A successful EU-CHINA Smart Sustainable Event in Brussels!

The EU-China Smart Sustainable Cities Event, 17 December 2019 in Brussels brought together around 40 actors involved in EU-China Cooperation on sustainable urban development. The event was divided in three sessions; One with key note speakers, one Workshop-style and the last part a combination of a reception and highlights.

Speakers topics were about the challenges and opportunities in EU-China within sustainable urbanisation. They shared important recommendations for implementation and cooperation and how it can contribute to implementing and localizing global agendas such as Agenda 2030 with its 17 SDGs, UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda, the Sendai Framework and others.

Christos Fragakis (EC, DG RTD) presented the future of the European framework programme and the European Commission’s ambitions in sustainable urban development with the launch of a dedicated mission and a partnership on urban transitions.

Roel Massink (City of Utrecht) highlighted the experiences of the City of Utrecht who is leading the EC funded Lighthouse project IRIS and how R&I projects can support and inspire public urban administration in their transition to urban sustainability.

JPI Urban Europe is one of the funding initiatives which has build up experiences in the collaboration with China. Johannes Riegler presented, most foremost, the joint call which JPI Urban Europe implemented with the National Natural Science Foundation of China and resulted in 11 Sino-EU projects.

The ambition of the EIT Global Outreach Programme: the cross KIC EIT China Hub which is soon to be opened in Beijing was introduced by Professor Mary Ritter. 

  • KIC participation: All 8 KICs and EIT
  • Objective: Establish EIT Community Hubs in Silicon Valley (San Francisco), Israel (Tel Aviv) and China (Beijing)





Vasileios Latinos from ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability presented the newly approved H2020 NBS Project REGREEN. The overall objective of the project is to promote urban liveability and accelerate the crucial transition towards equitable, green and healthy cities in both Europe and China. https://iclei-europe.org/

In the afternoon’s Workshop, the participants exchanged ideas and views on the main barriers and challenges, identifying important instruments for promoting change in on-the-ground EU-China cooperation on sustainable urbanisation.

For this part of the event, we used the www.mentimeter.com tool to collect views and ideas. Here are a few examples of what we received.


The evening reception was in good spirits of friendship and open innovation. The launch of our recent reports were announced by the Project Manager of UEC, Mr. Yu WANG.

The Award for EU-China Cooperation Excellence was handed over by Ms. Jessica HE from the University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China to the City of Essen, represented by Markus Pließnig. 

We can conclude that this was another successful event arranged by the URBAN-EU-CHINA, this time in cooperation with the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities.