Project: EU-China Innovation Platform on Sustainable Urbanisation

Executive Summary

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:

1.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 forinnovative urban entrepreneurs from EU and China to test solutions, invest in cooperation, and becomefirst movers in their respective fields;
  • Supporting better alignment of bilateral funding and cooperation instruments and resources;

2.Create a Nursery of Joint Projects, from a broad range of low-threshold to a few high-performanceprojects, by:

  • Creating a more efficient, productive, accessible, and predictable stream of cooperative innovationprojects 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 andmonitored to facilitate rapid learning, favourable investment and entrepreneurship conditions, and alarge experience base for replication in other cities;