GFHS: Promoting Green Buildings & Cities towards Quality Times

GFHS: Promoting Green Buildings & Cities towards Quality Times

With the theme of “Promoting Green Buildings & Cities towards Quality Times”, the Fourteenth International Conference on Green and Energy-Efficient Building & New Technologies and Products Expo (IGEBC) was opened at Zhuhai International Convention & Exhibition Center from April 2nd to April 3rd, 2018, involving over 3,000 representatives from home and abroad. Officials and guests addressed the opening ceremony, including Qiu Baoxing, Counselor of the State Council, Former Vice Minister of  Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and President of Chinese Society for Urban Studies, Chen Yiming, Chief Engineer of Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Yang Xiping, Secretary of Party Leadership Group of Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of Guangdong Province, Zhang Yisheng, Deputy Mayor of Zhuhai Municipal People’s Government and Member of Party Leadership Group, Jiang Yi, Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, Professor of Building Energy Research Center, Tsinghua University. As an important part of the Conference, the International Green Model City Forum (IGMC Forum) was successfully convened on the morning of April 3rd with the theme of “International Green Model City Initiative -- To Facilitate The Transformation Of Chinese Cities From Quantitative Growth To High-Quality Development”, which was in line with that of the Conference. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN-Habitat, sent her message to the Forum, where keynote speeches were delivered by experts of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, senior representatives of Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS) and other world-famous experts.

At the conference opening ceremony, Qiu Baoxing, President of CSUS, gave a thematic report entitled The Advantages and Disadvantages of  the Ecological City Models ABC, which systematically analyzed the three models (A, B and C) of ecological cities. He stressed that building an ecological city should avoid the “low-carbon trap” of a certain form and popularize a people-oriented model blending tradition with modernity whose fundamental principle is to respect nature, ecology, history, culture, residents’ interests the local climate by reasonably contextualizing regional planning to create a sustainable and duplicable construction mode of ecological cities with the help of Internet technology and renewable energy and materials. Green buildings and healthy buildings are the cells of an ecological city and form the basis of urban resilience. Therefore, the development of green buildings can promote ecological cities to grow in a greener and more harmonious way.

As the largest and most influential conference on green and energy-efficient buildings in China, the IGEBC of this year focused on the development trends and opportunities for promoting green buildings towards quality times, with 48 parallel forums discussing such topics as green building design, interior environment, the green renovation of existing buildings, green ecological urban areas, big data and intelligentization of buildings. Meanwhile, the International Expo of New Technologies and Products for Green and Energy-Efficient Buildings was held, where over 400 enterprises from home and broad exhibited the latest technologies, innovative materials and successful cases of green and energy-efficient buildings. The exhibition booth of International Green Model City was well received by many visitors thanks to its distinctive design creativity and leading ideas.

This year’s IGMC Forum was organized by Shenzhen Better City Institute and co-organized by the magazine World Best Practices with the great support from the Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS). The guests present included Wang Dehui, Former Deputy Director-General of the Nature and Ecology Conservation Department, SEPA & Director of China Office for “Implementation of the Convention of Biological Diversity”, Head of Experts Group of Environmental Engineering Assessment Center, Ministry of Environmental Protection of the PRC,  Xu Lifeng, Chief of the Science & Technology Center of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the PRC, Lu Haifeng, Secretary General of Global Forum on Human Settlements, Qu Wanju, Under Secretary General, China Research Society for Urban Development, Arab Hoballah, Senior Sustainability Expert, Former Chief, Sustainable Lifestyles, Cities and Industry Branch, UNEP, Ralph Wahnschafft, Independent Consultant on Sustainable Development Policies, Serge Salat, President, Urban Morphology and Complex Systems Institute, Paris, France, Leading Expert of International Green Model City Standards 3.0,  Kelly Wang, Deputy General Manager of Overseas Division, Country Garden Holdings Co., Ltd, Zeng Yu, Deputy Chief Architect of Architectural Design Institute, Vice President of Eco-city Design and Research Institute, China Academy of Building Research (CABR), Jiang Juntao, Vice General Manager of LAY-OUT Planning Consultants Co., Ltd. and Liu Weibing, President of Sichuan David Architectural Design Co., Ltd.

The IGMC Forum, consisted of opening speeches, keynote speeches, the demonstration of the IGMC online assessment system and dialogue, featured the strategies and methodologies of the IGMC Standards 3.0 and discussed the role of the IGMC initiatives and standards in effective planning and management of urban spatial development so as to build people-oriented sustainable cities for all, to help Chinese cities to change from quantity-driven growth to sustainable development  and to facilitate the local implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda. Insightful ideas were exchanged to promote collaboration and innovation in achieving the goal indicated by the theme of the Forum.

Speech Excerpts

Lu Haifeng, Sectary-General of GFHS, said in his speech, “The principles and standards of IGMC Initiative are in line with China’s policies of ecological civilization, new-style urbanization and green development. The Initiative can serve as an integrated strategy to help Chinese cities to change from quantity-driven growth to sustainable development  and provide a technical standard and assessment tool for the better planning and construction of cities and major development projects. It can also generate and enhance the value of cities and projects, facilitate the construction of green low-carbon cities and distinctive towns as well as create a better life for citizens and their future generations.”

Wang Dehui, Former Deputy Director-General of the Nature and Ecology Conservation Department, SEPA & Director of China Office for “Implementation of the Convention of Biological Diversity”, Head of Experts Group of Environmental Engineering Assessment Center, Ministry of Environmental Protection of the PRC, also delivered a speech. He said, “President Xi Jinping mentioned in 2013, ‘A good ecological environment is the fairest public product and the most beneficial to people's well-being.’ To improve urban environment quality is the most important goal in building a sustainable city. GFHS has long been working to promote the construction of green cities and has issued the Global Green City Index. Over the past decade, 34 cities in 14 countries, such as China, the USA, Germany and France, have received the “Global Green City” Award. On the basis of the Index, GFHS has also made the International Green Model City Standards, which provides advanced assessment and guidance tools for the development of sustainable green cities and plays a positive role in enhancing China’s ecological civilization as well as urban environment and quality of life.”

Xu Lifeng, Chief of the Science & Technology Center of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the PRC, congratulated on the opening of the Forum and pointed out, “It is human’s shared mission to promote the local implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda and to build safe, inclusive, prosperous and sustainable cities and human settlements. In the new times,  green buildings focus more on higher quality performance, safety, durability, livability, energy efficiency and economy for upgrading to enhance people’s senses of satisfaction, happiness and security

Arab Hoballah, Senior Sustainability Expert, Former Chief, Sustainable Lifestyles, Cities and Industry Branch, UNEP, said, “The IGMC Standards is rooted in the UN 10-Year Framework of Programs on Sustainable Consumption and Production, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda. It is also closely related to the 17 sustainable development goals. The IGMC Initiative has partnered and teamed up with UNEP-SBCI, GI-REC and UN Habitat. It can bridge gaps for knowledge and action, contextualize other tools to respond to needs and enable local authorities in their commitment to sustainability and ecological civilization.”

Serge Salat, President, Urban Morphology and Complex Systems Institute, Paris, France, Leading Expert of International Green Model City Standards 3.0, introduced the definitions and requirements of the six dimensions and 18 categories of the IGMC Standards. He pointed out, “A city is not a simple cluster of buildings. It has life, just like a tree needs organic cycle. When we are planning our cities, we must take people into consideration. The significance of cities is to bring people happiness. The IGMC Standards 3.0 provides feasible methodologies and tools in different categories for the sustainable urban development. It can create not only environment value, resilience value, equity value but also real estate value and make urban residents feel happier.”

As one of the effective tools of the IGMC Standards 3.0, the IGMC Online Assessment System made its debut in China, which was one of the highlights of the Forum. The system was developed on the basis of the IGMC Standards 3.0 to provide more convenient online assessment and accreditation for global sustainable cities and communities with the help of the Internet and Big Data technology. Everyone can rate their cities and communities on the system, which makes it much easier for city and community managers as well as stakeholders to get involved.

At 12:00 noon, the Forum was rounded off with complete success. Many attendees spoke highly of the Forum, “The IGMC principles and strategies are advanced. They are significant for China’s future urbanization and also thought-provoking for us. Hopefully, we can learn from and apply the IGMC Standards in our city or projects.”

According to GFHS, the supporter of this year’s IGMC Forum, the 2018 Global Forum on Human Settlements will be held at the UN Conference Center in Bangkok, Thailand in early November this year. The IGMC Initiative will also be one of the major topics at the Forum.


Article by GFHS
Photo Credits: GFHS (CC)