Sino-German Symposium "Water-Related Urbanization and Locality" Held in Beijing

From September 25th to 29th, 2018, the Sino-German Symposium “Water-Related Urbanization and Locality: Protection and utilization of water environment as well as planning and design of water space in a sustainable perspective” was successfully held in Beijing. This is the second bilateral symposium which focuses on the theme of urbanization and locality, after the Sino-German Symposium “Urbanization and Locality: Strengthening Identity and Sustainability by Site-specific Planning and Design” held in 2014. The symposium was jointly chaired by Prof. WANG Fang from Peking University and Prof. PROMINSKI Martin from Leibniz University Hannover, some of the participants are also active in the Sino-German Cooperation Research Group on Urbanization and Locality. This group was approved and funded by Sino-German Center and established by the two professors above. This Sino-German Symposium Project is the fifth project sponsored by the Sino-German Center (NSFC-DFG center) for Prof. WANG Fang and Prof. PROMINSKI Martin.

Figure 1 Symposium Coordinators: Prof. WANG Fang at Peking University and Prof. PROMINSKI Martin at Leibniz University Hannover

The venue was located in Sino-German Center, jointly established by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and the German Research Foundation (DFG). Dr. ZHANG Baiyu, the German Vice Director of the Sino-German Center for Research Promotion, gave a welcoming address in the open ceremony. Nine scholars from German universities including Leibniz University Hannover, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, and HafenCity University Hamburg, and 20 scholars from Chinese universities and research institutes including Peking University, Tsinghua University, Beijing Normal University, Beijing Forestry University, Capital University of Economics and Business, Chinese Academy of Science, Tongji University, Southeast University, Chongqing University, Sun Yat-sent University, Guangzhou University, Xinjiang University, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University, Hunan University of Arts and Science, presented 29 reports totally. Under the background of environmental change, participants jointly explored the issues of water resources protection and sustainable development faced by China and Germany in different stages of urbanization development, as well as their relevant strategies and experiences, involving the fields of geography, planning, landscape, architecture, tourism, ecology, hydraulic engineering, history, etc.. The symposium involves three major issues: ① New Opportunities: Challenges between Water Environment Protection and Utilization in the Process of Urbanization; ② New Strategies: Sustainable Use of Water Resources in the Process of Urbanization; ③ New Explorations: Water-related Planning and Design Strategies in the Process of Urbanization and Local Cultural Development. 

Figure 2 Address by Dr. ZHANG Baiyu, the German Vice Director of the Sino-German Center

The symposium emphasized the exchange of new technologies and new views of water environment protection as well as water space planning and design. On the one hand, due to the specific differences in local characteristics and profound historical culture in different regions of China, Chinese scholars have provided diverse cases and accumulated wisdom in water management in long practice. On the other hand, German scholars introduced innovative design concepts and technical methods, as well as citizens’ spontaneous experience in practice. Facing the challenges of environmental carrying capacity and water resource utilization in the rapid progress of urbanization, experts and scholars combined the latest development of science and technology with the management of water resources, proposed multi-scale ecological planning approach and management strategy to relief the contradiction between social economic development and resource constraint, and also learned from traditional ways and local experience to solve the problem of locality absence and find its contemporary value. 

In addition, the participants discussed how to build up cooperation channels and models in bilateral academic research, personnel training and results communication. This symposium has strengthened academic cooperation between China and Germany in the field of planning and design, led to further exchange and development between scholars and colleges of the two countries, established a new cooperation relationship and it also provides an efficient systematic platform both for China and Germany to work in this field. 

Figure 3 Group photo of participants