UrbaChina at the EU-China Mayors’ Forum – Brussels

In the framework of the recently established EU-China partnership on urbanisation, a major event was organized in Brussels on 19/20 September to launch the EU-China Mayors’ Forum. Several hundreds of mayors from both Regions attended the plenary sessions as well as the side events focusing  on specific themes.

Olivia Bina (1st person on the right) and Andrea Ricci (3rd person on the right) attending the EU-China Mayors’ Forum

The workshop on “Research for Sustainable Urbanisation – Turning Challenges into Opportunities” turned out to be the one attracting the largest participation. It featured URBACHINA as one of the three research initiatives of the EU dealing with urbanization issues (together with Urban Europe and the Smart City Platform), and the only EU-China joint research project in the field.

Andrea Ricci (ISIS) and Olivia Bina (ICS Lisbon), partners of UrbaChina, illustrated the main features of the project and its current advancement. They highlighted the interdisciplinary and historical as well as comparative and future-oriented approach to achieve the overall objectives of enhancing the common understanding of urbanisation trends in both China and Europe. More specifically, UrbaChina is expected to identify the main challenges and characteristics of urban sustainability in China’s rapidly changing context, combining perspectives from economics, political sciences, anthropology, sociology, geography and environmental sciences. The project seeks to engage policy-makers and society in discussing and exploring sustainability issues through strong dissemination strategies, and to strengthen the EU-China cooperation in the field of Socio-Economic Sciences and Humanities.

Ricci and Bina illustrated in some detail one aspect of the project, which aims to adopt the concept of “functional regions” as a geo-administrative analytical framework for thinking about sustainable urban development in China. They reported some preliminary comparative case study results of the concept’s application to the City of Huangshan and two city-regions in Europe, and highlighted issues linked to sprawl and lock-in due to urban design chocies.  The focus of UrbaChina on future-oriented scenario studies raised considerable interest from the audience, confirming that this line of joint investigation can also provide meaningful opportunities for cooperation between Europe and China.

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Cite this blog post
Sebastien Goulard (2012, December 6). UrbaChina at the EU-China Mayors’ Forum – Brussels. URBACHINA. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/v2aw

Sebastien Goulard

Ph.D. in political science (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in social sciences (EHESS, Paris); M.A. in international relations (IRIS, Paris), B.A. (Hons) in international political studies (ESE - Nottingham Trent University)

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