As two world leaders in the field of sustainable urban mobility, the EU and China have a wealth of ideas and skills to share with one another. Driven by this idea, CIVITAS DESTINATIONS visited China from 22 - 29 June for a week of learning and exchange.
The delegation included representatives from the six DESTINATIONS project cities – Funchal, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Valletta, Elba, Rethymno, and Limassol. Their trip opened with a workshop on urban mobility management in Beijing.
Chinese and European counterparts exchanged expertise and innovations on crucial current mobility topics, such as mobile apps, integrated mobile payment solutions, shared mobility, alternative energy vehicles, and SMART urban transportation management. Chinese universities and tourism companies were also present.
Technical site visits to government bureaus and prominent Chinese transport companies in Beijing and Shenzhen followed this - the two cities are DESTINATIONS’s cross-fertilisation partners in China.
In Beijing, the delegation visited the Beijing Bus Group, the Foton Motor E-Buses unit, Mobike, and Didi. Whilst in Shenzhen, they went to the Shenzhen Transport Bureau, BYD, Keanda, the Shenzhen Urban Transport Planning Centre’s Lab, the Shenzhen Bus Group, Golden Road Traffic Technology Co., and Shenzhen Metro.
At each location, demonstrations and explanations were given of the key products and innovations there; these were followed by Q&A sessions. Of particular interest were the e-mobility solutions and maintenance facilities, autonomous driven vehicles, a smart traffic light system, the mobile/QR payment methods, and the smart bikes, vehicles, and apps being used for shared mobility.
All parties are clear as to the immense value of the visit and its potential to serve as a model for future EU-China knowledge exchange activities in transport.
Claudio Mantero, Project Coordinator of CIVITAS DESTINATIONS, said that “our work with Beijing and Shenzhen shows that size is no limit to learning - a megacity and a touristic island with 30,000 inhabitants are exchanging knowledge!"
Professor Wang Guohua, Director of the Institute for the Cultural and Creative Industries at the Beijing University of Technology, remarked that “DESTINATIONS’ cross-fertilization activities with China will help China to improve its urban transport design’s approach and evaluation."
A visit from a Chinese delegation to two DESTINATIONS cities (Funchal and Las Palmas) is already planned for 2019.
Chinese stakeholders can also stay informed through the CIVITAS DESTINATIONS account on the WeChat social media platform, which contains information about the project and its cross-fertilisation activities in China in Mandarin.
To discover more about CIVITAS DESTINATIONS, visit its website - civitas.eu/destinations.
Julia Pérez-Cerezo - jperezcerezo [at] gv21 [dot] com
Claudio Mantero - claudiomantero [at] horariosdofunchal [dot] pt