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Chinese Low-Carbon Eco-Cities Association: ICLEI enlarging its global network
November 14, 2012
For eco-cities worldwide, the most significant outcome of the Third China (Binhai Tianjin) International Eco-City Forum was the announcement of the formation of a Chinese Low-Carbon Eco-Cities Association and its affiliation with ICLEI and its global eco-cities network. The Forum was held in Tianjin, China’s third largest city.
ICLEI Secretary General Konrad Otto-Zimmermann and the Secretary General of the Preparatory Committee for the Chinese Low-Carbon Eco-Cities Association, Prof. Pan Jiahua, signed a Joint Statement whereby the partners will establish a platform for exchange between Chinese and foreign eco-cities on their policy approaches, solutions, achievements and experiences.
As the new growth pole for the economy of China, the Tianjin Binhai New Area has the ambition to become an eco-city. It consists of nine functional districts, among which Tianjin Eco-City is the highlight district in the field of eco-city development.
Tianjin Eco-City is a collaborative agreement between the governments of China and Singapore to jointly develop a socially harmonious, environmentally friendly and resource-conserving city in China. Designed to be practical, replicable and scalable, the Tianjin Eco-city will demonstrate the determination of both countries in tackling environmental protection, resource and energy conservation, and sustainable development, and serve as a model for sustainable development for other cities in China. The experiences gained through the concept development, master planning and development of the first areas of the Eco-City in the Binhai District of Tianjin suggest that Tianjin Eco-City should share its learnings and experiences with other Chinese cities that have the ambition of becoming an eco-city. The Tianjin Binhai New Area has therefore invited other eco-cities to jointly form a Chinese Eco-Cities Association.
Mayors, Vice Mayors and Executives of Harbin, Hohhot, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Xi’an, Tianjin Binhai New Area as well as representatives from Singapore, Santander (Spain), Lahti and Turku (Finland) and Portland, Oregon (USA) participated in the Forum.
Mr Li Xun, Secretary General of the Chinese Society for Urban Studies (CSUS) highlighted the need for a platform for an inter-city exchange to promote eco-civilization.
Mr Tang Kai, Chief Planner of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD), described an eco-city as combining nature, buildings and people. He welcomed the creation of the Chinese Low-Carbon Eco-Cities Association as a much needed platform for exchange.
Prof Pan Jiahua underlined the value for Chinese cities of a mechanism for an exchange with ICLEI’s global network.
Mr Zhen Sun from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) emphasized that a fast process is needed to reach the ultimate outcome of eco-city development. “Not only countries should compete, but also eco-city development should be a competitive race”, he said. Cities should not only implement national policies but participate in policy-making and contribute to innovation.
The Third China (Binhai Tianjin) Eco-City Forum was held in Tianjin, China on 21-22 September 2012. It was organized by the People’s Government of Tianjin Binhai New Area with support from ICLEI –Local Governments for Sustainability, UNEP, WWF and a number of Chinese organizations.
In a keynote presentation at the opening plenary session, ICLEI Secretary General Konrad Otto-Zimmermann gave an overview of the eco-city development worldwide.