International government and academic experts participated in a conference in Guangzhou on December 6 to explore potential solutions to major issues of urban governance and planning.
One conference speaker, Yu Keping, a professor and dean with the School of Government at Peking University, said four key themes of good urban governance involve concept, service, sharing and integration.
The theme of the event, the International Urban Innovation Forum, was “Urban Governance Innovation: Vision Becomes Reality.”
Marvin Rees, the mayor of Bristol in England, reported that his city provides social services and welfare to various citizens to promote social equality and offer more autonomy to local government.
Helena Balthammar, the mayor of the Swedish city of Linkoping, said, “We should get inspiration from citizens and understand what citizens really need. We should make sure their dream becomes an urban reality and bring it to urban development planning.”
Lan Zhiyong, dean of the Urban Innovation and Behavior Laboratory at Beijing’s Tsinghua University, praised Guangzhou as a city that provides new ideas and concepts for urban innovation and can serve as a window of reform.
Another Chinese speaker, Zhu Dajian, from the Institute of Sustainable Development and Management at Tongji University, said he hopes more Chinese enterprises, universities, citizens, governments and organizations join urban planning and governance and connect China’s urban innovation with the rest of the world.
Shi Nan, vice-chairman of the International Society of City and Regional Planners and secretary-general of India’s Union Public Service Commission, said, “We continue to put people first, and increase the supply of public goods and services, and encourage nongovernmental participation.’
Thanks to the ideals of urban planning that have led to an increase in public services, Guangzhou citizens can enjoy many different activities in their free time.