特色小镇

Building better towns , creating better lives —— Speech at the opening ceremony of the International Towns Forum

Yanbing Chen Vice Chairman and General-Secretary of the International Towns Federation

Chairman Kevin Rudd,

Prime Minister George Papandreou,

Governor Thomas Riddge,

Professor Steven Chu,

Chairman Xinli Zheng,

Professor James Leckie,

Professor Marcus Feldman

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning !

Today, we are gathering in the magical land of Silicon Valley and breathing the fresh academic air of Stanford University, to start a great new project which concerns the whole of mankind namely the world-wide sustainable development of towns.

The International Towns Forum, co-organized by the International Towns Federation and the Center for Sustainable Development and Global Competitiveness at Stanford University, is now open.

On behalf of the organizers of this forum, I want to express our warm welcome to our guests and friends from all over the world!

Today’s world is full of challenges and wisdom. Only by pooling our experience, knowledge and wisdom ,do we have a chance to overcome these challenges. Perhaps the biggest challenge facing us today is the threat to our living environment and the sustainable development of our society

There are already so many important forums in the world; such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Boao Forum for Asia in China, and the OECD Forum in Pairs. However, today’s International Towns Forum has very special purpose.

Our goal is to shift the world’s attention from big cities to small towns, from urban environments to rural environments, from residents to migrants, from the present to the future. We aim to focus international wisdom and resources, on the future of towns around the world—our common home in the future.

The International Towns Forum hopes to achieve three goals.

The first goal is to develop a global agreement to give highest priority to the development of  towns.

With the  acceleration of mordernization, our hometowns are undergoing deep changes. According to the report released by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), 55% of the world’s population now lives in cities, and the global urbanization rate is expected to reach 68% by 2050.

The increased population  in cities, has forced us to face very serious urban problems; such as environmental pollution, traffic congestion, employment difficulties, inadequate water supply, insufficient public services, rapidly increasing housing costs and so on. These must be the focus of our forum today.

With accelerated  industrialization, the environment we live in is deteriorating day by day. Landscapes are being destroyed, water is becoming scarce, air is being polluted as greenhouse gas emissions increase. These are a sample of what we’re going to talk about today.

Rapid urbanization has led many people to escape from big cities, to get away from urban problems, building by developing and living in towns.

We are becoming increasingly aware that the countryside has become a desirable location for towns, which can be developed to optimize lifestyles, well-being and maintenance of the environment .

Therefore, we must form a consensus and attach great importance sustainable development of towns.

Our second goal is to create a strong global synergy for development of towns. There are thousands of  towns all over the world, some rich, some poor, some advanced, some backward, some traditional, some modern. No matter what country it belongs to, or where it is located, the goal is to make towns prosperous, peaceful, beautiful and in harmony with nature.

Each town has its own characteristics and advantages. If towns act alone, they will have little power. If they act together, each will gain strength.

Therefore, it is very necessary for  towns all over the world to forge a program of development synergy, face difficulties together and solve problems together in the struggle to achieve sustainability.

Let’s work together to make our towns stronger and to create a better life together!

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Our third goal is to build a platform for global cooperation among towns. The development of towns needs to form a consensus, to create a synergy, but we also need to cooperate! Different towns have different resources and different characteristics. Only when towns complement each other, share resources, share experiences and knowledge can we achieve cooperation and common growth.

It was to undertake this historical mission that the International Towns Federation(ITF)  was originally established.

ITF is an international non-profit organization voluntarily organized by the world’s distinguished urban planners, managers, researchers, scholars and experts from  around the world.

ITF is dedicated to carrying out wide-ranging research on sustainable development of towns. It is committed to building a global cooperation platform for towns and promoting cooperation between around the world in order to build better towns for better lives!

ITF will provide the following services to all its members around the world:

1. Hold international conferences to study the problems faced by towns and suggest solutions.

2. Establish a global cooperation platform for towns to share resources and complement each other’s experiences.

3. Establish a large database of global towns, provide information and intelligent services for global towns.

4. Establish a global towns happiness index evaluation system, and announce the global top 100 happiest towns every year.

5. Find sister towns for  towns around the world and establish close cooperation between them.

6. Train town builders, managers and designers.

7. Establish a towns investment fund with industry allies to provide financial industrial support for the development of towns.

8. Exchange and promote the management experience of global towns around the world, and improve the quality of life and happiness index of all towns.

9. Summarize the experiences and problems in development of towns around the world, and calling on governments to formulate policies conducive to the development of  towns.

In a word, we will try our best to provide all-round and diversified services for  the towns , build a harmonious, friendly and dynamic happy home for  the towns and let the towns all over the  world toward prosperity and happiness!

Yesterday, the ITF held a important council meeting, the assembly elected Mr. Kevin Rudd as the Chairman of the ITF and elected Mr. George Papandreou, Mr.Thomas Ridge, Professor Steven Chu, Mr. Xinli Zheng , Professor James Leckie, Professor Marcus Feldman and other distinguished people and famous experts to serve as Vice Chairman of the ITF. This marks a starting point  for global cooperation in a process of successful town development.

We extend our warm congratulations and heartfelt thanks to all the guests on their election.

Finally, I hope you all have an exciting and successful experience at this first International Towns Forum

I wish all guests good health and  happy New Year!

The Stanford Declarations on Sustainable Development of world towns(斯坦福宣言)

We, the International Towns Federation(ITF) and the Center for Sustainable Development and Global Competitiveness at Stanford University(CSDGC), as well as a wide range of stakeholders, including local and regional authorities, non-for-profit organizations, academics,representatives of the private sector and civil society, gathering together at Stanford University on 18th January 2020,and participating in the International Towns Forum, which focused on the theme of sustainable development of towns.

Having met to discuss the challenges and opportunities of urbanization for further sustainable development of towns across the world,

Bearing in mind that each town has its advantages and characteristics, diverse and rich history of urbanization process, urban construction and community organization, and agreeing to seek effective approaches, strategies and tools that are not only able to respond to the specific challenges of the towns, but also contribute to addressing global issues,

Affirming that the major cities and towns where we live are the driving force of our global economy and society. Cities are civilization’s most efficient hubs of commerce, trade, and growth. Urban areas are civilization’s most prolific wells of education, culture, and innovation. They are the lifeblood of our modern world,

Recognizing that global urbanization on an unprecedented scale in the past has been extensive but unequal.Lack of housing and infrastructure for urban migrants, lack of safe drinking water for urban dwellers,and lack of education for children are just a few of the very common challenges faced by many of our urban communities.Cities and towns have become the source of our greatest social and environmental challenges.

Cognizant of the key role of well-managed and sustainable urbanization as a source of development and well-being of societies,

Declare the following:

1.The towns all over the world are diverse and colorful. They are precious treasures given by the nature. We must work together to defend our homeland, to prevent “urban diseases” from eroding our homes, to eliminate pollution and to achieve the goal of sustainable development.

2. The towns across the world vary widely and each single one of them has its own uniqueness and merits, which demonstrates the diversity of the world. We must exchange and learn the strength and weakness from each other and develop together.

3. Vast territory and rich resources make these towns an ideal place to live. We must take actions to protect the blue sky and the green mountains.

4. The towns around the world have long histories and splendid cultures. They are also our spiritual home. We must unite together to preserve the culture and its roots, and to retain the memories, the spirits.

5. The towns across the world keep changing significantly. The population of the towns is also growing rapidly. Towns have become the habitat of modern civilization. We must have more communications, enhance understanding, strengthen cooperation, make progress with the time developing, keep innovating, mutually share the successful management experiences, and progressively improve the service quality in towns.

6. There are fierce and beneficial competitions between towns all around the world. Consequently, they are the ideal places to undertake industries transferred from large and medium-sized cities. We must be aware of these features, be the leaders in these fields, carefully select industries, give an accurate position of ourselves, avoid  blindly following the trends, refrain from duplicating the industries from others and pump inexhaustible power into towns.

7. The global market of towns is massive and has unlimited potential, which is an important target for capital investment. We must unite and create innovate investment & financing modes to lead international capitals into the town developments.

8. The towns across the world are facing with the future that is full of glorious prospects. The towns are like countless shining stars, embedded in the sky all over the world. We must occupy the commanding heights of science and technology, strengthen cooperation in the field of information technology, share informational resources, and jointly build up digital and intelligent towns.

9. We strongly recommend that comprehensive, long-term and focused political commitment and leadership be promoted at the global, regional, national and local levels for the achievement of Sustainable Development of towns across the world and the global consensus on a road map of sustainable development of towns for inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements is to be reached.

10.We call upon all stakeholders, including international, regional,national and local governments, research organizations, financial institutions, academics,private sectors and civil society to work collaboratively with each other to manage the increasing diversity and demographic complexity of our towns in order to address the social, economic and environmental challenges faced by urban dwellers.

In accordance with the above consensus, we have agreed to take the following measures to jointly promote sustainable development of towns around the world.

1.Jointly hold International Towns Forum every year in different place across the world. to study the problems faced by towns and to suggest solutions.

2. Establish a global cooperation platform for towns to share resources and complement each other’s experiences.

3. Establish a large database of global towns, provide information and intelligent services for global towns.

4. Establish a global towns’ happiness index evaluation system, and announce the global top 100 happiest towns every year.

5. Seek for partners for towns around the world and establish close cooperation between them.

6. Provide training and executive education for town builders, managers and designers.

7. Establish a town investment fund with industry partners to provide financial and industrial support for the development of towns.

8. Exchange and promote the managerial experience of global towns around the world, and improve the quality of life and happiness index of all towns.

9. Summarize the experiences and problems in development of towns around the world, and call on governments to formulate policies conducive to the development of towns.

10. Hold international conferences to study the problems faced by towns and suggest solutions.

Interview: Expert says China ready to share experience in towns construction with other countries

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) — China is ready to share its experience in urbanization and towns construction with other countries while it is working to achieve sustainable development, a Chinese urbanization expert said Sunday.

China has accumulated some good experience during the process of urbanization to address the ailments of cities, or what is better known as “urban diseases,” said Chen Yanbing, vice chairman and general-secretary of the International Towns Federation (ITF), in an interview with Xinhua.

With the acceleration of urbanization during its development, China is facing a lot of challenges that other countries have encountered before, including increased population in metropolitan cities, environmental pollution, traffic congestion, creation of jobs, inadequate water supply, and rising housing costs, Chen said.

In order to explore solutions to those problems and support future sustainable development and urbanization of cities and towns around the world, the ITF hosted an international forum in Stanford University earlier this month in partnership with the Center for Sustainable Development and Global Competitiveness (SDGC) at Stanford, which drew some prominent international figures such as former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, he said.

The forum was a good opportunity for political leaders, scholars, urbanization experts and industry representatives from various countries to exchange views and experience in building towns and cities, Chen noted.

“In fact, China has really something good to offer for other countries in towns development, including one of its proud achievements characterized by successful poverty relief,” he said.

China is the most populous country in the world, but it successfully avoided problems of some Western countries in their early-day process of urbanization, where farmers were plunged into extreme poverty after they lost their land, Chen explained.

Unlike those Western countries, Chinese government ensured that people who left their hometowns in the countryside and moved into urban areas were able to have minimal stable income and sheltering, with access to employment, education and medical insurance in cities, Chen said.

“China’s urbanization did not lead to poverty among farmers, which is worth learning by other countries,” he said.

In addition, governments at various levels in China have successfully achieved smooth transition of industry by helping farmers expand their source of income from farming to other industries such as tourism and deep processing of farm products, said the Chinese expert.

“This marks integration of the first and second industries with the service industry, which helped farmers support themselves economically, thus promoting development of multi-industries,” he said.

Furthermore, in recent years, China has done a good job in protecting environment and water resources during urbanization, he said.

“While we built towns, we prevented ecological deterioration, as well as the loss of lakes and trees,” he said.

Despite its huge population, China’s forestation rate has grown steadily in the past few years with more trees being planted every year, and “this is one more experience we can share with our colleagues in other countries,” Chen said.

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