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City partnerships in focus during Sustainable Urban China conference

ICLEI was delighted to welcome leading figures from Chinese cities, institutions and governments to Berlin for the Sustainable Urban China conference, which took place on the opening day of Metropolitan Solutions 2015.

High-level speakers Han Aixing (Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Beijing, China) and Franzjosef Schaffhausen (Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Berlin, Germany) provided insights into the trends and challenges of urbanization in China in their keynote speeches.

During the plenary on “City Partnerships for Sustainable Development”, representatives from the cities of Bonn, Germany and Chengdu, China shared their experiences of working together for sustainable low carbon development. Mark Schneider from the West Midlands European Service showcased the Chinese European Training on Regional Policy Programme (CETREGIO), which has been promoting good practice exchange between Chinese and European regions. Following this, ICLEI’s Chang Deng-Beck presented the Urban-LEDS project – an international mitigation project enhancing the transition to low emission urban development in emerging economy countries. In the discussion that followed, the panelists further discussed different ways of facilitating city partnerships and the exchange of best practice examples. One such platform for sharing technical and financial solutions is the Solutions Gateway. Initially only available to Urban-LEDS project cities, local governments from China and around the world looking for guidance on developing Low Emissions Development Strategies (LEDS) have been able to access the platform since April 2015.

During the Lounge Talk on Urban Solutions Platforms that took place during the second day of Metropolitan Solutions 2015, ICLEI’s Ana Marques announced that the Solutions Gateway is now also open to the private sector.  Moreover, professionals are invited to join the LEDS Pool of Experts to support local governments with their expertise.