Three experts from the IUC Asia team and the pilot city of Rome participated at the EU-China Smart Sustainable Cities workshop organised in Brussels by the EU Project Urban-EU China. The event – hosted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) – took place on 17 December 2019 and gathered around 40 actors from China and Europe involved in the EU-China cooperation on sustainable urban development. The Chinese NDRC was represented by Ms. ZHOU Nan, Deputy Director-General from the Department of Planning and Strategy, who explained the importance of balanced urban-rural development. Chinese delegates included several experts from China’s Centre for Urban Development (CCUD). Representatives from the European side included EU institutions (EU Commission’s DG RTD and DG REGIO), the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) on Urban Europe, EuroCities, the TU Vienna and the City of Utrecht. Several projects were showcased including the H2020 NBS Project REGREEN and the upcoming EIT KIC China Hub.
Roel Massink from the City of Utrecht explained the city’s development strategy focusing on mobility. Utrecht is leading the EC funded IRIS Smart Cities Project, which also involves Nice, an IUC Asia pilot city. Roel introduced some interventions in retrofitting energy buildings, establishing an eVehicle-to-grid charging system and digital transformation (smart city information system). He encouraged cities development authorities to involve citizens through participatory planning processes and to create an urban innovation broker.
Pablo Gándara from the IUC Asia team, as well as Prof. Flavio Rosa and Dr. Patrick Maurelli from La Sapienza University in Rome, shared concrete experiences of the city-to-city cooperation. In workgroup meetings, experts elaborated important recommendations for future implementation schemes. Professor Rossa was invited to join the project’s debriefing meeting on 18 December 2019, in which he explained in depth the cooperation approach with China and the expected results.
For more information, please refer to the URBAN EU CHINA PROJECT WEBSITE.