On 16 to 17, November, 2020, the Fourth High-Level International Forum on Sustainable Urban Development and Belt and Road Sustainable Cities Alliance Roundtable were successfully held in Chengdu, hosted by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), China Center for Urban Development (CCUD), and Chengdu Municipal People’s Government, P.R. China.
The forum was guided by National Development and Reform Commission, P.R. China (NDRC), and supported by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, Energy Foundation China, and United Cities and Local Governments Asia-Pacific. Participants include leaders from the Thirteenth CPPCC National Committee, NDRC, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, and Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Chinese and foreign cities, international institutions, renowned scholars, and representatives of multinational enterprises. With the theme of " Promoting High-quality Sustainable Development for Open and Sharing Cities of the Future", and the approach of "Chengdu Main Venue + Online Cloud Venue", the forum invited participants to exchange the new demands for sustainable development of future cities under the new circumstance, discuss new models and paths for cities to achieve sustainable development in terms of economic growth, social development, resource utilization and environmental protection, share the latest ideas and best practices of sustainable development of global cities, and build a platform for communication among governments, cities and enterprises.
Mr. Wang Fengchao, Deputy Secretary of CPC Chengdu Municipal Committee & Mayor of Chengdu Municipality Extended Warm Congratulations
At the opening ceremony on 16, November, Mr. Wang Fengchao, Deputy Secretary of CPC Chengdu Municipal Committee & Mayor of Chengdu Municipality, P. R. China, delivered a welcome speech. Mr. Su Wei, Deputy Secretary General of the NDRC, and Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN-Habitat, made opening remarks. Mr. Shi Yulong, Director General of the CCUD, moderated the opening ceremony.
On behalf of the Chengdu Municipal People’s Government, Mr. Wang Fengchao extended warm congratulations to the forum. He said that in recent years, Chengdu has deeply engaged in the development of "Belt and Road Initiative", highlighting its sustainable feature of ecology, high quality, people-orientation and resilience, and focusing on the natural and orderly urban growth. These efforts contributed to the exploration of a new era of urban transformation and development paths, and opening a new chapter of sustainable urban development. Chengdu city sincerely expects to strengthen the exchanges and cooperation with international partners to explore new models of sustainable urban development, looks forward to deepening the economic and trade exchanges with the rest of the world to innovate new paths of sustainable urban development, and stays eager to share development opportunities with all sectors of society, and jointly promote the high quality transformation of ecological value, so that urban development and progress can create more value and benefit to the people.
Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat delivered an Opening Remark
Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat, delivered an opening remark via video message. She stated that “UN-Habitat are looking forward to continue the collaboration with the Government of China, where we want to see more urban SDGs being accomplished during this Decade of Action. China ability to contain the Pandemic allows it to reinforce its endeavours, with all stakeholders, towards the goal of healthy cities. At the same time, she called upon the Chinese government and the UN-Habitat to work together to pursue high-quality, sustainable urban development and to build open and shared cities of the future.
Mr. Shi Yulong, Director General of the CCUD, pointed out that the forum was held after China has achieved significant strategic progress in fighting against COVID-19. This brought a huge impact on the stable development of global economy and society. At this critical moment, it is particularly important to focus on the city where the progress of human civilization has been achieved and to discuss the way to sustainable development of human society. On the premise of ensuring the safety of the prevention and control of the pandemic, the forum was decided to be held online joint with offline, reflecting the sincere desire to adhere to principles of openness, cooperation and sharing, and to promote the sustainable development of global cities.
After the opening ceremony, Mr. Yang Weimin, Member of Standing Committee of the Thirteenth CPPCC, and Deputy Director General of Subcommittee of Economy of CPPCC, and Mr. Edward Glaeser, Professor of Harvard University and a world-renowned urban economist, offered the keynote speeches on "Promoting High Quality Sustainable Development for Open and Shared Cities of the Future".
The Forum also included the Presentation on Garden City & Sustainable Development. During the presentation, Mr. Xie Ruiwu, Member of the Standing Committee of CPC Chengdu Municipal Committee & Executive Vice Mayor of Chengdu Municipality, shared with the guests the latest ideas and practical experience in building a Garden City demonstration area in Chengdu, elaborated on the strategy from Chengdu City of "How to Build a Modern City and What Kind of Modern City to Build" in new historical conditions, and shared great opportunities brought by the development of the Garden City demonstration area with domestic and foreign cities under the principles of openness and win-win cooperation.
UN-Habitat and CCUD selected Zunyi City, Guizhou Province as the third batch of International Pilot Cities Project on Sustainable Development.
On 17 November, the Belt and Road Sustainable Cities Alliance Roundtable was held under the theme of "Create A New Dual Development Pattern of Internal and External Circulations through Openness and Connectivity". Representatives from co-founders of the Belt and Road Sustainable Cities Alliance, including the UN-Habitat, WHO, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and Energy Foundation, together with mayors from international and domestic cities, engaged in discussions and best cases sharing, moderated by Mr. Wang Jinsong, Deputy Director General of CCUD. Four parallel sessions were successfully organized in the forum, which were Foster New Urban Growth Drivers with Innovation and Intelligent Technologies, Strengthen Cities’ Comprehensive Carrying Capacity through Coordination and Cooperation, Enhance Urban Resilience in Green and Healthy Approaches, and Improve Citizens’ Sense of Fulfilment through Sharing and Engagement. Mr. Zhang Zhenshan, UN-Habitat Programme Manager for China moderated the session of Innovation and Intelligent Technologies, and Mr. Ying Sheng, National Officer shared the Future Cities Advisory Outlook 2020-Urban Technologies in China, the first report developed by UN-Habitat China Future Cities Council.
Mr. Zhang Zhenshan, UN-Habitat Programme Manager for China moderated parallel session 1