Bari and Guangzhou Met to Explore Further Partnership and Cooperation

Categorized as News from China

On March 14th, 2023, Bari (Italy) and Guangzhou Development District (China) held a working session to discuss potential cooperation opportunities in urban development and social innovation. The two cities have been twinned since 1986 and are firmly committed to strengthening this partnership within the framework of IURC

The session brought together officials and experts from Bari and Guangzhou, who shared respective experiences and insights on sustainable urban development and social innovation. Bari presented the city´s best practices in urban regeneration, smart sustainable transport, and Bari Open Innovation Center initiatives; GDD presented their experiences in developing an innovative and liveable city.

One of the key areas of discussion was the development of urban infrastructure and the improvement of liveability in the two cities. Bari introduced the “Waterfront Area Revitalization” project, which aims to improve access to coastal areas by creating multifunctional spaces, building sports fields and green open spaces, and integrating green and blue infrastructure; GDD shared their experience in developing the Guangzhou Science City, which focuses on innovation in areas such as biomedicine, renewable energy, and environmental protection.

Furthermore, Bari shared “Tactical Urban Planning” initiative, which aims to use low-cost and innovative intervention measures to improve public space functionality and liveability, at the same time promoting sustainable transportation and enhancing community participation and social cohesion; GDD expressed interest in collaborating with Bari and potentially adapting some of the tactical urban planning strategies to the “Pocket Park” development.

Regarding SME accelerating,  Bari shared the good practice of the ” Open Innovation Center” project, which focuses on fostering creativity and entrepreneurship in the city. The project includes a variety of facilities, such as an enterprise incubator, a one-stop service center, and an innovation workshop, and aims to promote the development of green technologies and support start-ups and SMEs; GDD shared initiatives to accelerate the growth of SMEs including providing financial support, building innovation hubs, offering training and mentorship programs, promoting internationalization, and reducing administrative burdens.

Lastly, the session also touched on the topic of smart and sustainable transportation, underlining autonomous vehicles and urban air mobility (UAM). Bari shared experience in testing autonomous vehicles and integrate 5G technology into the city´s intelligent transportation system; GDD introduced the smart transport system, highlighting the self-driving public bus route and projects to develop autonomous vehicles UAM systems.

The working session between Bari and Guangzhou Development District was a productive exchange of ideas and experiences in urban development and innovation. Both parties expressed interest in further exploring potential partnership opportunities and exchanging best practices to enhance sustainable development and innovation capabilities in areas such as smart mobility, tactical urban planning, agri-food supply, and SME acceleration. The IURC team will continue to engage in follow-up with each city to consolidate the pilot areas.