December 19, 2011

Nicky Gavron, James Corner and China Mayor’s Association discuss sustainable transit at OCO summit

Nicky Gavron, former Deputy Mayor of London, told a packed room at the China Real Estate Guide (REG) Summit, how London had unwittingly followed ITDP’s ‘Our Cities Ourselves’ principles for transport in urban life to turn “the dirty old man of Europe” into a city that has achieved the world’s fastest shift from the private car to sustainable modes.

Over 300 delegates, including Mayors of Chinese cities, high ranking officials from government bureaus and prominent businessmen from the Chinese real estate sector, attended the event held alongside the ‘Our Cities Ourselves’ exhibition in Guangzhou China.

For the first time in the nine-year history of this influential conference, which is guided by the China Mayor’s Association, the topic chosen for discussion was ‘Sustainable Development’ and ‘Creating People Orientated Cities’.

The Real Estate Guide worked together with ITDP to develop a program which included presentations from the former Mayor of Nanjing, renowned architect James Corner, Hal Harvey of Climate Works, Nicky Gavron, and the senior team from ITDP.

The ‘Our Cities Ourselves’ exhibition centers around renderings by some of the world’s leading architects of how ten cities around the world could look by 2030, if they translated the OCO principles into reality and prioritized walking, cycling, and public transit-orientated developments.

The Real Estate Guide summit was the ideal platform to discuss the application of these principles with an audience with the power, influence and finance to make them a reality for the future development in China.

As ITDP CEO Walter Hook pointed out during the event, “following these principles is the only way to create cities which are sustainable and livable”.

Concluding with two roundtable discussions, the Chinese leaders who participated showed an understanding and appreciation of the concepts being discussed, which bears well for the success of the event.

Karl Fjellstrom, ITDP China Director, noted after the end of the REG summit that, “the reception from our partners in organizing this event has been excellent, so much so that REG have asked to work with ITDP on future events. The summit itself was excellent, but perhaps more important were the relationships we were able to forge with leading developers and government officials over of the course of the three day event. We look forward to working with them in the future to start to work towards turning the visions of ‘Our Cities Ourselves’ into reality.”

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