On December 5, 2011, the Conference on Cities of the Future: Urban Sustainability in Modern China was held in Beijing. The Conference was co-hosted by China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE) and the Paulson Institute at the University of Chicago. China Association of Mayors (CAM), China City Development Academy and the Energy Foundation are the co-organizers of the Conference. More than 80 guests participated in the Conference, including Chinese and American government officials, business leaders and scholars.
Zeng Peiyan, Chairman of CCIEE and former Chinese Vice Premier, and Henry Paulson, former US Treasury Secretary delivered opening remarks respectively. Guo Jinlong, the President of the CAM and the Mayor of Beijing, Ji Jianye, the Mayor of Nanjing, Antonio Villaraigosa, President of the US Association of Mayors and Mayor of Los Angles, gave speeches at the Conference. The participants exchanged views on the following five topics at the Conference, “Urban Sustainability: Living It Each Day”, “Planning Cities for People: Principles of Vibrant Community”, “Keep the City Moving: Solving Congestion”, “Balanced Growth”, “Investing in Technology”.
Urbanization is one of the most influential events of the 21st Century and the major trend of current social and urban development. The large-scale and quick urbanization facilitated social development, nonetheless, it has also brought many problems such as population expansion, traffic congestion, pollution and resource shortage. All these challenges need to be addressed urgently and properly. China is in the critical stage of urbanization and therefore, how to push urbanization forward through scientific planning and technological innovation are the key to long-term development of China’s economic society.
This conference is the first cooperation between CCIEE and the Paulson Institute. It can be seen as the further exchanges of Chinese and American think tanks and attracted wide attention. The conference strengthened the exchanges of the cities in China and the US, provided China with valuable experiences in promoting steady urbanization. It also advanced US-China cooperation in addressing global issues. In order to deepen the cooperation between the cities in the US and China, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by CCIEE, the Paulson Institute, the CAM and the US Association of Mayors.
The Paulson Institute was founded in June, 2011 by Henry Paulson, the former US Treasury Secretary. It has a special emphasis on the relationships between the United States and China, promoting comprehensive cooperation between the two nations, and addressing global issues like sustainable development and environmental protection by working closely with China.