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Chinese mayors explore Danish sustainable urban solutions

By State of Green, October 23, 2019

This week, a group of Chinese mayors and senior officials from Hubei Province start a two-week training programme in Denmark to learn from Danish municipalities, companies, green solutions and knowledge institutions, all working with the green transition.

By 2030, up to 70 per cent of the Chinese population will be living in cities. This puts Chinese cities under severe pressure in terms of resources and space. Some cities are already working on creating sustainable cities and investing in green initiatives. Wuhan is the capital and largest city of the Chinese province of Hubei. It is the most populous city in Central China with a population of over 10 million and the seventh most populous Chinese city. Hubei Province plans to invest a total of 1.3 trillion yuan (USD 203 billion) in 91 major projects in an effort to pursue green and sustainable development.

Seeking inspiration for a green transition

This autumn, 23 Chinese mayors and senior officials from Hubei Province have taken the long journey to Denmark to be part of the ‘Chinese Mayor Training Programme’, focusing on sustainable urban development, including smart energy systems and water management. The programme is organised by China Association of Mayors, Tsinghua University, Grundfos China, Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and the Danish public-private partnership State of Green.

-Related solution: Turning surplus heat into warm homes

“Most of the participants are mayors from economically strong cities and districts of Hubei Province. The biggest challenge we are facing is how to make a transition from traditional to green industries. The traditional industries have caused environmental damage and we must take action. Consequently, the province now has a high demand for sustainable solutions. However, this transition also means new investments and new urban planning, which brings a lot of unsureness for the government, companies and the market. Therefore, we are here to learn from Denmark’s experience and solutions, which will help us solve the problems that we are facing now or in the future,” said Mr. Huang, Lianggang, Deputy Director, Research Office of the Hubei Government.

During the first week in Denmark, the group will participate in lectures and seminars at DTU about smart energy solutions, LED city lighting and protection of urban water, among other topics. The participants will also visit different types of facilities – from Copenhagen City Hall, Sydhavnens Recycling Station to Herlev Hospital. At State of Green’s showroom House of Green, the group will hear about the Danish green transition as well as district energy by the utility company HOFOR.

-Related solution: District heating and cooling in Greater Copenhagen

In week two, the participants will experience state-of-the-art solutions across Denmark – in the cities of Aarhus, Viborg, Billund and Bjerringbro. The group will, for instance, get to meet representatives from Danish municipalities in order to share experiences on topics such as climate adaptionwastewater treatment and sustainable transportation.

About the Chinese Mayor Training Programme

In April 2014, during the visit of Queen Margrethe II to China, President Xi Jinping and Queen Margrethe II witnessed a MoU signed between the Local Government of Denmark and the Chinese Association of Mayors. The purpose of the MoU is to enhance bilateral ties and share of knowledge between the municipality leaders from both countries.

Since 2015, around 100 mayors and senior officials from Guangdong, Hunan, Hainan and Tianjin provinces have completed the programme and brought Danish green solutions and knowledge with them back home. This year, 23 mayors and top officials from Hubei province will participate in the programme in Denmark.

Photo: Photo by White.RainyForest ∙ 易雨白林. on Unsplash

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