Executive Summary

Creating an EU-China Innovation Platform on Sustainable Urbanisation is complex and cross-sectoral by nature, aiming to engage policymakers, 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 urbanization value chain join forces to support the European Commission in its aim to make EU-China sustainable urbanization 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 urbanization.

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 urbanization. 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, benchmarking 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 urbanization, by:

  • Developing a Strategic R&I Agenda as a methodical, robust, and long-term frame of reference for innovative urban entrepreneurs from EU and China to test solutions, invest in cooperation, and become first 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-performance projects, by:

  • Creating a more efficient, productive, accessible, and predictable stream of cooperative innovation projects 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. Processes of cooperation and actual impacts will be documented and monitored to facilitate rapid learning, favorable investment and conditions that facilitate or encourage entrepreneurship, and a large experience base for replication in other cities;