Fenghuangshan Mountain and Banzhangshan Mountain viewing pavilions and to improve the urban livability.
Source: WeChat — Guangdong Natural Resources
The fifth batch of 14 new urbanization demonstration towns in Guilin City will be completed by the end of December 2020. By then, it will create a new pattern in Guilin where the urban and rural areas are integrated, the production and life spaces are well arranged, and a more harmonious and orderly prefecture will show to the world. The rural landscape improvement action plan is, during the three years (2019-2021) of time, to implement special environmental remediation for 12,836 villages in the prefecture that have barely invested by the government previously. This year, it will basically cover the improvement for 3,849 villages that will show initial results.
In the development of all projects, all counties and districts should make consensus, raise awareness, and earnestly enhance their sense of responsibility and urgency in promoting the new urbanization in townships and improving rural landscape in the three years. In addition, the projects should be carried out by looking into local economic foundations, natural conditions, historical culture and other factors, and adapting to local conditions with rational layout, while particularly preventing the manner of “one size fits all”. Projects should make good use of rural characteristics and local advantages, and create a pattern of “each village with a brand product, each village with a unique scenic spot, and each village with one special flavor”. Moreover, they should adhere to the philosophy of sustainable development, strengthen comprehensive environmental improvement in the demonstration towns and villages, and strive to build a Guilin “urban and rural integration, ecological beauty, cultural diversity, wealth and harmony”.
Changzhou New & Hi-tech Zone held the second key project commencement ceremony on May 31, 2019. This ceremony inaugurated 24 key municipal and district projects, including Jiangsu Dechun High Voltage Electric Power Cabinet Project, with a total investment of RMB 7.4 billion.
In recent years, the New & Hi-tech Zone has conscientiously implemented the decisions and arrangements made by the municipal party committee and the municipal government, and took such major projects as top priority in the economic development. It puts efforts to project recruitment, and continuously improves project services. And it has made new breakthroughs in construction of major projects. Since the beginning of this year, it has introduced 47 new high-quality projects, with a total investment of RMB 40.57 billion. Moeover, the provincial government, on behalf of the municipality and the new & hi-tech zone, has signed with the Chinese Academy of Sciences to introduce the project of Integrated Application Innovation Service Platform of National Space Information. 8 provincial key projects, 59 municipal key projects (including 10 projects newly registered on book), and 182 key district projects are making solidly progress in accordance with the schedule.
Copernicus is Europe’s system for monitoring the Earth and collects data from several satellites and sensors on the ground stations, in the air, and at sea. Data is collected for a wide range of applications, including environment protection, urban management, regional and local planning, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, health, transport, climate change, sustainable development, civil protection, and tourism.
Launched over 20 years ago, the programme is now the largest of its kind in the world. Seven satellites are currently in orbit producing more than 12 terabytes per day of high-resolution information for six key themes: land, marine, atmosphere, climate change, emergency management, and security.
Source: European Scientist - https://www.europeanscientist.com/en/public/europes-eyes-on-the-earth-roadshow/
The city has accelerated its integration-based development with cities in northwestern Henan such as Pingdingshan, Sanmenxia and Jiyuan. This is made in order to thoroughly implement the State Council’s decision-making arrangements for nurturing the development of modern metropolitan areas; and it is also to implement the new strategic positioning of Luoyang proposed in the provincial tenth party congress that calls for comprehensively promoting the construction of a transformative and innovative development demonstration. Among the nearby cities, Jiyuan is closely adjacent to Luoyang; its transportation is closely linked to Luoyang; and the cooperation shows a very long history. In order to promote the integrated development of transportation infrastructure between Luoyang City and Jiyuan City, Luoyang’s Municipal Political Consultative Conference and Jiyuan’s Municipal Political Consultative Conference jointly organized a research over the Luoyang-Jiyuan Integration. Our Commission also participated in the special research group to investigate the infrastructure construction of the two cities.
Prepared by IESE Business School's Center for Globalization and Strategy, under the direction of professors Pascual Berrone and Joan Enric Ricart, the index looks at the level of development of 174 cities from 80 countries. The cities are analyzed across nine dimensions considered key to truly sustainable cities: human capital (developing, attracting and nurturing talent), social cohesion (consensus among the different social groups in a city), economy, environment, governance, urban planning, international outreach, technology, and mobility and transportation (ease of movement and access to public services).
On May 10, 2019, the Municipal Housing and Urban-Rural Development Bureau organized a training for the heads and backbones of the housing and urban-rural development bureaus of counties under the jurisdiction of Liuzhou, in order to enhance their capability in historical and cultural block demarcation and historical building confirmation.
This training emphasizes the importance of fully comprehending and thoroughly implementing the important speech spirit of President Xi Jinping during his Guangzhou inspection, and the importance of strengthening the protection of historical culture and enhancing cultural self-confidence. The training made specific interpretation and experience sharing in regards to the criterions of delineation of historical and cultural blocks, discovery and publication of historical buildings, planning, filing and listing, repair and maintenance technologies, based on the sorting and summary of the prefecture’s experiences of delineating the historical and cultural blocks and determining the historical building; and by looking into the requirements for launching the historical building survey and determination in counties across-the-board that were not designated as historical and cultural cities previously as required by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development in 2019.
London leads a ranking of smart and sustainable cities, earning top scores for its international outreach and human capital measures, and holds third position worldwide for its transport infrastructure.
The UK capital performed less well in other categories, though, in the IESE Business School’s Cities in Motion Index, which analysed 174 cities from 80 countries in a bid to identify the world’s smartest and most sustainable cities.
According to IESE’s findings, the UK, alongside the US and Germany, is one of the best-performing countries in number of cities taking top positions in the index. In all, eight UK cities – Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Nottingham – made the top 100.
Source: Smart Cities World - https://www.smartcitiesworld.net/smart-cities-news/smart-cities-news/london-tops-smart-and-sustainable-ranking-4160
On the morning of May 31, Mr. WEI Ge, member of the Standing Committee of the Municipal Party Committee and Secretary-General of the Committee, led a team to research the ecological environmental protection and the implementation of the Forestry Leader System in the Sanhe National Wetland Park in Feixi County, Anhui Province. At the site, they observed the Taiping Dyke in the Sanhe National Wetland Park, the Sanchahe Section of the Yangtze River-Huaihe River Diversion Project.
The research team pointed out that it is necessary to set up the concept of ecological priority and green development, to thoroughly implement the ecological ideology of Mr. Xi Jinping, to handle the relationship between economic development and environmental protection, and to do a good job in ecological environmental protection. It is necessary to apply the suggestion of “look back” and the special inspection proposed by the central environmental protection inspector, to be creative in the work, to improve the style of work, and to comprehensively improve the management of Chaohu Lake. The team added it is necessary to implement the Forestry Leader System, improve the rules and mechanism, tighten the chain of responsibility, and implement the “leaders” responsibility system at all levels.
The Jätkäsaari neighbourhood in Helsinki is seeing dramatic changes. It’s one of six cities in Finland that’s participating in the 6Aika programme – which means "6 cities" in Finnish. The six cities participating are Helsinki, Espo, Vantaa, Turku, Tampere and Oulu. It’s a sustainable urbanization strategy, supported by the European Cohesion Policy.
One of the pilot projects aims to overcome mobility difficulties. This will include services like the car-sharing service DriveNow. For 2 Euros, Customers can unlock a car, and then pay as a little as few cents a minute after. This pilot project is being tested in three cities. It is also used by tourists arriving from Tallinn to Helsinki to get from the airport to the city centre.
Source: Euro News - https://www.euronews.com/2019/04/04/finland-6-smart-cities-work-together
Located in the northeastern part of the Iberian Peninsula, Barcelona is close to the Mediterranean Sea and is the second largest city in Spain. It is a world-famous Mediterranean tourism city, and is also the most important trade and industrial base in Spain. Mentioning Barcelona, people may first come into mind of Messi and other football superstars; and secondly, scenery tourism. But few people have an idea that it is actually a model of green and smart city in the world.
Barcelona has long applied the concept of green and smart city to the city planning and construction. From information-based infrastructure, to smart social and public services, and to urban green and sustainable development, it has formed a tolerant and open system. The main measures that Barcelona took to create a green and smart city are as follows.
Carry out strategic top-level design, and pay attention to improving the welfare and quality of life of the citizens: The strategic top-level design is aimed to set up development direction, target, and implementation path. The top-level design is strategically focused on green and intelligence. It conducts planning and construction by centering on energy-saving, emission reduction and environment optimization, and takes sustainable development as its starting point and destination. It has achieved remarkable results for people’s livelihood in the areas of smart power supply, intelligent transportation, and intelligent heating and cooling, etc.
On April 2, Mr. YUE Huafeng, Chairman of Xi’an Municipal Political Consultative Conference and Secretary of the Party Working Committee of Xixian New District, investigated the construction of key projects in Fengxi New City. YUE Huafeng inspected the parks’ greening, river water quality, and learned about the project planning and progress in detail, and fully affirmed the project’s progress and effectiveness. He said that the Xinweisha Wetland Park is of great significance for improving the surrounding environment of the Western China Science and Technology Innovation Harbour Wisdom Uni-Town and improving the overall ecological environment of the Fengxi New City.
Just two months after the contract was signed, the Qingdao Oceanic Vitality Zone, which invested 100 billion yuan, has begun the planning to construct a “City of the Future” in the West Coast New District in Qingdao. The series of promotion activities of Qingdao Port, themed as “Ocean Planning & Managing and Bonding & Co-developing the Port and the City (Linyi City)”, continued to further extend to the interior hinterland, allowing “the Sea Gate to bond the Central Plains”.
The ocean is where Qingdao’s outstanding advantages and characteristics lie. At the beginning of the New Year, Qingdao has launched a “marine battles” that is aimed to replace old driving forces with new ones and promote high-quality development. It aims putting efforts to “six hard marine battles” in the areas of marine industry, marine ports, opening up, marine science and technology, marine ecology and marine culture. It is trying to turn its marine scientific research advantages and talent advantages into its industrial advantages, so to take the lead among the brother cities in the country in developing high-quality marine economy, and create a strong ocean economy with international appeal, competitiveness and influence.
On March 29, 2019 Luoyang government revealed that this year, the city will build 20 community-based old-age care service centers that combine both medical and old-age care service functions.
The city-level and six county-level government demonstrating old-age care institutions will be completed and put into use. It will continuously renovate and upgrade townships’ old people’s nursing homes. For the three governments in the old-age care demonstrating counties of Yichuan, Songxian and Ruyang, they will take the lead in carrying out the services of medical assistance, food support, cleaning, bathing and patrol services; and built 3 home-based and community-based old-age care service demonstration zones in Jianxi, Xigong and Luolong.
Recently, the “Implementation Plan for the Activities of the Year of Breaking Through in the Construction of Major Projects” (hereinafter referred to as the “Plan”) was issued by the General Office of the People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, aiming to focus on accelerating the construction of major projects and making breakthroughs during the construction. Many projects listed in the Plan are located in Liuzhou, including the Liuzhou-Guangzhou Railway Project and the Liuzhou Urban Rail Transit Project.
Among the industrial projects mentioned in the Plan, Liuzhou will strive to push forward the project of “Launching the Vehicle Valued More Than 100,000 Yuan”; establish the Liuzhou Dongfeng Motor Research and Development Center; further promote the development of new type transmissions and engines and push on the project of Liuzhou Smart Grid Industrial Park and the Liuzhou Intelligent Transportation Industrial Park. Finally, among the agricultural projects, Liuzhou will give impetus to the construction of the national modern agricultural industrial park in Liunan District.
In order to improve the livability, vitality and competitiveness of the city and improve the living environment for the residents, Barcelona put forward the concept of “letting the streets serve for living from just for commutation”.
Based on this concept, Barcelona launched a program called “Superblock”, which does not mean constructing new buildings, but instead reutilizing the existing spaces to create a community that will have a series of quiet, comfortable, green spaces and service facilities. The Superblock is rebuilt based on the existing block texture in Barcelona. Within the blocks, it is mainly for the pedestrians and cyclists; while outside the blocks, it is for frequent motor vehicle flow, thus creating more public spaces and green environments for the block.
Recently, the Municipal Development and Reform Bureau issued the Notice for Soliciting Public Opinion on the Three-Year Rolling Plan of the Government Investment Projects in Zhuhai City in 2019-2021. The municipal government plans to invest 143 projects in the next three years, with a total investment of 96 billion yuan.
Among the 143 projects, 51 unfinished projects will be continued in 2019. In the same year, 59 new projects are to be commenced as planned. In 2020, 31 new projects are to be commenced. And in 2021, 2 new projects will be commenced as planned.
The reporter reviewed the Notice and found that the 143 government-invested projects are mainly divided into 9 categories: rural infrastructure projects, medical health projects, culture and arts and sports projects, public education projects, public safety and social security projects, ecological protection and environmental governance projects, transportation infrastructure projects, municipal infrastructure projects, and other public service projects.
Located in northern Italy, Bologna is the capital of Emilia-Romagna province. It is one of the oldest cities in Italy and has a rich history and experience of urban planning. In July 2007, Bologna cancelled its original land-use-oriented regional spatial planning. It approved a new planning system that is composed of the Urban Structure Planning (PSC: Piano Strutturale Communale), Urban Planning and Construction Regulations (RUE: Regolamento Urbanistico Edilizo) and Urban Action Plan (POC: Piano Operativo Comunale).
In this system, the Urban Structure Planning will analyze the process of urban development and spatial extension, propose development strategies that can be coordinated with other cities, and specify physical spaces for these development strategies. The Urban Planning and Construction Regulations proposes a series of rules for urban development, to connect and integrate different “urban elements” (building units, open spaces, etc.) and urban segments. The Urban Action Plan organizes to implement relevant projects and formulate policies based on the formulated strategy and developmental priorities proposed in the Urban Structural Planning.
While Member States were adopting a resolution on sustainable infrastructure at the UN Environment Assembly, the Cities Summit reinforced the importance of local action and the need for an integrated approach to urban infrastructure.
Already 60 per cent of waste and three quarters of resource use and greenhouse gas emissions come from cities, making them great places to tackle sustainable consumption and production. But preserving the well-being of an increasingly urban population, many of whom still lack access to affordable and adequate housing and basic services, is just as important as we seek to achieve the sustainable development goals.
Buiksloterham is an ecological city in Amsterdam with areas of mixed functions or mixed usages. For example, a futuristic residential cluster is with an area of 100 hectares, and 1 million square meters of floor space, FSI = 1. It has 2700 inhabitant residences + 2000 private residences (collectives). In half of the residential houses, residents will be of large families, that is to say, families live together for a number of generations. In the Netherlands, this is called concentrated property development. While in the other half, their developments are led by the municipal government, mainly for some welfare housing or self-purchased housing. But development of the first type is mainly led by private owners.
This is a small city with 244 households in the suburb. As you can see from the picture below, this small town is very green with very high green coverage ratio. People here hope to develop the area into an eco-city, and has made a good attempt. The public is very enthusiastic about developing eco-city. Local people implemented specific measures. The project has received great support from the local government.
The collection and use of rainwater made water reuse more efficient. All water resources are collected into a basin and processed through the sewage treatment system. In addition, the power generation system is also locally owned. So it can be said that this area is basically the best case for ecological protection.
GWL Tterrein is a district of Amsterdam. It used to be the site of natural gas and hydropower plants. The specific measures were taken for the district redevelopment and were initiated and planned by the local people.
The specifics are as follows: all the cars in the entire area are parked underground. No parking car can be seen from the ground. Some roofs are green. The area with more than 100 households is very densely dwelled. It has some high-rise buildings as well. These areas are similar to some residential areas with busy traffic that people usually see. As shown in the picture below, the highlight is its re-development and re-utilization of the sites of some original factories, and it is therefore famous.
In Heerhugowaard, solar panels are available in every house in this suburb to collect solar energy. There are more than 3,000 homes in this area, and each house has solar panels on the roof to collect solar energy. In terms of population density, this area is basically equal to a medium-dense city. In addition, this area also enjoys wind farms. Wind power and solar energy make the area energy-independent.
Asia and the Pacific’s phenomenal development has been a story of rapid urbanization. As centres of innovation, entrepreneurship and opportunity, cities have drawn talent from across our region and driven economic growth which has transformed our societies. In Southeast Asia alone, cities generate 65 percent of the region’s GDP. Yet the ongoing scale of urbanization is a considerable challenge, one which puts huge pressure on essential public services, housing availability and the environment.
How we respond to this pressure, how we manage our urban centres and plan for their future expansion in Asia and the Pacific, is likely to decide whether recent development gains can be made sustainable.
Source: Modern Diplomacy - https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2019/03/20/smart-cities-hold-the-key-to-sustainable-development/
Today, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. Projections show that urbanization, the gradual shift in residence of the human population from rural to urban areas, combined with the overall growth of the world’s population could add another 2.5 billion people to urban areas by 2050, with close to 90% of this increase taking place in Asia and Africa, according to a new United Nations data set launched today.
The 2018 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects produced by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) notes that future increases in the size of the world’s urban population are expected to be highly concentrated in just a few countries. Together, India, China and Nigeria will account for 35% of the projected growth of the world’s urban population between 2018 and 2050. By 2050, it is projected that India will have added 416 million urban dwellers, China 255 million and Nigeria 189 million.
Source: United Nations - https://www.un.org/development/desa/publications/2018-revision-of-world-urbanization-prospects.html
On the morning of March 9, Zhonglou District held the groundbreaking ceremony for key projects in 2019 and the first phase of the Zhigu Workshop. The 23 key projects are involved in the areas of new materials, new energy, intelligent manufacturing, creative culture and so on, with a total investment of 6.105 billion yuan and an annual planned investment of 3.632 billion yuan. Cao Jiazhong, member of the Standing Committee of CPC Changzhou Municipal Committee and executive deputy mayor of Changzhou, attended the event.
Among the newly started projects, there are 8 enterprises and programs settling in Smart Valley. The Valley is an important part of the Changzhou Science and Technology Block and a key platform for the gathering of “two new and one smart” industries in Zhonglou. The first batch of high-tech enterprises such as Truly Electronics, Yihua Cables and Amorsino Electronics are all with good industrial quality and will promote the industrial development of the Zhonglou Economic Development Zone.
On March 1, the signing ceremony for 29 key projects was held in Wujin district. With a total investment of 18.95 billion yuan, there projects are involved in advanced manufacturing, medical health, smart cars and modern service industries. City leaders Ding Chun, Liang Yibo and Li Lin attended the event.
Mayor Ding Chun said that he hopes Wujin will do a good job in project introduction at a higher starting point, promote the construction at a higher level, optimize the business environment with higher standards, and ensure high-efficiency launching, construction and production of these projects. It is hoped that the project investors will take root in Changzhou, establish high goals, continue to work hard and introduce more strategic partners into Changzhou.
This year, Wujin will focus on the high-end, intelligent, green, service-oriented and brand-building industrial development, in order to foster Wujin’s top 300 intelligent manufacturing companies and improve the comprehensive evaluation system for resource intensity of industrial enterprises.
Recently, Hanoi started to develop smart city with the goal of building an e-government. The Hanoi People's Committee has oriented the establishment of a comprehensive and synchronous information technology system for general use throughout the city.
The exchange of activities of international cooperation in the field of information technology in Hanoi has been promoted. The city’s leaders have actively worked with foreign businesses to build the country’s largest data center complexes in Hanoi, including six data center complexes.
Besides, Hanoi’s authority has exchanged experience with the world’s leading IT corporations, signed cooperation agreements with Microsoft Corporation, Dell Technology Group on building e-government and smart city.
Transit Oriented Development is a type of community development, where there are vibrant, walk able and bike able mixed-use neighbourhoods; neighbourhoods that have a good mix of housing, office, retail shops and/or other amenities located within a kilometre of quality public transportation.
ToD is a sustainable practice. Research by Portland Metro has shown that the residents of neighbourhoods with good transit access and mixed-use development use their cars 29 percent less than in suburban neighbourhoods. This is primarily because ToD makes public transport accessible, inducing a reduction in traffic and congestion.
This means lesser air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Neighbourhoods are safer because there are more people on the street and more “eyes on the street.”
Source: Citizen Matters - http://citizenmatters.in/transit-oriented-development-cities-metro-bus-public-transport-10109
UN17 Village will house 830 people, including around 175 children and 100 older residents. Five housing blocks will be built using recycled concrete, wood and glass. Some of the construction materials will be sourced from Lendager UP, the branch of Lendager that provides upcycled building materials, and the company will also use various subcontractors.
Construction is due to begin at the end of 2019, or early 2020, depending on the weather, and the work is scheduled to be completed in 2023.
It seems fitting that this innovative project is going ahead in Copenhagen. The Danish capital was the 2014 European Green Capital and aims to become carbon neutral by 2025.
The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) announced that the winners of the 2019 UNESCO Learning City Award are: Aswan (Egypt), Chengdu (China), Heraklion (Greece), Ibadan (Nigeria), Medellín (Colombia), Melitopol (Ukraine), Petaling Jaya (Malaysia), Santiago (Mexico), Seodaemun-gu (Republic of Korea), and Sønderborg (Denmark). According to the Learning City Award Jury, these cities have shown exemplary progress and commitment to promote education and lifelong learning at the local level.
Source: Modern Diplomacy - https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2019/02/04/learning-cities-award-winners/
Beijing has renewed its push to achieve President Xi Jinping’s ambitious plan to create a new metropolis in an industrial and environmental backwater after a two-year lull filled with uncertainty and criticism. Pundits said the combination of the document and the visit sent a strong signal that despite widespread doubts about the soundness of the mega project and lack of progress on it, Xi had no intention of reconsidering his plan or further delaying its development.
Source: Source: South China Morning Post - https://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/2183804/xi-jinping-visits-xiongan-new-area-show-impatience-lack-progress-future
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Friday announced that the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro will be the World Capital of Architecture for 2020.
Having defeated Paris and Melbourne, Rio will be the first city to receive the title under a program launched together by UNESCO and the International Union of Architects (UIA) in November 2018. The city will host the World Congress of UIA, an event that occurs every three years, in July 2020.
Source: Xinhuanet - http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-01/19/c_137756961.htm
The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) predicts that future increases in the world’s urban population will be concentrated in just a few countries. India, China and Nigeria are together expected to account for 35% of the projected growth in the world’s urban population until 2050; of these three, the absolute growth in urban population is projected to be the highest in India. In terms of sheer numbers, the largest urban transformation of the 21st century is thus happening in India, and the Indian real estate and infrastructure industry is a key contributor to this growth.
Source: World Economic Forum - https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/india-urbanization-why-the-world-should-watch/
As urban areas expand, the old central business district model becomes less, well, central. Many global cities are designing additional districts outside the city center as a means to attract emerging business and new residents. Madrid, for instance, hopes to entice companies leaving post-Brexit London to relocate to its Madrid New North project. Singapore, meanwhile, is planning a second central business district called the Jurong Lake District. An 890-acre mixed-use development located near the country’s newly consolidated container port operations, it is primed to capitalize on a future Kuala Lumpur–Singapore high-speed rail system.
Source: Architect Magazine - https://www.architectmagazine.com/design/future-proofing-the-smart-city_o
The first "International Forum on Future Cities Planning Construction and Governance", a sub-forum under the Xixian New Area International Forum on Models of Innovative Urban Development, kicked off on October 13 in the central Chinese city of Xi'an. Shi Nan, Vice President and Secretary General of the Urban Planning Society of China, was invited to attend and address the forum.
Shi Nan said in an interview with CRI Online Shaanxi that the Xi'an municipal Party committee and municipal government have always considered urban planning a top priority and implemented sound and carefully deliberated plans since the very beginning of the founding of the People's Republic. Particular emphasis has been placed on the improvement and balancing of different public resources towards industry development, residential space, education, other public services and the multitude of needs of local residents.
In addition, as a historic city that has kept its traditions alive while being modernized, Xi'an has always leveraged its rich cultural assets as a driver and crucial ingredient of urban development. In the past two years, Xi 'an has also attached great importance to environmental and ecological protection. The city has outperformed its peers nationwide in the field of urban development planning.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress, Liuzhou has accelerated the pace of new-type urbanization construction, and has taken a road of new-type urbanization construction with local characteristics -- city-industry integration.
In particular, Liuzhou City constantly strengthens the infrastructure construction of the parks, and allocates special funds to support the infrastructure construction of the parks every year. By the end of October 2018, the industrial output value of the parks in the whole city was 217.24 billion yuan, and the total economic output of the parks accounted for 54.4% of that in the city. Liudong New District became the first development zone with the output value exceeding 100 billion yuan in Guangxi, and Hexi Industrial Park became the eighth autonomous-regional-level high-tech industrial development zone in Guangxi. The parks consisted of industries, and then led to the rise of new urban areas, brought about the upgrading of various kinds of infrastructure, promoted the integration of urban comprehensive service functions for the development of industry, and formed a good mechanism of promoting the city by the industry.
In 2018 by enthusiastically responding to the call of the central, provincial and Zhuzhou city governments on pan-territory tourism and thoroughly implementing the relevant arrangements of the municipal party committee and the municipal people's government, the Environmental Protection Bureau of Liling City took close following-up of the requirement of “improving the quality of the ecological environment” as its main priority. It carried out the environmental impact assessment, enforced environmental supervision and pollution governance, vigorously promoted the construction of ecological civilization, comprehensively fought the battle against pollution, and laid a solid environmental foundation for promoting the development of pan-territory tourism.
It comprehensively put efforts and made breakthroughs to promote the development of pan-territory tourism.
(1) Accelerate industrial transformation and upgrading. It accelerated the pace for closure and elimination of “non-conformity, polluting and land-law-violating” enterprises; and promoted to construct a papermaker-clustering area for which it determined the Tiehekou of Chashan Town as the destination site. In addition, it wrote a “feasibility study report on the project of constructing a clustering area for the ceramic and firework industries in Liling City”, and strove to relocate paper enterprises into the paper maker clustering area as soon as possible.
(2) Enforce the pollution prevention and control. Always adhering to the idealism and working attitude of “good environment is the people’s wellbeing, green mountains are enjoyable beauties, and blue sky is also a happy thing”, it comprehensively promotes the prevention and control of atmospheric, water and soil pollution, continuously reduces the existing pollutions, and promotes to improve ecological environment quality, striving to write a new chapter in the green development of Liling.
(3) Shed green light to the unimpeded tourism projects in terms of project EIA. It vigorously supports for creating conditions for the planned construction of tourism projects, and carry out the service spirit to earnestly provide services throughout the whole process of project construction. First, it implemented the project preview mechanism that is to make itself get ready to provide advance services; second, enhanced the guidance and coordination roles for the projects, and implemented tracking services; third, optimized the project approval mechanism, including implementation of “All-in-one notification”, “one-stop service”, and the standardized window-type management of “One-stop Approval”; and the fourth is to shorten the time limit and procedures for EIA review and approval to maximize early approval and early construction of the projects in the city.
(4) Fully cooperate with the model-creation mission. It conscientiously implemented the requirements for better environment creation assigned by the municipal party committee and the municipal people’s government, and formed an execution pattern where the top leader takes the leading role, deputies take the charge of specific implementations, task forces organize to implement, departments coordinate, and all walks of people broadly participate in, so that to implement the mission of creation of a national sanitary city, a national garden city, and a provincial model city.
On December 24, Zhuhai Municipal Government and Ping An Group signed a “Smart Zhuhai” Framework of Cooperation (FoC). The two parties will focus on the construction of a new smart city in Zhuhai, and carry out the cooperation in fields of urban governance, governance improvement, public services, optimization of talent structure, digital economy, industrial upgrading, etc. Mr. Yao Yusheng, Mayor and Deputy Secretary of the Municipal Party Committee, and Mr. XieYonglin, Co-CEO of Ping An Group and Chairman of Ping An Bank, witnessed the signing ceremony. Mr. Lu Xiaofeng, Deputy Mayor, and Mr. ZhuangXiaodong, Chairman of Ping An Group’s Urban Construction Technology Co., Ltd. signed the agreement on behalf of the two parties.
According to the agreement, by adhering to the principle of mutual benefit, common development and steady advancement, based on the overall planning of the smart city in Zhuhai and the overall framework of “four beams and eight pillars”, and by using Ping An Group’s professional advantages of “finance + technology + ecology” and high-quality resources, the two parties will constantly explore new ways of innovative services in terms of political party building, government affairs, finance, urban construction, public safety, life convenience service, transportation, education, pension, medical care, environmental protection, ports and industrial promotion, to achieve “optimization of the government by scientific and technological excellence, enhancement of the economy through digitalization, and introduction of talents”, build Zhuhai into a China model of “digital governing benchmark, a model city in the Great Bay Area, an innovative development highland, and a smart city in the Greater Bay Area between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau”, and eventually a “world-class smart city”.
Ping An Group is one of the top-three financial consortiums in China. With the “smart, intelligent and knowledge” as its core concept and relying on its core technologies of artificial intelligence, intelligent cognition, block chain and cloud, Ping An Smart City has created a “1+N” smart-city platform system which focuses on Smart City Life, governance affairs and other service areas that are closely related to social life and industries.
Recently, the Wharton Economic Institute released the list of 2018 China’s Top 100 Cities. Changzhou ranked 29th with a comprehensive score of 53.30. Its total score of economic indicators is 49.45, ranking 22nd; and the soft economic indicators totaled 59.54, ranking 41st.
The top 100 cities are rated by their GDPs and selected according to the comprehensive scores of economic indicators (61.8%) and soft economic indicators (38.2%). The economic indicators include GDP and household savings, while soft economic indicators include the environment, science, education, culture and health.
The Warton Economic Institute (WEI), formerly known as the Shanghai Institute of Economic Development, which was established in 1988, is the first in China to provide a comprehensive, integrated approach to macroeconomic, regional economy and enterprise development. Sexual research advisory body, is the famous economic think tank. Over the past two decades, the Institute has planned and contributed to a series of major projects related to national strategy, regional development and business growth, and made outstanding contributions to promoting China's economic reform and development.
A rising number of educated urbanites in China are choosing to wave goodbye to city life and head back to the land.
Last year the Ministry of Agriculture announced that seven million people had returned to the countryside from cities.
The modernization of farming in China is on the government's agenda. In March, President Xi Jinping said more effort should be made to encourage talented university graduates and overseas returnees to move to rural areas to revitalize them and boost innovation.
Source: Business Insider - https://www.businessinsider.com/chinas-phds-and-mbas-are-giving-up-city-life-for-farming-2018-12/?IR=T
On the morning of December 13 Weihai City’s private entrepreneurs’ seminar of “Making Achievements in the New Era” was organized and was centered on the topic of economic transformation. Ms. Yang Li, deputy mayor, presided over the seminar and made a report on the opening-up of the city.
Yang pointed out in the report that Weihai is one of the first coastal open citys in China and is also the closest city from China to South Korea. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Weihai has actively participated in the China-South Korea Free Trade Area negotiations and strived to create a pilot city for innovation and development of the country’s service trade. The city’s openness to the outside world has been continuously expanded and the level of opening up has been significantly improved. Entering the new era, Weihai is moving from an opening-up city to an international city. To promote the city’s internationalization strategy, Weihai has established the Mayor’s International Economic Advisory Committee, and drafted an implementation plan for the city’s internationalization strategy, to integrate its international visions, ideas and standards into the city’s various tasks. In the next step, Weihai will be more proactive in implementing a comprehensive opening-up strategy, attracting domestic and foreign capitals and technologies, and making more efficient use of the home and SK markets and their resources. It will be based on the opening up to promote reform and innovation, promote structural adjustment, expand development space, and comprehensively build new advantages in the opening up by seeking first-comer’s advantage in building the new “highland” in opening up to the outside world.
Hamburg ranks 17th on the Sustainable Cities Index 2018 compiled by Arcadis, a global planning and consulting firm. Good networking and effective CO2 reduction measures won over the experts. Arcadis had compared the urban plans of 100 cities to achieve sustainable growth and their success. Last year, Hamburg ranked 20th on the index.
Hamburg seventh in the sub index “planet”
Hamburg performed particularly well in the “planet” category, which includes sub-items such as energy consumption, CO2 reduction and the promotion of clean mobility. A compliance rate of 74 per cent was achieved. The Hanseatic League had won over experts with good waste and water management as well as promoting renewable energies. Hamburg scored above average in terms of measures to reduce greenhouse gases and achieve clean, unpolluted air.
Source: Hamburg News
As part of the Global South-South Development Expo 2018, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) convened a thematic solution forum on sustainable urban-industrial development along the Belt and Road.
The forum, building on the outcomes of UNIDO’s flagship BRIDGE for Cities event, focused on how green growth and sustainable cities can be promoted through South-South and Triangular cooperation. It was attended by a high-level audience consisting of representatives from Member States, UN agencies, development finance institutions and the private sector, as well as from civil society and academia.
Source: Modern Diplomacy
On November 27th, the Urban and Rural Planning Committee of Luoyang City held the 12th meeting in 2018, where it essentially adopted the “Special Planning of Ventilation Corridor in Luoyang City”, “Special Plan of Luoyang City for Implementation of the Car Parking Lot”, “Guidelines for Designing Green Space in Luoyang City” and “Guidelines for Placement of Outdoor Advertising Plaque in Luoyang City” etc. Mr. Liu Yangkang, mayor of Luoyang and director of the Municipal Planning Commission, presided over the meeting. Mr. Wang Yanjun, deputy director of the Municipal Planning Committee and other members of the Municipal Planning Commission, attended the meeting.
According to the plans, Luoyang will create a comprehensive urban ventilation corridor system to be deployed in “corridors, potential points, areas, Mt. passes and places with wind farm potentials” by opening the suburban air intakes, introducing natural winds on multiple sides, establishing a cold air generating area, establishing microcirculation in the city, and improving micro environment in the city downtown, so to effectively alleviate phenomenon of urban “heat islands”, regulate microclimate, improve ecological environment, and improve urban functions.
According to the special implementation plan of Luoyang City Parking Lots, 21 parking lots will be built based on carefully studying the city’s parking lot layout, city planning and downtown land use, and by using 3 modes i.e. three-dimensional parking garage, temporary ground parking lot and “underground parking + ground comprehensive development”. After completing the project, it can provide 6973 parking spots available for car parking. Among 21 parking lots, 18 will be available by the end of this year. They focus on solving the parking difficulties in the main business districts, schools, hospitals, government offices and scenic spots and other traffic-intensive areas in the central city, aiming to effectively help maintain the traffic order.
Turkey takes a step forward today to make its cities more sustainable, inclusive and well-planned, with a focus on adopting integrated and long-term approaches to city planning and development.
High level officials from the World Bank, the European Union, the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization and Iller Bank with local representatives from metropolitan municipalities convened at the launch event of the Sustainable Cities Program in Turkey.
With two-thirds of people expected to live in cities by 2050 and with urban areas accounting for 70 per cent of the emissions that are propelling the planet into a climate unknown, the challenge is both clear and urgent: cities must be reimagined.
In a report this year, the International Resource Panel said cities must be low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially just. The expert group, which was set up by UN Environment, said urban demand for resources could rise by 125 per cent by 2050 with at least 200 new cities expected to be built in Asia over the next 30 years.
Source: UN Environment - https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/cities-future-ultimate-design-challenge
On the afternoon of November 20, the 2018 Changzhou·Hong Kong Innovation and Cooperation Matchmaking Conference was held in Hong Kong. Yang Wenming, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government (CPGLO) in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Li Hua, Director of the Press and Public Relations Department of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in HKSAR, and nearly 100 representatives from Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and Hong Kong's well-known enterprises as well as financial, technology, and innovation institutions attended the event.
As of October this year, a total of 2,448 Hong Kong enterprises have invested in Changzhou, and the paid-up capital reached 19.535 billion US dollars, accounting for half of the materialized foreign capital in Changzhou. At present, Changzhou enterprises have invested in 141 projects in Hong Kong, with a cumulative investment of 2.46 billion US dollars.
China has escalated its fight against pollution, recently passing its first law addressing soil pollution prevention and control.
The Law on the Prevention and Control of Soil Pollution was passed on August 31, 2018 by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s highest legislative body. Adopted after its third reading, the law takes effect on January 1, 2019.
The new soil pollution law fills a legal void, creating a comprehensive liability system for preventing and cleaning up soil pollution.
On November 15, 2018, the “International Forum of Financing Sustainable Buildings” took place in Chongqing. The event welcomed 150 attendees and was hosted by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. The GIZ Sino-German Urbanization Partnership (SGUP) was excited to co-organize the event. As an organisation which was initiated by the aims to foster collaboration between Chinese and German parties on sustainable urbanisation objectives, SGUP believes that effective solutions can only be found by involving all stakeholders in the discussion. This scheme is overseen by the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD) of the People’s Republic of China
In the last decade, the Chinese government has implemented multiple policies to promote sustainable buildings. Public financing particularly provides a major incentive for various actors to improve the potential of energy efficiency and green building. However, it is evident that subsidies alone cannot achieve China’s sustainable building initiative. Green financing channels and tools are also essential for attracting private investment to further fill the immense financial gaps. At the same time, green financing is becoming increasingly popular worldwide among both financial institutions and policymakers. Therefore, although the area of green financing has developed rapidly in China, the general building sector seems to have received far less attention than other sectors.
Data developed by Shi Yichen, the Dean of International Institute of Green Finance, Central University of Finance and Economics, presents further insights into China’s green finance situation. According to Shi, as of June 2017, the green credit balance of 21 major banks in China reached RMB 8.2 trillion (approximately EUR 1 trillion) . This indicates a year-on-year increase of 12.9%, accounting for 10% of the budget of various loans. Industrial financial institutions have developed policies to support green credit and established 50 categories of green credit. Shi offers a comprehensive explanation of green building investment and financing. According to him, the term should take into account a wide range of factors: impacts on social and economic resources, green technology and energy-saving of buildings and the potential benefits and risks of capital in investment and financing. He similarly states that ecological aspects of the building’s life cycle should be considered in financial accounting and decision-making. Similarly, economic behavior in the construction sector should also take a multi-disciplinary approach by recognizing environmental, social and economic issues in order to enhance the sector’s sustainable development.
The forum brought key players from China, Europe and international financial institutions together to discuss the challenges that green financing faces in supporting China's sustainable building development. These actors also highlighted opportunities for collaboration and potential solutions to the recognised challenges.
In his presentation, Professor Ding Yong of Chongqing University shed light on the relevant required technology as well as a cost-benefit analysis of energy-saving renovation of existing public buildings in Chongqing. According to his research, investment for renovating both school and office buildings in Chongqing remains low, but the investment recovery period is the highest when financial subsidies are not considered. It is believed that these two types of buildings do not attract high investment because of they are actively used for relatively brief periods. For example, school buildings are closed for vacation during the summer – a season when other buildings are at their peak of using air-conditioners. Therefore, school buildings save less energy through their air conditioning systems than other types of buildings each year, so the investment recovery period is longer than in other types of buildings. This indicates that school buildings have a large demand for financial subsidies. Nonetheless, after the renovation, the average energy consumption of each type of building decreased significantly, with a drop of roughly 24%.
About SWITCH ASIA-II – Promoting Sustainable Building Mainstreaming in Western China
- To further sustainable building practices in less developed regions of western China;
- To reduce climate and resource impacts of the building sector and to contribute to sustainable socio-economic growth in China.
- To foster sustainable building practices among Micro, Small and Medium Entreprises (MSME)s in Chongqing City and Yunnan province and further promote these practices in western China over 2016 to 2019.
China’s unprecedented socio-economic growth has triggered a vast expansion of the country’s building sector. As a result, since 1990, the energy consumption of buildings has increased by 40%. Furthermore, China’s building sector accounts for almost 30% of the country’s final energy consumption. Hence, enhancing energy-saving practices in the building sector represents a critical way to fulfil China’s ambitions of developing a resource efficient and low carbon pathway. In fact, the Chinese government aims that 50% of the country’s new constructions will meet green building standards by 2020. At present, it is estimated that only 10% of new construction projects currently reach this standard. Out of these mentioned 10% of construction projects, a large majority (about 90%) are located in the more developed eastern part of China. In contrast, the expansion of sustainable buildings in western parts of the country, such as Chongqing and Yunnan Province, remains still in the early stages.
The Project Consortium:
- Environment and Energy (WI)
- China Association of Building Energy Efficiency (CABEE)
- Chongqing Association of Building Energy Efficiency (CQBEEA)
- Yunnan Development Centre for Building Technology (YNBTDC)
- Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture (BUCEA)
- Yunnan Engineering Quality Supervision Management Centre (YNEQS)
- Chongqing Economic Promotional Centre for Building Material Industry (CEPCBM)
- Bank of Chongqing (BOC)
- Ministry of Housing and Urban & Rural Development (MoHURD)
- Yunnan Provincial Agency of Housing and Urban & Rural Development (YNHURD)
- Chongqing Municipal Agency of Housing and Urban & Rural Development
- Chongqing Banking Association (CQBA)
- Yunnan Banking Association (YNBA)
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
- econet china I Germany Industry & Commerce Greater China
Cities consume more than half of the world’s energy and cause over 70% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. At this critical crossroads, it is essential to benefit from the creative and innovative power of cities in responding to these challenges and exploring the value of nature as a part of the solution in combatting climate change and its impacts.
The URBACT City Festival gave cities a unique chance to be in the limelight and exchange experiences. On the 13th of September 2018, Bologna (IT), Manchester (UK) and Stavanger (NO) presented their approaches to using the ground-breaking concept of nature-based solutions to respond to a range of challenges in their cities, and to meet national, as well as global sustainable development goals.
The first Mobility Circle gets underway on November 14, 2018 in Hamburg’s Curio-Haus and comes against the backdrop of the Mobility 2040 study. Commissioned by the ADAC and implemented by the Zukunftsinstitut, the study speaks of “upheavals similar to those after the invention of the car 125 years ago”.
Moreover, this Platform meant to promote exchange, inspiration and networking on future of mobility will include smart cities, electric and emission-free vehicles and shared services bringing together managers and specialists from the automotive industry, transport companies and start-ups as well as stakeholders from business, politics and society.
Source: Hamburg News
The Xixian New Area signed the Innovative Urban Development Economy Alliance Cooperation Agreement with the China Science Center of International Eurasian Academy of Sciences and two other organizations. According to the Agreement, the three premier think tanks will be tasked with providing intellectually rigorous and sound consultancy services for spurring the innovative and high-quality development of Xixian New Area.
In recent years, Xixian New Area has prioritized the fostering of a suitable environment for promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and the development of the new economy. Its constant and determined effort has given birth to the Western China Science & Technology Innovation Harbour Wisdom Uni-Town, Northwestern Polytechnical University UAV Industrial Base and other major technological and mass innovation platforms.
Looking ahead, Xixian New Area is seeking to further improving its business environment and striving to transform the area into an exemplar of innovation and entrepreneurship, a leading cluster of new economy businesses and a benchmark for innovative urban development along the routes of the Belt and Road.
One of Spain's busiest ports based in the city of Valencia has announced the creation of a "smart port" which will use blockchain and big data technologies. The news was revealed in a release published Wednesday, Oct. 3, on the port’s official website.
Jose Garcia De La Guia, who is responsible for implementing new technologies in the Port Authority of Valencia, explains that they see blockchain as a good option for improving logistics not only in Valencia, but in many international ports.
Blockchain is widely used by international ports to improve logistics. For instance, UK’s leading port operator will soon take part in pilot shipments using decentralised solutions, while Denmark has revealed its plans to implement blockchain for local ship registers.
Excess traffic, unmitigated pollution, a lack of green space: These problems aren’t unique to Barcelona. But the city’s answer is the creation of a Pedestrian Superblocks, a 40-acre/tic-tac-toe section of the street grid that the city has transformed into pedestrian-first environments has shot the Catalonian capital to the cutting edge of urban design since Mayor Ada Colau took office in 2015. Drawing inspiration from the city’s historic plan, Colau centered her transportation policy platform around wide-scale pedestrianization of the city, with the goal of reducing private car and moped use by 21 percent.
Source: City Lab
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.
China has about 500 smart city pilot projects, the highest in the world, according to a leading auditing and consulting firm.Over 1,000 smart city pilot projects are ready for or are under construction worldwide and China is home to about 500 of them, covering big and small cities, according to a report by Deloitte.
However, Chinese cities should improve their strategy, design, operations and maintenance in developing smart urban areas, along with technology and infrastructure, to ensure residents needs can be met efficiently and in a timely manner, Xinhua quoted the report as saying.
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.
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.
Since 2010, the European Green Capital scheme run by the European Commission has been doing just that, with cities all over Europe vying to be awarded the title of “European Green Capital”. Sweden’s Stockholm won the inaugural title, followed by Hamburg in Germany; Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain; Nantes in France, Copenhagen in Denmark; Bristol in the UK; Ljubljana in Slovenia and Essen in Germany which picked up the accolade last year.
For 2018, the city of Nijmegen picks up the mantle becoming, rather surprisingly given the cycle-friendly nature of the country, the Netherlands’ first Green Capital. Situated in the East of the country near to the German border, the city will use the next 12 months acting as a role model for sustainable urban development, sharing and promoting best practices that have been tried and tested there.
Source: Sustainable Brands
Rotterdam opened its doors for Europe and the rest of the world. Additionally, the residents are only happy to be a part of the experiments. It’s pretty impressive how Rotterdam has turned the tables from being known as the home of crime to being more inventive in sustainability compared to other cities 10 times as large.
There are several experiments that are conducted worldwide aimed at developing sustainable urban designs. Currently, Rotterdam stands as one of world’s most sustainable cities. The city loves playing with new ideas. It is fast rising as a sustainable design capital and is a home of dozen experimental projects; moreover by the year 2020, all houses in Rotterdam are set to have carbon neutrality according to law.
Bologna, like many Southern European cities, is facing drought, extreme temperatures and water scarcity as a result of climate change. With no national or regional adaptation action plan still in place, the city of Bologna took it upon themselves to draft an Adaptation Plan to Climate Change. The plan, which was approved by the City Council on October 2015, focuses on the development of innovative, concrete measures that could be tested locally. These measures were developed as part of the LIFE+ project BLUE AP (Bologna Local Urban Environment Adaptation Plan for a Resilient City).
The Strategic Plan for Internal Sustainability for the Department of Urban Ecology 2015-2022 (PESI GEU) is the strategic instrument that translates the principle objectives of the Government, the 2012-2022 Citizen Commitment and the Plans from different sectors into concrete actions that make our values a reality. It serves to drive the transition towards a sustainable city and an economy that's respectful of the environment and social rights. PESI GEU defines the internal actions that the Department of Urban Ecology has to bring about in order to incorporate environmental and social sustainability in its different sectors in a gradual, transversal and participative manner.
The Urban Mobility Plan of Barcelona 2013-2018 attempts to lay down guidelines in matters of mobility for the city of Barcelona in the coming years, with a clear focus on sustainability.
The principal objective of the Plan is to achieve the implementation of Superblocks with a level of traffic network saturation similar to the present. For this purpose, alternative transportation will be better implemented (new orthogonal bus and bicycle networks, carpool and pedestrian lanes, etc.), and restrictive measures will be placed on private vehicles, such as an increase in the price of metered parking.
Source: BCN Ecologica
The city of Berlin is experiencing rapid transformation growth that represents both opportunities and challenges for urban development planning. In managing growth, the city administration is committed to a culture of participation to ensure Berlin continues to be a sustainable and cosmopolitan metropolis.
The Berlin Strategy outlines eight priorities that will determine Berlin’s medium- to long-term development opportunities and gives an overview of actions the city will undertake in order to effectively respond to present and future challenges. Additionally, ten transformation areas have been identified and set geographical priorities to provide a tangible framework for implementing the Strategy at community level.
Valencia is decidedly committed to innovation and sustainability as the basis of a new model of global social development that respects both people and the environment.
In order to achieve these goals, several strategies, which are aligned with European objectives, were launched during the last years. They are being improved by means of targeting more ambitious results in terms of urban and social innovation, both of which allowed Valencia to become a European frontrunner for Smart Cities and sustainable development.
Under the MAtchUp program, Valencia will develop a total of 52 innovative actions in regard to energy, mobility and ICT in various neighbourhoods.