Dutch-Chinese collaboration for sustainable urban development

In the past years, China has been facing an economic boom intrinsically connected with urbanisation. In 1950, 13% of Chinese citizens lived in cities. By 2010, the urban share of the population had grown to 45%, and it is projected to reach 60% by 2030. This fast economic development leads to enormous environmental challenges, which are already recognised by the Chinese authorities. However, their current approach is often geared towards specific problem solving.

In this context, a consortium was created to provide the concept of an "integrated solution on sustainable urban development". Together with IHS, the consortium members are: Deltares, Eijkelkamp, Nl Urban Solutions, Priva, Tauw, Wageningen University & Research, and the Dutch Sino Business Promotions. The 'water, energy and food nexus' was the approach chosen by the consortium to create a Partnership International Business (PIB) proposal. On September 2017, the PIB proposal was accepted by the Dutch authority Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO). The members are now working on action plans for the next phases.

The purpose of this PIB is to promote Dutch knowledge and integrated solutions in the field of urban development, with a focus on water (including its interaction with soil), food and energy. The PIB is expected to stimulate joint research programs and promote Dutch commercial solutions through tailored consultant relations between The Netherlands and China. Moreover, the aim is to encourage different sectors to meet and create innovative solutions.

In light of these developments, IHS (representing the consortium) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China’s largest real estate developer Vanke. Vanke is involved in re-development projects in Chinese city centres. With an integrated approach the consortium aims to collaborate with Vanke in a mutual learning process where knowledge sharing and innovation provides opportunities for sustainable re-development of urban areas and improving the lives of local citizens.

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