Presenting Smart Sustainable Pioneering Models on Smart Cities in China

Fourth China Smart City International Expo on August 21 in China’s innovation capital Shenzhen

The Banquet Dinner Reception – Best Practice Release was successfully organised during the Fourth China Smart City International Expo on August 21 in China’s innovation capital Shenzhen.

In cooperation with the China Center for Urban Development (CCUD) under the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the World Future Council organised the Banquet Dinner Reception – Best Practice Release in the evening of August 21. During the Banquet, the Smart Sustainable Pioneering Models project was co-launched by the World Future Council and CCUD, with international and national best practices of smart sustainable cities introduced as well. Prof. Herbert Girardet, the honorary councillor of the World Future Council gave the keynote speech, followed by international smart city experience sharing presented by Ms Beate Weber-Schuerholz, the former load mayor of Heidelberg, Germany; Mr Niall O’Connor, center director of Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden; Mr Peter Sailer, project director of Sino German Urbanisation Partnership of GIZ, Germany; and Ms Aisa Tobing, Deputy Secretary General of CityNet, Indonesia.

There are over 1,000 smart city pilots ready for or under construction worldwide, and China is home to about 500 of them, covering big and small cities. Three groups of cities have been listed as national pilot projects so far, and the country aims to nurture 100 new smart cities from 2016 to 2020 to lead the country’s urban planning and development. With such high development speed, the Smart Sustainable Pioneering Models project presents best practices from around the globe for Chinese cities to improve their strategy, design, operations and maintenance in developing smart urban areas, along with technology and infrastructure, to ensure residents’ needs can be met efficiently and in a timely manner.

About 300 guests attended the Banquet Dinner Reception – Best Practice Release by invitation, and over 120,000 audiences in total attending the Fourth China Smart City International Expo. The whole event is organised by CCUD and lasts for 2 days, with main forums on August 21 and 16 parallel sub forums on August 22.

Fourth China Smart City International Expo on August 21 in China’s innovation capital Shenzhen

100% renewable energy and poverty reduction in Tanzania

The Project’s Vision

The goal of the project is to develop a coherent strategy on how to implement 100% RE as part of Tanzania’s Sustainable Low Carbon Development and Poverty Reduction Goals.

Through an inclusive and interactive approach engaging local stakeholders and key decision-makers in the energy transformation process in Tanzania, this project intends to:

  1. Inspire stakeholders and build up hands-on knowledge on how 100% RE adds value to local economic development and community sustainability
  2. Strengthen synergies, networks and platforms for multi-stakeholder dialogue and follow up at the national level among government, parliamentary committees, policy-makers, civil society, trade unions, churches and media on LCD, poverty reduction and 100% RE.
  3. Identify necessary legislation and policy reforms.


Financing 100% Renewable Energy for all in Tanzania

Tanzania is endowed with abundant renewable resources for an energy transition. This study demonstrates how to unlock thenecessary investment to implement 100%RE for all by 2050.




Policy Roadmap for 100% RE and Poverty Eradication in Tanzania

This report suggests concrete political measures and outlines necessary governmental action to operationalize Tanzania’s 100%RE and poverty eradication target.




Scenario: 100% RE for all in Tanzania

This scientific feasibility study unveils that deploying 100% renewable energy in Tanzania can provide access to reliable energy for all its citizens, while increasing living standards to the level of industrialized countries by 2050. It proves that generating electricity from renewable sources is about 30% cheaper than from fossil resources.

Activities

Conference and Study Launch in Dar Es Salaam / October 2017

In October 2017, one of our recent studies reveiled that by deploying 100% renewable energy, Tanzania can provide access to reliable energy for all its citizens, while increasing living standards to the level of industrialized countries by 2050 – which is about 30% cheaper than from fossil resources. The study has been compiled as part of a multi-stakeholder process, which Climate Action Network Tanzania, Bread for the World and the World Future Council have conducted over the past 18 months. The goal has been to develop a coherent strategy on how to implement 100% RE as part of Tanzania’s Sustainable Low Carbon Development and Poverty Reduction Goals.

Kick-off workshop / February 2016

On February 25, 2016 The World Future Council, Bread for the World and CAN-Tanzania hosted the kick-off workshop in Dar es Salaam for our 18-month program in Tanzania.

The kick-off workshop brought together 15 Tanzanian thought-leaders from government, academia and civil society to identify opportunities for policy change on the particular topic. Among the confirmed participants was Gertrude Mongella, WFC Councilor and Special Advisor to the ECA Executive Secretary and UNESCO Director General. The workshop helped to build capacity and create ownership among Tanzanian opinion leaders for 100% RE as a tool for poverty reduction, as well as to strengthen synergies, networks and platforms for multi-stakeholder dialogue.

The valuable contributions and expertise of the participants enabled us to compile a solid report which you can find here. It gathers and summarizes the main interventions, perspectives and outputs made by the participants of the workshop. Hereby, this report further provides a description of the current energy policy debate and defines the starting point for discussing how to scale up RE to spur sustainable development and eradicate poverty in Tanzania.

Study Tour to Bangladesh / April 2016

As a major opportunity to bring forward the dialogue which already started during the kick-off workshop in Dar es Salaam, a study tour to Bangladesh was organized from April 17-23, 2016, chaired by Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury Bir Bikram, Bangladesh Ministry of Energy. The study tour brought together a group of 10 representatives from Tanzania national government, parliamentarians and civil society leaders in the renewable energy field in Tanzania. The goal was to learn about the Bangladesh experience in rapidly expanding first time access to electricity among its citizens with 100% renewable energy.

The tour was organized with the support of Bright Green Energy Foundation (BGEF), a leading renewable energy organization in Bangladesh which has been successfully working with Solar Home System, Solar Irrigation Pump, bio-gas, Improve Cook Stove, and women empowerment since 2010.

“This study tour changed our minds about the potential of Renewable Energy as an effective tool to provide energy access to all people. We need to bring the experience from Bangladesh to Tanzania, especially on developing a comprehensive finance model. It is our hope that this trip has just opened our doors and starts a long journey of collaborations and working together”. This was the conclusion of our Tanzanian delegation visiting WFC Councillor Dipal Barua and his team, learning about solar-home-systems, solar irrigation systems as well as biogas plants for cooking.

Consultation workshop / July 2016

On July 12th, Can Tanzania, The World Future Council and Bread for the World organised a consultation workshop in Dar es Salaam on 100% Renewable Energy for Poverty Reduction in Tanzania. Around 50 stakeholders from the Parliament, Government, Civil Society and Academia participated in the consultation workshop, outlining the determinants of change and policy formulation in the RE sector in Tanzania, the challenges to policy reform, and providing recommendations for the development of RE legislation and implementation.

The development of a more comprehensive legislative framework would not only make a significant contribution to the existing country’s energy production and supply system, but would also move Tanzania quickly towards achieving the goal of becoming a middle income country, as envisioned in the Tanzania National Development Vision 2025.

“We want to tackle the challenges that so many people in our country are facing every day,” says Doto Mashaka Biteko, Member of the Tanzanian Parliament and Chair of the Energy and Minerals Committee. “Therefore, the government is aiming to provide access to 50% of the population by 2020.”

Further, on July 15th, Can Tanzania, The World Future Council and Bread for the World, together with civil society representatives and faith-based organisations visited some examples of Solar Home Systems in Mabwepande, a suburb of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

The New Urban Agenda: More Power to Cities? Yes, but how?

Only within the last 16 months, the world has seen the emergence of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the Paris agreement (which has just recently come into force), and the so-called New Urban Agenda (NUA). All three of them represent bold and (more or less) legally binding agreements by the Member States of the United Nations. The New Urban Agenda should be the most concrete and practical one since it addresses the smaller scale of government, i.e. cities – the place where we will win or lose our struggle for a more just, equitable and indeed sustainable world.

Read more

How to achieve Regenerative Cities: 6th Future of Cities Forum in Tianjin, China

What is a Regenerative City and how do we turn this vision into a reality? At our 6th Future of Cities Forum in Tianjin, China, leading experts from around the world explored key policy solutions and best practices to make cities more Regenerative from a water management perspective. The event was organized in partnership with UN Habitat and the Beijing Jiaotong University as an official sub-forum of the 7th Binhai Tianjin International Eco-City Forum & Expo and took place from 21-22 October 2016. Over 20 national media reported on this year’s Future of Cities Forum including Xinhua News, SinaFinance and China News and thus reached around 5 million readers.
Read more

Habitat III: The upcoming UN cities summit is as important as the Paris Climate Conference – but will it deliver?

By Stefan Schurig and Filippo Boselli

It is almost time.  One of the most important international summits is on our doorstep. Next week the UN General Assembly will be gathering in Quito, Ecuador to (hopefully) agree and sign the so called New Urban Agenda, the international urban “constitution” supposed to be guiding sustainable urban development in the next 20 years. Almost 40,000 participants from all around the world have registered. After the successful adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Paris agreement, expectations on the next UN cities summit are high. The question however is:  will it deliver? Read more

Regenerative and Inclusive Cities: at the Habitat III in Quito

From 17 to 20 October 2016 HABITAT III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, will be held in Quito, Ecuador. At the HABITAT III conference, Governments are expected to adopt the New Urban Agenda that will guide the sustainable and inclusive development of the world’s cities for next 20 years.

Read more

Study Tour: Regional Cooperation for RE in EU

Copenhagen/Sonderborg/Hamburg/Eemshaven/Assen/Ghent/Brussels - 25-29 September

Renewable energy sources (RES) will have to play a predominant role in EU’s future energy mix. However, the current policy and regulatory framework does not entirely facilitate this transition but rather reflects a business-as-usual approach. The current RE target on EU level in the Climate and Energy 2030 Framework lacks ambition with regards to the low goal setting of “at least 27%” but also due to its “EU-wide” level approach without member state contributions. Given this weak policy framework, there is one mechanism, which may still help to increase the share of renewables to the scale and speed which is needed given today’s challenges: The idea of regional cooperation. Regional cooperation can effectively bridge the gap between national renewables policies and a Europeanised approach to renewables deployment. Additionally, regional action across borders allows for participation of non-state actors, possibly a higher political legitimacy and fitted solutions for local conditions. A common cross-border identity might be facilitated through these projects and the revenue generated by the decentralised energy plants is more likely to stay in the region.

Therefore, Heinrich Böll Foundation EU Office and the World Future Council organised a study tour to further develop, discuss and exchange solutions enhancing and strengthening regional cooperation aiming at a sustainable energy transition. The goal is to provide concrete examples and transferable policy solutions by discussing crucial questions with and in front-runner regions. Therefore it will be organised in the framework of HBF’s #Regions4GreenEconomy series which are organised together with the representatives of different German Länder in Brussels, and the Global 100% RE Campaign.

The study tour follows a stakeholder workshops on regional cooperation, exploring opportunities to scale up renewable energy in the European Union. To read more about the results of this workshop as well as about the program, please click here.

Breaking Silos: Exploring Synergies between Better Public Spaces and Regenerative Cities

During the 3rd Session of the Preparatory Committee towards Habitat III held between 25th and 27th of July 2016 in Surabaya (Indonesia), the World Future Council in partnership with UN Habitat and UCLG ASAPAC hosted a side event exploring the linkages between public spaces and the regenerative city. The event was a call to adopt an integrated approach to public space planning, one that is able to fully grasp the wide-range of co-benefits that emerge from regenerating public spaces.

The panel discussion brought together a diverse group of pannelists including Ms. Dato’ Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Mayor of Sebarang Perai in Malaysia, Dr. Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi, Secretary General at UCLG ASPAC, Mr. Xu Yunfei, urban planner from the Guangzhou Urban Planning & Design Survey Research Institute and Mr. Bruno Dercon, Senior Urban Settlements Officer at UN-Habitat. Together they discussed the synergies between regenerative cities and public spaces. They explored the challenges and policy solutions that can support local authorities create liveable, healthy and inclusive public spaces while also ameliorating the environmental sustainability and resilience of cities.

As emerged during the discussion, it can sometimes be very challenging for city governments to assess and fully value the wide range of benefits and co-benefits that public spaces bring (including social, environmental and economic ones). Therefore, it is essential to identify and comprehensively assess all the co-benefits of regenerating public spaces, as this will play a huge role in mobilizing city governments to take action.

Secondly, an integrated planning approach that allows different city departments and stakeholders to talk to each other and collaborate is needed. Mechanisms must be in place to promote cross-sectoral collaboration. This will enable different departments and stakeholders to understand the benefits that good public space can bring for each one of them. As priorities are aligned and cohesive cooperation across the different actors is prompted, smoother and faster implementation is also safeguarded.

Another key success factor of good public space design and implementation resides in the effective collaboration between public and private bodies in close partnership with the local community. People need to be involved from the planning and design phase down to the implementation and maintenance phase. This is not only fundamental to build quality public spaces but is also an essential prerequisite to effectively finance public spaces. In Guangzhou Province of China, a committee was established to gather comments from citizens and serve as a bridge between the government and local community. This was crucial to ensure public spaces not only would effectively suit the needs of people but also to allow people to feel that their public spaces belong to them. The challenge is often to make sure that a sense of ownership and connection with one´s own public spaces is created.

As highlighted by Bruno Dercon during the discussion, public space regeneration not only allows the creation of greener and more resilient cities (parks, green corridors, walkable, bicycle and transit friendly spaces are undoubtedly beneficial in terms of, for example, pollution reduction, urban ecosystem regeneration and CO2 reduction) but also a true regeneration of people and communities. Public spaces that are designed and planned by engaging local actors will inevitably lead to a revitalization of urban communities, inclusiveness and social equality.  Freely accessible and enjoyable public spaces are also key in facilitating greater social interaction, public engagement and the creation of more lively and people-centred cities.

In conclusion, public space regeneration is one of the most meaningful and effective tools for local governments to engage and affect the lives of people in cities and can be a very effective leveraging tool and starting point for many transformations that will need to happen to make cities more liveable, regenerative, inclusive and just.

Authors

Filippo Boselli, Policy Officer, Climate, Energy and Cities, World Future Council

Boping Chen, Director of China Program, Climate, Energy and Cities, World Future Council

Public Space for a Liveable Regenerative City: Learning from China and the Asia Pacific Region

The World Future Council in partnership with UN-Habitat and UCLG is hosting a Side Event at the Habitat III Prep Com III in Surabaya on Tuesday 26th of July. Experts from around the world will discuss the key role of public spaces within the regenerative city framework with a particular focus on China and the Asia Pacific Region.

Read more

Driving Regional Cooperation for Renewables in the European Union

25 Apr – 26 Apr – Renewable energy sources (RES) will have to play a predominant role in EU’s future energy mix. However, the current policy and regulatory framework does not entirely facilitate this transition but rather reflects a business-as-usual approach. The current RE target on EU level in the Climate and Energy 2030 Framework lacks ambition with regards to the low goal setting of “at least 27%” but also due to its “EU-wide” level approach without member state contributions.

Given this weak policy framework, there is one mechanism, which may still help to increase the share of renewables to the scale and speed which is needed given today`s challenges: The idea of regional cooperation. Regional cooperation can effectively bridge the gap between national renewables policies and a Europeanised approach to renewables deployment. Additionally, regional action across borders allows for participation of non-state actors, possibly a higher political legitimacy and fitted solutions for local conditions. A common cross-border identity might be facilitated through these projects and the revenue generated by the decentralized energy plants is more likely to stay in the region.

Therefore, together with the Heinrich Böll Foundation EU Office, we are organising a stakeholder workshops on regional cooperation, exploring opportunities to scale up renewable energy in the European Union. The workshop is hosted by Representation of Lower Saxony to the EU (25 April afternoon) and the Representation of the State of Baden-Württemberg to the EU (26 April morning).

The first day (25 April) will gather regional experts from across Europe to discuss practical for regional renewable energy cooperation. The aim is to bring people from bottom-up initiatives of cross-border subnational cooperation together, so that they can present their projects and facilitate the dialogue amongst them. These experts from the ground will include representatives from local and regional governments as well as project-managers, utilities, regulators and citizens groups. The second day (26 April) provides a platform for policy dialogue with EU institutions to explore how to foster RES deployment in the European Union by strengthening regions and regional cooperation. Representatives from the European Commission, European Parliament, energy regulators and other stakeholders from Brussels are invited to share their views and perspectives. The findings from the first debate – including the strengths and challenges of and for the local cooperation projects – will be presented. Finally, participants are invited to jointly develop ideas on how to build and strengthen a political process for regional cooperation on RE in the EU.

This workshop is part of a programme, which the Heinrich Böll Foundation EU office and the World Future Council are hosting over the upcoming months. It consists of a series of stakeholder workshops and a study tour to further develop, discuss and exchange solutions enhancing and strengthening regional cooperation aiming at a sustainable energy transition. The goal is to provide concrete examples and transferrable policy solutions by discussing crucial questions with and in frontrunner regions. Therefore it will be organised in the framework of HBF’s #Regions4GreenEconomy series which are organised together with the representatives of different German Länder in Brussels, and the Global 100% RE Campaign.

Please find here the detailed agenda for the two days. If you are interested in attending, please register here.