17 November 2020

New EU-China cooperation seeks to build liveable cities with nature

The UrbanByNature programme, an initiative to empower local governments to build more resilient and sustainable cities through nature-based approaches, recently launched a new EU-China cooperation stream. This stream will convene a multi-stakeholder cooperation between Chinese organisations and EU-funded projects.

In China, the programme will introduce nature-based solutions (NBS) as a new approach to improve urban sustainability, and connect European and Chinese cities in NBS innovation and implementation via good practice sharing and interactive discussions on policy development. The stream will guide participants through a series of seven steps that cover a range of aspects relevant for planning and realising green and blue cities.

UrbanByNature has been running in Brazil, Korea and the Caucasus, drawing on the contributions of more than 60 partners (cities, researchers, practitioners and experts) from the Connecting Nature and CLEVER Cities projects, in which ICLEI is a partner.

Contributions from the Connecting Nature project in China will focus on leveraging NBS for urban water and climate resilience, while experts from the CLEVER Cities project will address how to use NBS as a tool for urban regeneration. CLEVER Cities’ partners China Center for Urban Development (CCUD) and the Universities of Xi'an Jiaotong, Peking and Tongji will act as local knowledge brokers and multipliers.

A number of Chinese cities have already expressed interest in joining the programme, which is coordinated by ICLEI and hosted by the CitiesWithNature initiative. The launch event in China was attended by city representatives from Chengdu, Changchun, Shanghai Changning District, Kunming, Chongqing, Ningbo and Guangzhou, and by representatives of the Executive Agency for SMEs of the European Commission, the Delegation of the European Union to China and the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment, among others.

The UrbanByNature programme’s overall aim is to bring the expertise generated from the Connecting Nature and CLEVERcities projects to an international level so that cities and regions outside of Western Europe can benefit from the projects' experiences and knowledge. UrbanByNature gives aspiring and established urban nature practitioners access to tools, methods and approaches developed by experts and partners from industry, local authorities, local communities, NGOs and academia across over 20 countries. These include financing and governance models, guidance on how to plan suitable monitoring and evaluation processes, nature-based solution (NBS) co-creation, and much more.

Those interested in joining the UrbanByNature programme can register via this form.

For more information, click here.