IURC Annual Event Brings IURC-China Cities and Regions Closer Together towards Cooperative Leadership

Categorized as News from China

On the 7th and 8th of November, IURC-China city and region representatives met in Brussels at the IURC Annual Event 2022. The delegates exchanged their urban/regional development experiences, found solutions to common challenges, and envisioned joint actions.

IURC Regional Workshop

On 7th November, more than 50 delegates from Europe, China, India, Southeast Asia, New Zealand and Australia participated in the IURC Asia and Australasia Regional Workshop as a precursor to the IURC Annual Event 2022. The workshop aimed at creating synergies among EU and non-EU cities and providing direct feedback on the implementation of the IURC programme.

Welcome and Introduction 

Pablo Gandara, Team Leader of the IURC-AA, kicked off and gave an introduction to the afternoon programme of collaborative learning across Europe and Asia & Australasia. Ronald Hall, Senior adviser to the Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy, set the scene for the workshop by providing context around the IURC in the region, encouraging win-win collaboration, and creating implementable solutions to urban and regional challenges. WANG Qian, the team leader of IURC-China, greeted the delegates, highlighting the past year’s achievements and wishing for a successful exchange of hands-on experiences.

Roundtable Discussion

The delegates introduced their represented cities and regions and the cooperation areas. They contributed to sustainable thinking, networking and problem-solving within the IURC, shared the planning of the concrete further steps and envisioned the added value of IURC to the local urban agenda and SDGs. They highlighted the role of IURC as city and regional diplomacy and collaborative efforts to overcome common challenges in urban development and regional innovation.

Interactive Workshop

The delegates entered break-out rooms in three IURC thematic networks: Circular City (circular economy and agri-food system), Smart City (digital innovation), and Green City (nature-based solution and urban infrastructure). They shared ideas on how to make use of international urban/regional cooperation to leverage the solutions to their challenges by involving relevant stakeholders (triple-helix), and co-created problem-solution trees exploring how to achieve concrete results based on hands-on examples. The workshops were facilitated by the IURC cluster managers. Sebastien Goethals (IURC expert on urban planning and transport) and Keru Feng (IURC China team) moderated the Green City workshop, identifying local innovative solutions to address current urban issues and main joint challenges.

The three thematic networks presented the result of the discussion and shared invigorating insights.

Thanks to all the amazing delegates for making such a fruitful exchange happen!

IURC Global Annual Event

On 8th November, thanks to the European Commission, the UN-Habitat and all of IURC cities and regions worldwide, the IURC Annual Event created a very inspiring and vibrant network – from agriculture to urban regeneration – the Annual Event achieved a fruitful exchange of transferable actions.  Representatives from more than 100 cities/regions in the EU, China, North America, Latin America, Asia and Australia and their stakeholders participated in the annual event.

Mr. Normunds Popens, Deputy Director General for DG REGIO in the European Commission, gave a welcome speech. He emphasised that IURC brings cities and regions together to show collaborative leadership in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda (NUA). This is a message of the EU’s engagement in global and multilateral affairs through regional cooperation.

Mr. Frederic Saliez from UN-Habitat called for joint actions towards the UN’s 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals from local practice to the world. He highlighted the EU´s commitment to advance the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda.

Mr. Roland Hall, Senior Advisor to the European Commission’s DG REGIO, reviewed the EU’s policy dialogue and cooperation with other countries, particularly China. He called on all of us to prioritise international cooperation and the New Urban Agenda as the core to guide urban development and regional innovation, to create and exchange best practices, and to achieve win-win situations.

More than 100 Chinese participants joined the Annual Event on-site and online.

Mr. LI Ping, Deputy Director General of the Department of Regional Economy of the National Development and Reform Commission of China, delivered a speech. He highlighted that under the mechanism of China-EU regional policy cooperation, China-EU partner cities and regions have overcome the impact of the pandemic, and actively explored approaches to the collaboration in multiple areas. He called on the Chinese and European participating cities and regions to cooperate actively on green development, economic and trade cooperation, digital economy and sustainable urban development.

Source: NDRC

In the panel discussion, cities and regions shared their strengths, challenges, solutions and action plans for cooperation on the three thematic networks: Ecological Transition, Urban and Regional Renewal, and Innovation Ecosystem. As one of the representatives of IURC China regional cooperation, Lazio Region shared the joint action plan with Zhengzhou in the field of organic agriculture and safe food supply chain. The cooperation action plan received extensive recognition from the audience.

The annual event built a strong sense of community through the resilient and long-lasting network. By way of sharing good practices, know-how and tools, the IURC community strengthened the strategic sectors for a sustainable and resilient future.

Courtesy of the delegates from Zhengzhou, Lazio Region, Bari, Ioannina, Region of WesternGreece, Sisak Moslavina County, Bielsko Biala, Murcia, Fuenlabrada, Valencia Region, Alentejo Region, Barcelona and Sofia at the forefront of EU-China cooperation for sharing long-term visions and empowering collaborative leadership!

The presentation materials for the IURC Annual Event can be downloaded here.
For more information on the IURC Annual Event 2022, please refer to the news release from the Central Coordination.