ICLEI East Asia Works with Zhuhai to Strengthen Urban Resilience

The Southern city Zhuhai is widely recognized as one of the most livable city in China. However, it is also widely known for vulnerability due to frequent hitting by typhoons. To tackle the challenges, the government of Zhuhai is one of the very first city to have placed resilience as a core objective of urban planning.

Zhuhai visits ICLEI members in Europe on peer-learning

As a comprehensive pilot city under the Europe-China Eco-Cities Link (EC-Link) project, Zhuhai is interested in knowledge exchange and peer-learning with its European counterparts. Supported by ICLEI East Asia, the Zhuhai delegation led by Deputy Mayor Yisheng Zhang visited the ICLEI Brussels Office in Belgium, and 3 Member cities in Iceland and Portugal to exchange knowledge on urban resilience 15-23 November 2018.

Warmly welcomed by the ICLEI Brussels Office, the Delegation learned about urban resilience activities across the globe under ICLEI’s framework of sustainable city development and made a site visit to Belgium’s iconic urban regeneration projects.

The Zhuhai delegation further learned about Icelandic experiences in the areas including ecological conservation, sustainable construction, and building efficiency through the presentations, discussions, and field trips coordinated by the Reykjavik Municipal Environmental and Planning Department of Iceland. In Portugal, the delegation was offered a half-day of intensive learning on disaster risk reduction, and historical and cultural heritage protection by the city of Lisbon, and learned about the successful policies, measures, and projects in climate adaptation, urban renewal, and smart waste management of the renowned sustainable tourism city Cascais.

Workshop on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction

Following the visit to Europe, a one-day capacity building and consultation workshop was arranged on 17 December jointly by ICLEI East Asia, Zhuhai Municipal Government, and UNISDR’s Office for Northeast Asia and Global Education and Training Institute, aiming to raise awareness of urban resilience, with specific focus on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction among Zhuhai officials. The workshop gathered over 50 participants from relevant departments and offices, such as housing, construction, water, emergency, urban utilities, and civil affairs.

Jianhua Tian, Vice Director General, Zhuhai Housing and Urban-Rural Planning & Construction Bureau

The workshop was structured in sessions on current trends in East Asia (China and Japan), global perspectives, tools from ICLEI and UNISDR on resilience, and a final session of group discussion. Topics covered in the discussion include resilient infrastructure, resilient urban planning, climate risk modeling and forecasting, ecological conservation and nature-based solutions, as well as capacity building with citizen engagement.

Dr. Yan Zheng, Associate Research Fellow, Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences


Participants exchanged ideas through group discussion.

Participants found the flood management experiences of ICLEI’s Japanese member Toyama particularly relevant to Zhuhai’s needs. Furthermore, climate risks and systematic measuring of resilience via tools are among the most interesting learning topics for the participants.

Dr. Joseph Runzo-Inada, Chief Resilience Officer & Head of Strategic Planning and Resilience, City of Toyama, Japan

Further cooperation with Zhuhai

A closed-door meeting between Zhuhai’s Deputy Mayor Yisheng Zhang, bureau leadership from urban management, planning, transportation, and foreign affairs, and ICLEI East Asia was conducted on 18 December to explore further cooperation between the city and ICLEI. Zhuhai is committed to working with ICLEI East Asia in 2019 on a more comprehensive resilient event with a focus on systematic evaluation and international exchange.

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