Preface - 中欧社会论坛 - China Europa Forum


Twenty years have passed since the concept of Sustainable Development was collectively adopted in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit. From then on, debates and experimental practices around on the theme of sustainable cities have never ceased.

After 50 years of development, European cities have accumulated a vast pool of experiences from which later more recently urbanised societies have the possibility of drawing from the most successful lessons and avoiding the repeated failures. The speed and scale of urban development in China is one of the most significant social phenomena of this century. Some features of this development are very similar to those which occurred in post-war Europe. However, the issues and problems they are facing today are radically different, especially in the backdrop of globalisation of trade, resource scarcity, the fragility of the biosphere and the increasing interdependence of societies.

How do people perceive the concept of sustainability in China and Europe? How do they think about urban development? What are the models and best practices that determine urban planners and decision makers? What can be done to build greener and cleaner cities of tomorrow? …

All the above issues have been top concerns of the China-Europa Forum since its initiation in 2005. Nine workshops related to City, Territory and Sustainable Development were established one after another. With years of dialogue and exchange, city stakeholders of Chinese and European societies have fostered mutual understanding and taken steps to respond to common challenges.

The EU-China partnership on sustainable urbanisation was formally announced at the 14th EU-China Summit held in Beijing on 14th February 2012. The new political entity aims to bring together all stakeholders from the two sides to address common challenges resulted from urbanisation.

Researchers are well aware that the continued dialogue and collaborations between Chinese and European societies in this respect is crucial for the success of the new partnership and the enhancement in the long run of the “interconnected” relations between the EU and China.