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Global businesses collaborate in China to create a sustainable city

Geneva, Switzerland - June 17, 2013 – After extensive collaboration between the business-led Urban Infrastructure Initiative (UII) and the City of Yixing, China, a report was launched today identifying practical solutions for realizing its vision of becoming a sustainable city by 2020.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) UII report: A Solutions Landscape for Yixing, China delivers findings from an interdisciplinary UII team of sustainability experts from WBCSD, China Business Council for Sustainable Development (CBCSD), AECOM, Schneider Electric, and Siemens. The report provides multi-sector business expertise on the urban development measures needed to contribute to Yixing’s vision to become China’s “scientific and sustainable development demonstration city” and an “Oriental water city”.

Peter Bakker, WBCSD President said that as growing populations rapidly urbanize, Yixing’s challenge represents China’s, and indeed the world’s overall sustainable development challenge.

“Yixing is the first city in China to work with the WBCSD’s UII project, showing strong commitment to create a demonstration city using the latest urbanization models. Truly innovative city planning should involve business from the beginning. This collaboration provides a blueprint for us all on ways to harness the full capability of business to deliver sustainable solutions earlier in the life cycle of urban planning,” said Mr Bakker.

Already considered an exemplar in Chinese sustainable development, the City of Yixing engaged WBCSD’s UII to assess and deliver opportunities and recommendations to significantly enhance urban planning, transportation and mobility and energy efficiency in the region.

Mr. Zhai Qi,Executive Secretary General of CBCSD said: “The UII program brings along internationally successful experiences while taking into account the local realities. It raises smart city solutions on building an eco-city and oriental water city with the City of Yixing, which further serves as a demonstration for similar cities and ultimately contributes to the sustainable urbanization progress in China.”

The report details recommendations and solutions, ranging from short-term immediate actions to longer-term investments in infrastructure and technology including:

• using a scientific approach to optimizing land use density and preventing urban sprawl by preserving and protecting ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, watersheds and agriculture;

• adopting a compact mixed-use urban development pattern for all new development zones, favoring non-motorized mobility and public transport while protecting green space, parks, gardens and wetlands;

• making Yixing a more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly city by implementing transit-oriented development while making better use of existing transport infrastructure, information and traffic management systems; and

• implementing industry and building specific energy efficiency recommendations, including optimizing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), improving power plant efficiency, and optimizing district heating, as well as sector-specific measures for the cement and chemical manufacturing industries.
The report noted that the success of Yixing in realizing its vision to be a sustainable city by 2020 depends to a large extent on its ability to engage people and stakeholders, such as business, to actively participate through consistent public engagement, regular development reviews and benchmarking.