It’s that time of year again! 2022 has been a year of achievements. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to IURC China pilot cities and regions, stakeholders and supporters from Europe and China! IURC China 2022 has a great start through networking events. We’ve had fruitful study visits (on-site and online) and informative meetings with all IURC China pilot cities and regions. We overcame the restrictions of the pandemic, and although we cannot have official delegations in the same way we planned – but we’ve made up for it with incredible contributions from every IURC stakeholder.
2022 has been a busy and productive year. The last few months have been a time of gaining momentum and getting the delegation’s visits ready. As we look to the year 2023, this will be when the programme comes up to full speed!
A Brief Retrospect of 2022
At the end of 2022, the COVID restriction was lifted in China, which will significantly facilitate cross-border travel, international exchange, and cooperation. – the latest IURC China exchange is December’s meeting and study visit between Lazio region and Zhengzhou. This visit was held as a hybrid event, with the IURC China team travelling to the Lazio region to visit stakeholders in person and the pilot project on-site.
In 2022, although with the impact of COVID, IURC China endeavoured to facilitate very interactive online and hybrid activities, including the IURC Annual Event, with the European delegates physically being there and exchanging with other pilot cities and regions. The events in 2022 are informative and productive. We greatly thank every urban and regional representative for their commitment, passion, and creativity.
January 20 – IURC China Introductory Event
More than 13 Chinese IURC pilot cities participated in this IURC China program orientation session. Four IUC (first phase of IURC) pilot cities, Wuhan, Chongqing, Zhengzhou, Liuzhou and Yangzhou, shared their good practices and added value to the urban agenda through EU-China urban cooperation.
January 26 – IURC China Networking Event
35 cities and regions from the EU and China participated to share their vision and solutions, to understand their expectations and resources for successful cooperation, and to learn from the experience and good practices in EU-China urban and regional cooperation.
European urban and regional stakeholders gathered to learn about the challenges faced and innovative strategies implemented in the Chinese tourism industry. The training helps the EU cities and regions deepen their understanding of China’s social, economic and ecological context and transfer the knowledge to the EU-China city and regional cooperation.
This thematic cluster working session shared experiences of cities and regions achieving green and digital transformation and resilience of the tourism & culture sector and discussed how EU-China cooperation could help them to reach the goals.
The cluster working group meeting on Education, Jobs, Skills and Innovation centres with a specific focus on the field of Digital Integrated Urban Design continued to facilitate the cooperation between the city of Yangzhou and Rome (IUC phase, Lazio in IURC phase) by sharing solutions and learning from each other through cross-cultural academic cooperation.
The thematic working session shared innovative solutions to enhance the effectiveness of development efforts with nature-based solutions and circular economy transition in cities and regions. Over 70 representatives from 23 European and Chinese cities and regions attended the webinar, ready to work together on nature-based solutions and circular economy.
The delegates from Region Valencia and Chengdu met and discussed the latest evidence in the region Valencia and Chengdu on effective ways to adapt creativity and design to enhance the competitiveness and profitability of cities, highlighting design as a bridge between society and the environment and as a driving factor in the industry transition.
IURC – China teamed up with EU SME Centre and co-organized a training session for an overview of the key elements and main directions of China’s green transition efforts, particularly focusing on the areas of interest for EU businesses. It also provided an overview of the main market entry strategies that the European business –in particular, SMEs – can pursue in China.
Delegates from more than 20 European and Chinese cities and regions, together with industry leaders and research institutions, joined the webinar, shared practical experiences on green and digital transformation in technology and industry, and discussed the potential for industrial partnership through IURC China.
14 European and Chinese regions committed to transforming their economies and societies through further developing their strategic policy framework for innovation, industrialisation, sustainability, and social development participated in the webinar. Delegates of Yangzhou, Region of West Greece, Haikou, Region of South Bohemia and Suzhou shared their positive experiences with smart specialisation strategies.
The online training session helped the Chinese urban and regional stakeholders to understand the design and implementation process of the European Regional Innovation policies.
June 23 – Zoom-in Europe Series (II) | Sustainable Agriculture and Agri-food System in the EU
The training session helped the Chinese urban and regional stakeholders to understand the EU policies, e.g. Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the Rural Development Policy and the Farm to Fork Strategy under the European Green Deal, highlighting the practice of urban agriculture in the EU.
More than 15 cities and regions, including public sector representatives, research institutions, social organisations, and business leaders, joined the webinar. The webinar focused on policies, knowledge and innovative solutions in the agriculture sector, aiming to share how cities and regions achieve a transition towards green, circular and bio-economy and resilient agri-food systems.
September 28 – IURC-China Cooperation Webinar | Education, Jobs & Skills
European and Chinese cities and regions shared best practices for competitiveness and innovation by enabling citizens through quality and inclusive education, training and lifelong learning. The webinar focused on cooperation opportunities in research & development, vocational education & training, and entrepreneurship & innovation.
Delegates from Zhengzhou City (China) and Lazio region (Italy) exchanged experiences and shared regulatory and technical knowledge, identified potential pilot projects focusing on food safety, urban and peri-urban agriculture, organic farming, and circularity in agriculture, aiming for resilience and responsiveness in the agri-food system.
October 26 – IURC China Cooperation Webinar | Urban Planning and Design for Inclusive, Productive, Sustainable and Resilient Cities (Part of the EU Climate Diplomacy Weeks 2022)
Cities of Stuttgart Urban Region, Suzhou, Ioannina and Haikou shared good practices on sustainability, productivity and resilience in urban planning and design. This webinar is a part of the activities in the EU Climate Diplomacy Weeks 2022.
October 28 – IURC China Cooperation Webinar | Urban Renewal and Renovation Wave (Part of the EU Climate Diplomacy Weeks 2022)
Cities of Santiago de Compostela, Bari, Zhengzhou, NCI of Bologna, Yangzhou, and Murcia shared their experience in innovative urban regeneration approaches using new technologies with cultural and ecological perspectives.
The follow-up meeting between the Lazio region (Italy) and Zhengzhou city (China) in Sustainable Agriculture and Agri-Food System
November 7-8 – IURC Regional Workshop and IURC Annual Event
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.
November 28-29 – IURC-China Team Visits Bari, Italy
The technical visits aimed at meeting the key mayor´s administration and technical staff, understanding the social and economic context related to the shared best practices and identifying the key cooperation areas. The visit started with a following up working session of Bari and Yangzhou on urban regeneration, tourism and culture.
December 13 – NCI Bologna and Yangzhou Working Session
The working session facilitated the development of university partnership between the two cities.
December 21-22 – IURC-China Team Visits Lazio Region, Italy
The technical visits aimed at meeting the key regional stakeholders and identifying the key cooperation areas in sustainable agriculture. The visit started with a working session of Lazio region and Zhengzhou and investigated the pilot project of the Capodarco organic social farm.
Looking Ahead to 2023
With our committed and passionate stakeholders in the European and Chinese cities and regions – we look ahead to 2023 with tremendous confidence. 2023 will be extremely important and call for team efforts from all the stakeholders. There will be concrete cooperation plan with allocated investment and resources. A wide range of on-site study visits, in-person meetings, and events will be implemented. The IURC China team endeavours to achieve the goals and jointly develop a greener, healthier, and smarter world.
Happy New Year, and see you in 2023!