The URBAN-EU-CHINA Innovation Platform on Sustainable Urbanisation aims to boost the development of smart and sustainable solutions, services and technologies in Chinese and European cities and markets.
Why City-City Partnerships work
Cities are viewed as engines of growth and innovation, often attracting large shares of R&D investment and an innovative service sector. China’s rapid urbanisation and the EU’s vast experience as an urbanised continent offer a unique complementarity for tackling common challenges such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, ensuring effective use of resources, and guaranteeing citizens’ well-being and health. Thus, sustainable urbanisation has become central in the cooperation between the Europe and China in recent years.
Exchange of knowledge, technologies and experiences has enormous prospects for addressing issues of urban planning, environment, health, water, transport, ICT, hazards, resilience and disaster risk reduction, and significantly improving the well-being of citizens. EU-China strategic cooperation aims to boost the sustainable development of Chinese cities while promoting innovative, integrated and efficient technologies to roll out and enter European and Chinese markets.
The ambitions of EU and China to cooperate are also supported by EU-China and national funding schemes targeting Sino-European cooperation to lower the threshold for stakeholders to get engaged in intercontinental cooperation. Many incentives and funding schemes are available at city and regional levels. However, these often remain difficult to identify and access.
To tap the full potential of cooperation and deliver tangible results, greater concerted actions between cities, industry, innovative SMEs, academic institutions and civil society actors are needed. URBAN-EU-CHINA has committed to developing an EU-China innovation platform on sustainable urbanisation that will allow for the easier and more effective creation of partnerships between European and Chinese cities.
In the first version of the Cooperation Plans and Guidelines report, a sequence of activities for the creation of successful city-to-city partnerships was identified (Fig.2). The findings were presented to cities and stakeholders, both in Europe and China and feedback and new evidence was gathered.