December 02, 2013

Show and Tell: Promoting TOD Best Practices at China’s REG Summit

REG Summit

The 3rd Annual Real Estate Guide (REG) Summit, The Global Forum on the Future of Sustainable Urban Development, took place in Guangzhou, China on November 15th. The event brings together many of China’s largest developers, providing an opportunity to share techniques and direct trends in China’s urban growth. As with the past years, ITDP co-organized the Summit as an organizational partner and helped shape the topics and themes of the event. ITDP Technical Director, Urban Development Luc Nadal presented the new TOD Standard at the event, and both Luc and ITDP Regional Director Karl Fjellstrom spoke on a panel focused on how “design creates value” for developers, the city, and urban residents.

Luc’s presentation, “TOD Standard: Measuring and managing TOD’s into the future”, addressed the theory and practice of creating sustainable urban developments in China. After discussing how urban form and transportation mode choice influence each other and benefit from complementary policy decisions, Luc presented the TOD Standard, a guide for creating and measuring Transit-Oriented Development projects around the world. The Standard uses ITDP’s 8 Principles for Better Streets and Better Cities as a base to establish metrics, such as quantifying crosswalks, cycling accessibility, and access to high quality public transit, to help developers build sustainable, equitable projects. At the Summit, Luc highlighted 3 best practices in China: Liuyunxiaoqu, Guangzhou; JianwaiSoh, Beijing; and Whampu Garden, Hongkong.

During an afternoon panel, ITDP Staffers Luc Nadal and Karl Fjellstrom, along with four prominent Chinese architects, discussed trends in sustainable urban transportation in China and internationally. Development in China still prioritizes private cars and bid roads, at the expense of pedestrians and cyclists. While many Chinese designers have yet to integrate concepts of livable space and green urban transport, international designers can often offer their experiences and expertise to help China create sustainable cities. Nonetheless, Karl discussed seeing changes from young engineers in recent years, and predicted wider use of green design in the near future.

The same day as the Summit, the first International Property & Investment Exhibition launched in Guangzhou. Drawing nearly 10,000 visitors over three days, the Exhibition offered an opportunity to demonstrate sustainable urban development projects in depth. ITDP China’s booth featured both local Guangzhou developments and BRT projects in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru. The director of REG, the former vice mayor of Guangzhou, lead a local team to visit the ITDP demonstrations as examples of how to promote sustainable urban development across the region.

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