EU-China cooperation for inclusive and sustainable development

15 January 2020

The creation of socially integrative and inclusive cities should become a cornerstone of EU-China cooperation on sustainability. sustainable urban development and the elaboration of comprehensive strategies for socially integrative and inclusive cities should be placed as a permanent topic on the agenda of EU-China policy dialogues.

This is a key recommendation of the first policy brief of our TRANS-URBAN-EU-CHINA project published in January 2020.

The policy includes material about urbanisation in China between unprecedented growth and challenges for sustainability, and China’s recently formulated global view on urban development and global cities in the vision of the Belt and Road Initiative. Moreover, it provides information about the ‘Strategic research & innovation agenda for EU-China cooperation on sustainable urbanisation’, which was recently published by the Horizon 2020 URBAN-EU-CHINA innovation platform for sustainable urbanisation. Based on a comprehensive concept of socially integrative and inclusive cities, all in all, ten recommendations are presented.

“The European policy brief is an important document summarising major first recommendations of the project” says Professor Bernhard Müller from TU Dresden and former director of the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development, the coordinator and one of the initiators of the project. “It is a joint effort of all project partners, among them several prominent think tanks from Europe and China. We hope that the policy brief will receive the attention of decision makers on supra-national, national and local levels in both parts of the world, and foster sustainable urban development.”

China and Europe have compatible strengths and are leading in complementary sectors of urban development. Despite many differences, e.g. regarding the general setting, the policy and planning instruments, as well as the speed and scale of urban development, both are strongly committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the ambitions of the New Urban Agenda. Social integration and inclusiveness are regarded as essential urban policy components on both sides. This provides ample opportunities for successful cooperation on an equal partnership basis and with mutual benefits.

You can download the policy brief above and find more information on