URBAN-EU-CHINA organised it’s second Event Cluster in Brussels, Belgium, back to back to the General Assembly of the EIP SCC Smart Cities and Communities General Assembly. The meetings brought together all URBAN-EU-CHINA partners and the project’s Advisory Board to discuss activities, milestones and the way forward for the project. Therefore, the meetings connected the pieces of work within the project and to important initiatives in the scope of EU-China collaboration on urbanisation.
Besides the internal Management Board* and Consortium Meetings**, the URBAN-EU-CHINA Advisory Board met for the first time. The Advisory Board consists of distinguished personalities*** from key organisations dealing with urbanisation and international and EU-CHINA collaboration. The Advisory board helps to achieve the project’s objectives by providing insight into current developments in terms of strategies, feedback to URBAN-EU-CHINA activities and by bridging URBAN-EU-CHINA’s work to the advisory board member’s organisation. The board is chaired by Prof. Manfred Horvat (NTNU).
Besides giving important feedback on key deliverables of URBAN-EU-CHINA, the Advisory Board was invited to join an urban foresight workshop under the lead of ISINOVA. Together with the consortium partners, critical uncertainties and drivers for urbanisation processes in China and Europe were discussed. A central outcome of the discussion was that the drivers determining the dynamics in urbanisation are not independent but highly interconnected. For example, demographics, costs of labor, pollution but also finance, public debt and taxation policy are influencing the pace and dynamics of urbanisation processes.
As urbanisation processes are very different in a Chinese and European context, one key question is how a project like URBAN-EU-CHINA can contribute to meaningful collaborations in different settings to support sustainable development. Although the framework conditions between EU and China are indeed different, the participants in the workshop agreed that there is a great added value in exchange, capacity building and learning across continents.
Additionally, the Advisory Board and the URBAN-EU-CHINA consortium partners exchanged on the importance of global, regional and national urbanisation strategies in the scope of achieving UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and for implementing UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda. Important approaches for the ambitions are to contribute to the global strategies on a city scale, translate these requirements and suggestions into the local level and contribute to sustainable (urban) development.
The Urban Foresight Workshop was a very good forum to exchange on different perspectives, policies and strategies between members of the Advisory Board and the URBAN-EU-CHINA consortium. It brought important insight for the future orientation of URBAN-EU-CHINA activities. We are looking forward to the next URBAN-EU-CHINA event cluster meeting including meetings of the advisory board, consortium, management board and other activities to which we our stakeholders will be invited.
* Participants at the MB-meeting: Annemie Wyckmans, Nikolaos Kontinakis, Andrea Ricci, Zhang Jinjing, Michelle Shao, Kevin Gao, Otthein Herzog, Andreas Otto, Johannes Riegler, Hans-Martin Neumann, Manfred Horvat, Tone W. Alstadheim and Wang Yu.
** Participants at the Consortium-meeting: Annemie Wyckmans, Manfred Horvat, Tone W. Alstadheim, Wang Yu, Pål Aune, Siri M. L. Joli, Nikolaos Kontinakis, Andrea Ricci, Loredana Marmora, Zhang Jinjing, Michelle Shao, Kevin Gao, Otthein Herzog, Cao Buyang, Andreas Otto, Xie Xiaoping, Johannes Riegler, Hans-Martin Neumann and Florence Castel. In addition, Diego Sammaritano was present as a guest during the morning session.
*** Advisory Board members present in the meeting: Manfred Horvat (NTNU), Massimo Bagnasco (Progetto CMR, Architectural Design Consultants Co, Beijing), Bruno Dercon (UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific), Victor Gancel (Climate-KIC), Shuwen Zhou (UNDP China), Margit Noll (JPI Urban Europe), Simon Spooner (ATKINS), Jan Wurm (ARUP), Jean Van Vanweydeveld (AEIDL European Association for Information on Local Development) and Annemie Wyckmans (NTNU)