Forum on Sustainable Urban Development Draws Intl Experts to Chengdu

AuthorsG China Daily

The Third High-Level International Forum on Sustainable Urban Development was convened here in Chengdu on July 15 to 17.

The government has to better participate in the full process of urban development, and organically integrate it with the role of the market, American economist Paul Romer told a gathering of international experts discussing urban development.

Romer, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2018 with William Nordhaus, another distinguished American economist, for breakthrough growth theories, made the remarks on July 16 at the Third International High-level Forum on Sustainable Urban Development held in Chengdu.

"I used to hold the concept that the government should not participate in the market. Now I think that the government should better participate in the whole process of urban development. Urban development requires not only a combination of the market economy and government participation, but also a good competition and business model," Romer said.

With good competition, the government will provide some plans and structure, and needs to take measures according to changes in the new situation, he added.

The three-day forum, which ended on July 17, was organized by the China Center for Urban Development, the United Nations Human Settlements Program and Chengdu Municipal People's Government.

With the theme "Dialogue with the World for Green Development," the forum has drawn representatives from 27 Chinese and foreign cities, 22 international institutions and 48 enterprises in 36 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania and Latin America to compare notes on the concept and model of sustainable urban development and share experiences and practices of global sustainable urban development.

Traditional drivers of urban development, mainly real estate investment, infrastructure investment and export, has slowed down, according to Liu Shijin, deputy chief of the Economic Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

The first choice for the new momentum should be the integration of urban and rural development in a number of small towns or cities formed on the basis of original rural areas that are 50 kilometers, 100 kilometers or in an appropriate range outside the existing core cities, he said.

To upgrade such a new pattern for cities and industries, people, capital, technology, land and other elements should be able to move freely between urban and rural areas in both directions.

Farmers should be allowed to come to cities and city dwellers to the countryside, Liu said.