China needs ‘a new type of urbanisation’ and ‘deeper exchange with Europe on urban planning, urban design and sustainable transport’ said Premier Li Keqiang at the China-EU Forum on Urbanisation held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in November. Vincent Nadin, Lily Li and others attended the Forum on behalf of the TU Delft-South China University Joint Research Centre on Urban Systems. Manuel Barroso President of the European Commission, drew attention to the key challenge for Europe of ‘urban planning’ in managing the territorial impacts of economic restructuring. Similar statements were made by numerous Chinese ministers, EU Commissioners (including Johannes Hahn of Regional Policy), local government and business leaders. Seldom has town planning been so central to the agenda of political leaders. Not surprisingly,┬ámost presentations were promotional, with cities and businesses boasting about their achievements in achieving more sustainable development, and very little critical analysis of the lack of progress and recognition of the urgent need for better territorial management. Nevertheless, the Forum helped to ensure that urbanism, spatial planning and urban design continue to figure on the agenda of key leaders – and from this there will more opportunities for collaborative research and practice projects over coming years.

Li Keqiang addresses the EU-China Forum on Urbanisation 2013

Li Keqiang addresses the EU-China Forum on Urbanisation 2013

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