B.C. wood expertise highlighted at World Cities Day in China
On October 29, 2023, the Forum on Urban Environmental Security Resilience and Humanistic Care Construction and Development was co-organized in Shanghai by the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design (CAUPD) and FII China, with the support of the Department of Planning, Finance and Foreign Affairs of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of China (MOHURD). The forum was an official event of the 2023 World Cities Day in China, which presented an opportunity to bring together international experts to discuss the advancement of urban safety and construction resilience.
The forum hosted discussions on how to make safer, more resilient and healthy cities, in response to new requirements set out by the central government of China through urban renewal programs. Participants included policymakers, industry experts and academics from MOHURD, the United Nations Human Settlements Program, the Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai, the Consulate General of Australia in Shanghai, the World Heritage Training and Research Centre for the Asia-Pacific Region of UNESCO, Fudan University and Tongji University.
Yang Baojun, Chief Economist of MOHURD, shared that the ministry has focused on resilient urban construction practices, improving institutional mechanisms and infrastructure service capabilities. At the same time, the ministry strives to adhere to the deployment of people-centered urbanization strategies and is working on service systems across the whole life cycle of the living environment. He described the cycle as good houses leading to good communities, and good communities leading to good urban areas, which in turn leads to the sustainable development of cities.
The Canadian Deputy Consul General in Shanghai, Alexandre Cérat, promoted the use of sustainable building materials in Canada, and the use of prefabricated components to reduce the carbon footprint of the construction process. In addition to improving air quality, water quality and reducing chemical use, Canada also hopes to achieve energy conservation and emission reduction through technological innovation.
After keynote speeches, the forum held an expert roundtable to discuss the safety and resilience of urban environments. During this roundtable, FII China promoted how wood construction technology can contribute to the development of resilient cities around the world. They shared the seismic and thermal benefits of wood materials, and the ways that Vancouver has prioritized the use of wood structures in the construction of Winter Olympic venues, schools, residential buildings and community centres. Resilient cities must address the carbon footprint of the construction industry, and the use of wood can help to reduce embodied carbon emissions.
In closing, the President of the Shanghai Branch of CAUPD, Sun Juan, called on urban planning and construction professionals around the world to continue to implement the theme of UN-Habitat World Cities Day 2023: “Financing a sustainable urban future for all”.