EC-Link project launched

Posted on 25 March, 2015

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

The project has received high-level government endorsement in both Europe and China as a part of the EU-China Partnership on Urbanization, a broad political initiative promoting the development of adequate solutions for sustainable urban development. The technical assistance provided by EC-Link assists the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development in shaping a national ecological and low-carbon framework, and helps Chinese municipalities with their own ecological, low-carbon urban development.

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

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

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

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

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

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