Creating an EU-China Innovation Platform on Sustainable Urbanisation is complex and cross-sectoral by nature, aiming to engage policy makers, national authorities, industries, cities, academia, civil society and other stakeholders in order to create more sustainable cities. In URBAN-EU-CHINA, 12 experienced European and Chinese consortium partners from across the sustainable urbanisation value chain join forces to support the European Commission in its aim to make EU-China sustainable urbanisation cooperation more accessible, attractive, and rewarding for a broader set of stakeholders.
The key barrier addressed by URBAN-EU-CHINA is the disconnect between strategic visions and targets and operational realities of time/resource constraints, language and cultural barriers, differences in planning/policy/ governance framework conditions within European and Chinese cities, and lack of effective bi-directional transmission mechanisms of transferable planning and policy instruments for sustainable urbanisation.
The key expected impact of URBAN-EU-CHINA is to develop a robust, evidence-driven bottom-up approach to complement the existing top-down EU-China strategic approach to sustainable urbanisation. This will be accomplished via a coordinated series of actions including: a strategic R&I agenda, scoping and assessment, networking events, peer-to-peer exchanges, bench-marking and monitoring, and joint demonstration projects. By creating tighter coupling between city-level, national, and supra-national programmes, planning, policies, and projects, URBAN-EU-CHINA will yield a significant increase in cooperative EU-CHINA R&I activities.
As URBAN-EU-CHINA Innovation Platform, we will:
- Promote and develop Joint Policy Strategies for EU-China cooperation on sustainable urbanisation, by:
- Developing a Strategic R&I Agenda as a methodical, robust, and long-term frame of reference for innovative urban entrepreneurs from EU and China to test solutions, invest in cooperation, and become first movers in their respective fields;
- Supporting better alignment of bilateral funding and cooperation instruments and resources;
- Create a Nursery of Joint Projects, from a broad range of low-threshold to a few high-performance projects, by:
- Creating a more efficient, productive, accessible, and predictable stream of cooperative innovation projects and initiatives, in contrast to the current manifold but fragmented landscape;
- Developing a critical mass of EU and Chinese cities cooperating with each other on urban innovation, sustainability, and quality. Cooperation processes and actual impacts will be documented and monitored to facilitate rapid learning, favourable investment and entrepreneurship conditions, and a large experience base for replication in other cities;
- Promote Brokerage of City-Industry-Science Partnerships using virtual and face to face meeting places, by:
- Lowering the threshold for new as well as experienced stakeholders to get mobilised and engaged in EU- China cooperation on sustainable urbanisation;
- Promoting more extensive involvement of stakeholders from, and more linkages between, cities and regions, research, industry, and civil society;
- Manage the Platform, its Stakeholders and Advisory Board effectively and inclusively, ensuring to:
- Achieve project objectives as outlined in the proposal within the planned timeframe and the allocated budget, and delivering results of high quality;
- Practice smooth communication between the Consortium and the European Commission, and with other relevant initiatives and clusters.