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2022 International Science and Technological Innovation Conference on Green Development Released the First Park City Index for the World

2022-07-12 | UPSC

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On July 6th, 2022, 2022 International Science and Technological Innovation Conference on Green Development , sponsored by China Association for Science and Technology, Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People’s Republic of China, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the People's Republic of China, and People's Government of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, was held in Yinchuan. Duan Jin, Vice Chairman of Urban Planning Society of China, Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Professor of Southeast University, released the world's first Park City Index on behalf of Urban Planning Society of China,released the world's first Park City Index (hereafter referring as Index) at International Science and Technological Innovation Conference on Green Development. The research and compilation of the Index follows the basic principles of value orientation, people's feelings, objective data, and scientific calculation, including 1 general report and 15 special reports, with a total of 1.1 million words.

Professor Duan Jin released the world's first Park City Index on behalf of China Urban Planning Society at 2022 International Science and Technological Innovation Conference on Green Development.

Sustainable development of the cities has become a topic of common concern around the world as entering a new era of ecological civilization. And China, as the most populous country in the world, is experiencing the largest, fastest and most influential urbanization process in human history.

In February 2018, General Secretary Xi Jinping firstly proposed the concept of Park City when he inspected Tianfu New District, which is a general requirement put forward by General Secretary Xi Jinping for the current urban development in my country as well as a a new model and road for urban construction in the era of ecological civilization. In October 2021, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council issued the Outline of the Construction Plan for the Chengdu-Chongqing Economic Circle, which clearly stated to support Sichuan Tianfu New District in the construction of park cities, carry out innovative demonstrations of sustainable development, and implement urban ecological land use reform and innovation and explore the establishment of park urban planning guidelines, index evaluation, value transformation and other systems. In February 2022, the State Council officially approved the construction of a park city demonstration area in Chengdu which implements the new development concept, marking that the park city has officially entered the stage of demonstration and promotion.

Professor Duan Jin points out that in order to implement the spirit of the central government and meanwhile turn the exploration experience of Tianfu New District into a transformation and development project of an ecologically civilized city with a general guiding significance, Urban Planning Society of China and Sichuan Tianfu New District began the compilation of Park City Index (referred to as the Index) in 2020. The Index is coordinated by Urban Planning Society of China as a whole, and more than 100 urban planning experts formed a joint research group from all over the country. After two years, the Index was officially released as the world's first Park City Index, including 1 general report and 15 special reports with a total of 1.1 million words.

The Index takes Xi Jinping Thought on ecological civilization as the key link, focuses on the central government's guiding ideology on urban work, implements the central spirit and major national and regional strategies, aims at the urban disease, which is common in our country, and the new challenges and new requirements of urban development in the era of ecological civilization. And through changing the traditional extensive development model and absorb the research results of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and other research results, the Index proposes a set of value systems that lead the transformation and development of cities through scientific research.

Professor Duan Jin says that the Index research systematically and in-depth interprets the park city theory, clarifies the value orientation of urban development in the new era, builds a matching evaluation dimension and measurement scale, and forms a set of technical solutions, which lead the transformation and development of cities, to further provide technical support for the sustainable development of the city, especially all parties involved in the construction of the park city, which anticipates to realize the vision of the park city entrusted by General Secretary Xi Jinping, and play an exemplary role to promote this new urban development paradigm.

Shi Nan, Executive Vice-Chairman and Secretary-General of Urban Planning Society of China, emphasizes that a park city is not an image project, nor does it occupy arable land as a park. The Park City Index does not pile up simple indicators, and its value pursuit is not to establish a new ranking system that is unconventional, but to focus on the practical implementation of the trends of the times and new ideas. The Index does not issue licenses without ranking, evaluations and city declarations. Instead, it reflects the development needs and outcomes from the transformation of cities from various new perspectives such as the concept of security, biodiversity, high-quality development, cultural soft power, and urban governance. The Index hopes to provide a more moderate and inclusive set of new public technology products and systematic, operable and innovative solutions for the sustainable development of cities in China and the world, which can pass on the value concepts of promoting urban transformation and sustainable development to all cities.

Cities are complex giant systems. In the process of rapid urbanization, it also brings a lot of pressure on resources and the environment. Achieving carbon peaking and carbon neutrality is a solemn commitment our country has made to the world, which forces us to pursue sustainable development. However, how to promote green urbanization and how to solve problems in development requires a starting point and a tool.

Shi Nan, Executive Vice-Chairman and Secretary-General of Urban Planning Society of China, emphasizes that Park City Index provides such a tool, just like a blood pressure monitor, a basic tool to measure whether a city is healthy, sustainable and green. With this tool, cities can be measured from different dimensions. For example, whether high-quality life is green, whether traditional culture is protected, inherited and carried forward, whether there is harmony between man and nature, etc.

"Not only to provide such a tool, but also to make this tool authoritative." Executive Vice-Chairman Shi Nan says. As the overall coordinator of the project, Urban Planning Society of China is a first-class society of the China Association for Science and Technology, and a national advanced social organization of the Ministry of Civil Affairs. Meanwhile, it is the most authoritative academic group in the field of urban planning and construction management. In order to develop the Park City Index, the Society has established a very strong research team, invited a group of academicians and experts as project consultants, mobilized the industry's top research team, and more than 100 domestic most influential experts directly participate in this work from all over the country.

The main body of a city is still the people. According to Professor Duan Jin, the Index includes four core contents: 1-5-15-45. The selection of these indicators emphasizes paying attention to people's feelings and development effectiveness, and improving people's happiness. For example, 1 refers to one overall goal, which is a harmonious, beautiful, vibrant and sustainable city. 5 refers to five key areas, namely harmonious coexistence, quality life, green development, cultural promotion, and modern governance. 15 is fifteen indexes contained in five fields, including safety and sustainability, natural symbiosis, environmental health, urban-park integration, rural life, popularity and vitality, ecological value-added, ecological empowerment, green and low-carbon,cultural heritage, culture-driven, open and inclusive, governance according to law, pluralistic co-governance, and intelligent governance.

Professor Duan Jin points out that these indexes focus on the people's concerns and respond to the people's pursuit of quality life; focus on the people's actual needs and meet the people's yearning for a happy life; pay attention to the people's perception , and select the warm index which is understood, perceived, and participated by the citizens ; pay attention to people's psychological feelings, and improve people's sense of gain, happiness and security.

Executive Vice-Chairman Shi Nan says that park city emphasizes fairness and justice in urban construction and social development and people's well-being, on the basis of attaching importance to ecology, and pays more attention to people's feelings, which strives to create more public space, public service and development opportunities, realizing people's city for the people.

Professor Duan Jin says that the Index uses a large number of diversified data from different industries and new technologies in terms of data sources, and follows the law of the urban cycle in terms of data types. There are also economic and social development data (annual update) that reflects the current state of the city, and big data information (real-time update) to monitor the dynamic changes of the city.

Executive Vice-Chairman Shi Nan says that a city is a complete life body and has a long cycle. The data of the Index is not a year, but a 10-year or even longer cycle. Among the total data sources, the traditional statistical yearbook data is less than 50%, and the rest are objective data, such as remote sensing data, big data, professional survey data, etc., which are relatively objective and authoritative. Data of Index research must be Objective. Meanwhile, the data support is comprehensive, absorbing the whole chain data of economy, society, culture, ecology and so on.

Professor Duan Jin says that the research of Index is value-oriented, respects the logic of the system, adopts a head-type structure, and distributes equal weights to the five major fields to guide the comprehensive and balanced development of the city, not using waist and bottom type.

Professor Duan Jin introduces that 10+N trial calculation method is adopted on the basis of the formation of the index system,: ten typical and representative cities in different regions, locations and sizes in China are selected, including Xining, Baotou, Shenyang, Qingdao, Luoyang, Yangzhou, Chengdu, Kunming, Guilin and Zhuhai, to further conduct trial calculations on the indexes to further verify whether the indexes have broad applicability; meanwhile, select a number of special cities that perform well in specific indexes, such as Beijing, Shanghai, etc., to ensure the rationality of the index value. Through trial calculations, the advantages and disadvantages of these cities are scientifically and objectively reflected, and the direction is pointed out for  further implementing the concept of park city.

Radar chart of results for 10 sample cities

Executive Vice-Chairman Shi Nan says that the Index released now is version 1.0, with only 10 sample cities. In the future, all prefecture-level cities in the country will be measured, and at a certain stage, international cities will also be measured. In the future, the Index will be international through continuous in-depth research and functional iteration, and build an urban development index with contemporary value and extensive influence, reflecting China's international responsibility.

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Translated by Wang Yue