The Brussels Roundtable Focused China’s Cities of Tomorrow - 中欧社会论坛 - China Europa Forum

The Brussels Roundtable Focused China’s Cities of Tomorrow

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March 8, 2012

On March 8, some 40 senior experts on the topic of urbanization, representing a wide range of stakeholders including European and China policymakers, as well as business and civil society representatives gathered in Brussels for a roundtable entitled “Greening China’s Cities of Tomorrow” which was co-organized by Friends of Europe, Eurochambres and China-Europa Forum, and co-funded by the European Commission.

The compelling and proactive debate provided opportunity to explore China’s urban transition, identify main problems it brings and draw policy implications for sustainable urban planning and development.

As the growth of China’s urban population continues increasing by 8-10% a year, a wide range of issues face Chinese policymakers, explained Li Tie, Director General of the China Centre for Urban Development of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China, at this Understanding China roundtable discussion.

High on this list of challenges are the questions of energy efficiency and sustainable urban infrastructure as well as a highly centralised city administration system. “Chinese cities are not very autonomous,” offered Li, “and we recognise the tremendous number of reforms to be undertaken. We are making progress but cannot ignore the challenges we face.”

The 2010 Shanghai Expo’s slogan of “Better City, Better Life” is more than just a slogan but a call for credible action, proclaimed Wu Hailong, Ambassador and Head of the Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the EU. “The Chinese people and government are serious about our goal to increase urban growth while improving the quality of life for China’s urban population,” he explained.

The EU’s expertise in urban development will be invaluable in China’s urbanisation plans, which will concentrate on four aspects of urban growth: streamlining urban agglomerations, improving the process of rural-to-urban migration, building sustainable urban infrastructure, and developing better practices in city management.

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Group Photo after the March 8 Roundtable in Brussels

From Left to Right, Prof. ZHAN Qingming (Associate Dean, School of Urban Design, Wuhan University), Prof. CHEN Shuo (Deputy Director, Fuzhou Planning and Design Institue), Dr. CHEN Yan (Executive President of China Europa Forum), Ms. YAN Min (Coordinator of China Europa Forum in Brussels), Mr. LI Tie (Director, China Center for Urban Development, NDRC)

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