Tailor-made solutions for Sustainability in China: International Conference on the Megacities of Tomorrow in Shanghai


Amid the efforts of the Chinese central government to develop sustainable, ecological and low carbon cities, urban planners and designers are facing the challenge to find the right design to support the visions set. On Thursday, August 31st, more than 300 city planners, architects, scientists and researchers interested in the topics of low carbon cities, energy efficient buildings, transport planning and renewable energy utilization came together in Shanghai to discuss which tools and instruments can ease this complex task.

The conference “Urban Strategies against Climate Change: Eco-City, Low Carbon City or Green City?” was organized by econet china | German Industry & Commerce as the closing event of the 5-year research project “Megacities”, conducted by the Institute of City Planning and Urban Design of the University of Duisburg-Essen and financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education & Research (BMBF). The event presented the findings and practical results of the project: the Low Carbon Index (LCI), a practical instrument developed to facilitate the planning of new cities and districts as well as the Energy Efficiency Controller, a monitoring tool helping to check whether objectives set for carbon emissions have been reached.

As the organizer of the conference, econet china brought together the stakeholders of various initiatives and ongoing research projects to share an overview of the current developments in China – eco-cities, low carbon development zones, green cities - as well as the challenges they face. City planners, architects, scientists and researchers attended the conference at the Shanghai Knowledge Innovation Center (KIC), giving them a chance to jointly discuss the chances and challenges experienced while planning for urban strategies against global climate change, to present their experiences and work out synergies for cooperation. The questions and issues were approached in three moderated panels, discussing tools, indicators and rating systems developed by the research sphere, the challenges along the planning and decision making process as seen by planners as well as the financing, implementation and monitoring from the perspective of cities, authorities and developers.

            Han Aixing, MOHURD                            Stefan Moebs, German Consulate

          Prof.Alexander Schmidt                                              VIP Panelists
       University of Duisburg-Essen         

Panelists and Participants stressed the need to find solutions tailored and adapted to China’s own characteristics and the various local conditions, its speed of economic development and rapid urbanization. These solutions will have to incorporate both the need for sustainable development as well as the wish of the Chinese people to benefit from higher living standards. The discussions therefore emphasized the education and strong involvement of local communities in order to build capacities, increase the awareness and support of the public and create sustainable cities according to the needs of the individuals living there. Only then, the participants found, can China’s future cities be planned and implemented according to the requirements of energy efficiency and low carbon emissions. To fulfill these requirements, the density of new and existing cities will have to be increased, integrating residential, working and leisure areas in order to reduce the need for transportation.

                                                Panel Discussion

Here, best practices and the experience from German communities can give inspiration to China. Han Aixing, Deputy Director General of the Department of Building, Energy Efficiency and Technology of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, stressed, China had undergone great efforts to further its achievements in low carbon development. In the past, the analysis had mainly been directed at single buildings – in the future, China would have to focus on entire areas. As the leading country in energy efficient building, having developed many projects with zero emissions and passive house standards, Germany could set an example. For China, Han Aixing remarked in his closing statement of the conference, the time had come not only to talk about low carbon development, but to let its actions speak.

You can download the Cooperative Project Shanghai: Integrated Approaches Towards a Sustainable and Energy-Efficiency Urban Development: Urban Form, Mobility, Housing & Living - Prof. Alexander Schmidt - Institute of City Planning and Urban Design, University of Duisburg-Essen

Here are the presentations of speakers:

Introduction of the Conference and Project - Prof. Alexander Schmidt - Institute of City Planning and Urban Design, University of Duisburg-Essen

China's Low Carbon Urban Development - XIE Pengfei - Chinese Society for Urban Studies

Low Carbon Index LCI - Prof. Alexander Schmidt - Institute of City Planning and Urban Design, University of Duisburg-Essen

Low Carbon Economy in Cities in China - Prof. Hans-Peter Leimer -BBS International Ltd., Abstract of the presentation

KPIs for Energy Planning in Low-carbon eco-community - Prof. LONG Weiding - Tongji University

Implementation of Low Carbon and Control of the Carbon Emission of Shanghai Lingang New Town - Prof. XU Peng - Tongji University

Experiences in China’s eco-city planning (part 1)part 2 - Johannes Dell - AS&P - Architects Consulting (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.

EcoCity Projects in Practice - Challenges & Success Factors - Christian Junge - RHEINSCHIENE architects, Ltd. (Beijing)

Where is the way to Green City? - YANG Ming - East China Architectural Design and Research Institute Co., Ltd.

Affordable Sustainability for City Planning - QIAN Yingchu - Faithful+Gould, Atkins Group 

Principles Green Cities - Falk Kagelmacher - Independent Advisor, Consultant and Researcher

“Energy Efficiency Controller”, Monitoring tool for low carbon city planning - Prof. Jörg Schönharting - TRC Transportation Research Consultant GmbH

BAZO's Urban Development Advisory Projects - ZHENG Xiaoping - BAZO Group

Low Carbon and Knowledge Community Building - David NIEH - Shui On Land

Sustainable Urban Development Program - Dr. Volkmar Hasse - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

For more information on the conference please contact:
Ms. Lu Wei – Marketing Manager, econet china - German Industry and Commerce Greater China
Tel: + 86 21 5081 22 66 ext 1690, Email: lu.wei@econet-china.com

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