The 14th annual Low-Carbon Development World Forum was hosted by the World Alliance for Low Carbon Cities (WALCC) and the Tengchong Municipal People’s Government entitled the “Belt and Road, Green and Low-Carbon Cycle Development Forum”. The forum attracted interest from some 100 industry experts, eminent scholars, and business leaders from many countries and regions around the world including China, the UK, Finland, and Canada. The forum’s attendees also included leaders from the National Development and Reform Commission, representatives of municipal governments local and abroad. The Forum as chaired by the Chairman of the WALCC, Professor Kong Ying of Tsinghua University while speakers included professionals, experts, and officials from business, academia, and government covering a wide range of topics connected to trade and development in China’s Belt and Road Initiative as well as its sustainable implementation and green and low-carbon technologies in city development and health care.

Among the insights shared over the course of the forum’s two days were those by Professor Huang Haifeng of Peking University who spoke about green leadership and the significance of the “social mission” as an anchor for development. Ms. Gao Hong of the Shenzhen NDRC shared insights regarding the City of Shenzhen’s focus on low-carbon development activities, including the identification of 32 technologies which will aid the city in reaching its emission-reduction targets for 2020, noting the crucial role bottom-up, technology-driven pilots play alongside top-down governance in reaching these targets. Professor Chen Lvjun of Tsinghua University addressed the current state of circular economy industrial park development in China, noting the large role they play in China’s economy—hosting 80% of Chinese companies and generating 60% of the country’s GDP—and the efforts to accelerate the development of new parks. Professor Li Shizhong of Tsinghua University, a leading expert on bioenergy production from sorghum, argued that sorghum-based production will grow notably as a result of E10 legislation. Mr. Wang Jun of Tus-Sound covered the Chinese waste-to-energy market in his presentation, discussing the challenges faced by these parks and the need for stronger government support, sourcing sufficient resources, systematic planning for the sector as a whole, increased orchestration, and improved innovation. A presentation from Dr. Ke Yanchun of CHIANA Aerospace Kaitian Environmental Technology showed the new ways big data and artificial intelligence are shaping industries such as sewage water treatment.

The Forum offered numerous areas for potential collaboration between these businesses and governments in China and those in Europe, emphasizing the benefit of such cross-cultural exchanges as those enabled by the WALCC’s biannual forums. Details about the coming autumn forum will be published on the WALCC’s website as they become available.

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Programs

Reframing City Districts (ReCiDi)

A research project conducted by the Universities of Turku and Tampere which aims to form a new conceptual framework which will help shape the collective identity and common vision necessary to realize the future low-carbon and sustainability targets.

Systemic Architectures for Sustainable Urban Innovation (SASUI)

An action learning and research project conducted by Aalto University and the University of Tampere which aimed to form a better understanding of the architectural requirements for successful innovation projects.