The speed and scale of urban development in China is a phenomenon unprecedented in human history. On 12 January 2012, China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced that the Chinese urbanisation level crossed the highly symbolic 50% threshold during the previous year. This mega-trend is far from over: according to some estimates, 350 million people will be added to China’s urban population by 2030.
This is both a major challenge and a unique opportunity, echoing the strategic objectives of economic rebalancing and a more qualitative, smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Managing the challenges of urbanisation is a key task if we move towards a "green growth" strategy, stressing the importance of efficient use of resources and protection of the environment while ensuring economic growth.
Prolonging Shanghai Expo’s “Better City Better Life” spirit for the years to come, the China-EU partnership on Sustainable Urbanisation offers a natural framework for concerted actions.
The central event of the Partnership is the EU-China Urbanisation Partnership Forum. It took place back-to-back with the EU-China Summit, this year on 29 June at the European Commission's Headquarters, the Berlaymont building in Brussels.
The event was structured around two axes:
- A half day Plenary Session in the afternoon, including a 45-minute highlight at which EU and China leaders are expected to attend . This takes place at the Committee of the Regions Building.
- High-level thematic conferences in the morning, at the Berlaymont building, dealing with:
• Smart Cities
• Sustainable Urban Mobility
• Climate Change and Covenant of Mayors
• EU-China Forum on Sustainable Cities