Workshop in Beijing focuses on Chinese cities mutual learning about urban innovation

Metropolis Secretariat General

On July 18 and 19, the Metropolis Regional Secretariat for Asia-Pacific (Guangzhou), in partnership with the Chinese People Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), organized a capacity building workshop in Beijing for Chinese cities to engage in an active learning environment, focused on urban innovation. Conducted by Mr Nicholas You, veteran urban specialist and thought leader, and Mr Sunil Dubey, Metropolis Senior Advisor, the workshop demonstrated how the creation of urban environments where innovation and technology based solutions can flourish leads to the benefit of local communities.

Among the participants, the workshop counted on the presence of representatives from Beijing, Guangzhou and other 20 Metropolis members from China and beyond, as well as other local governments and private sector partners.

Participants brought their challenging case studies to the workshop, and individual cities worked with each other in identifying key obstacles of implementing innovative solutions. The participants were encouraged to develop a conceptual framework where innovative ideas can be transferred to other cities and urban communities through simple exchange platforms.

The Beijing metro was an emblematic case discussed during the workshop: carrying over 10 million people on a daily basis, this transportation system requires infrastructure and facilities to cater a population that is greater than the total number of inhabitants of Sweden, Hungary or Austria. It is a very complex and intricate system of urban management, whose challenges cannot be solved by historical and traditional methods of planning, management and investment, and need innovative, interesting and inviting ways of thinking about our cities.

Mr Song Jingwu, Vice President of CPAFFC, summarised the workshop: “The technological based innovation has been an essential part of our recent urban history. We want to enrich this experience for all urban communities in the world by connecting people to people. But we want to achieve the next level of innovation in our cities; innovation for opening new ideas and using technology as enabler, not the sole reason for innovation”. 

The workshop formed a series of workshops led by the Metropolis Regional Secretariat Guangzhou, CPAFFC and Guangzhou Awards Secretariat. For further information about these workshops and all activities of Metropolis members in Asia and the Pacific, please contact Ms Agnès Bickart at the Metropolis Secretariat General.

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