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THEMATIC SESSION « GREEN AND SUSTAINABLE CITIES ». 4th SEA EU NET Stakeholder conference , Ha Noi , November 2011. Introduction. A growing interest for the concept of sustainable development . Achieving «  sustainable cities  » is part of this trend.

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thematic session green and sustainable cities


4th SEA EU NET Stakeholderconference,

Ha Noi, November 2011

  • A growinginterest for the concept of sustainabledevelopment. Achieving « sustainablecities » is part of this trend.
  • Cities: a complex system involvingmany disciplines and fields or research: energy, transports, urban planning, environment, political sciences, etc…
the goals of this session
The goals of this session
  • - what are the issues at stake when we speak of durability for the city?
  • - what lessons can we draw from projects?
  • - what can be the contribution of researches in this field?
  • - Is the European experience transferable to South East Asia, and how?


  • 13:30   Sustainable cities and cooperation between Europe and ASEAN countries
  • Dr. Laurent Schwab, CNRS, France
  • 13:40   On the way to structure the urbanhydrologicalfield. HURRBIS: an attempt to find the good scales for innovativepolicies for urban drainage in France
  •             Dr. Jose- Frédéric  Deeroubaix, Université Paris-Est, France
  • 14:00   SustainableStrategies for Climate-OrientedUrban Structures and Energy-EfficientHousing
  •             Prof. Frank Schwartze, BrandenburgUniversity of Technology Cottbus
  •             Dr. Michael Waibel, University of Hamburg
  • MSc. NgôThị Tố Nhiên, National Centre for Technological Progress
  • 14:20   The trend of urbandevelopment of coastalurban areas in Vietnam and response to global climate change
  •             Dr. Do Tu Lan,
  • 14:40   Panel Discussion and Q&A
  • 15:15   Tea break
agenda 2
  • 15:45   Green Cities by Environment - FriendlyUrbanTraffic Concepts
  •             Dr. Irina Dovbischuk. Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics, Germany
  • 16:05   Climate Change and Current and Future Urban Flood Risks in
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  •             Harry Storch, BrandenburgUniversity of Technology (BTU) Cottbus
  • 16:25   Key challenges, potentialmeasures and cooperationneeds in integrated water and wastewater management in Hanoi city.
  •             Dr. Nguyen Viet Anh, Institute of Environment Science and Engineering, Vietnam
  • 16: 45  The return of eco design for urban and architectural works in the context of climate change in Vietnam
  •             Dr. Hoang Manh Nguyen, Tropical Architecture Institute, Vietnam
  • 17: 05  Panel Discussion and Q&A
sustainable cities and cooperation between europe and asean countries summary
Sustainable cities and cooperation between Europe and ASEAN countriesSummary
  • 1-Sustainablecities, a fuzzy concept but a real issue
  • 2-Cooperationbetween Europe and the ASEAN in this area canbemutuallybeneficial
  • 3- How to improvecooperationbetween Europe and ASEAN?
1 sustainable city
1- « Sustainable city ? »
  • A fuzzy concept:
    • There is no agreeddefinition of sustainablecities.
    • Even the word « sustainable » is not soobvious:
      • English: Sustainable:
      • French: Durable: somethingthatlasts.
      • Vietnamese
      • Thai
  • Cities have an impact on global sustainability
  • The issue of sustainabledevelopmentisparticularly relevant to cities (Bruntland report)
  • The city, a complex system, mayalsobeconsidered as a laboratory for sustainabledevelopment, a place for testing instruments and institutional structures.
defining sustainable cities

Sustainabilityshouldbeseen as a process, not as a result.


  • -greenhouse gaz emissions are reduced and seriousclimate change mitigation actions are implemented,
  • Urbansprawlisminimized and more compact towns are developed.
  • Non-renewableresources are sensiblyused and conserved,
  • Renewableresources are not depleted,
  • The energyused and the wasteproduced per unit of output and consumptionisreduced,
  • The wasteproducedisrecycled or disposed of in waysthat do not damage the widerenvironment,
  • The ecologicalfootprint of townsisreduced.

Source: fromUN-Habitat and DFID, in « Planning SustainableCities ».

translating the concept into practice
Translating the concept into practice
  • Manycities have integratedsustainabilityinto the waythey design and implement programs, and deliver services to the residents and businesses.
  • Example: sustainableurbanmobilityis about creating a richdiversity of transportation choices—not justhighways and bridges, but transit-friendly, bike-friendly and pedestrian-friendlyneighborhoods and cleanervehicles and cleaner fuels.
… but
  • « Although the sustainableurbandevelopment vision has been embraced by cities all over the world, none are yet able to simultaneously ad comprehensivelyaddress the differentfacets of the sustainabledevelopment challenge and to fullydemonstrate how to integrate the green and brown agendas ».
  • Source: Planning SustainableCities, UN Habitat, Global Report on HumanSettlements 2009.
2 an area for cooperation between europe and asean
2- An area for cooperationbetween Europe and ASEAN?  
  • 4 keyideas:
  • - The experience of Europeancitiescanbe relevant for South-EastAsiancities AND
  • EuropeancitiescanalsolearnfromSouth-EastAsia.
  • - There are alreadyexamples and experiences of cooperation but they are seldomconnectedbetweeneachother.
  • - Translatingresearchfindings in actualurban management and planning has still to beundertaken.
the experience of european cities can be relevant for south east asian cities
The experience of Europeancitiescanbe relevant for South-EastAsiancities.
  • 80 percent of Europe's population live in urban areas.
  • Citizens have been demanding better public transportation, cleaner environments, more green spaces and parks, quieter and friendlier streets, more affordable housing, ways to reduce their ecological footprints…
  • City councilors and mayors have been listening and delivering, or have themselves taken the lead to convince their electorate that change must happen, can be of benefit to all, and can substantially increase happiness and well-being while simultaneously reducing the ecological pressures on the planet. 
european experiences
  • Europeancities have engagedthemselves in the road to sustainability.
  • Case studies are numerous:
    • Eco-districts: Vesterbro (Copenhagen), Kreuzberg (Berlin), BedZED (London)
    • Regulations and plans: risk management, climate…, Agenda 21
    • Europeancooperationwithin Europe: EuroCities, EnergyCities, ClimateAlliance…
learning from south east asian cities
Learning from South East Asiancities
  • Europeancitiescannotlimittheirthinking and practices to Europeanexperiences.
  • Lessonscanbelearnedfrom SEA experiences:
    • In practice: role of actors, women, micro-credit…
    • In the field of research: testingmodels in SEA can help generalizetheirfindings.
in south east asia cities will face growing challenges in the next decades cont
In South East Asia, citieswill face growing challenges in the nextdecades (cont.)
  • WhileSoutheastAsiais one of the world’s least urbanizedregions, itsurban population isgrowingatunprecedented rates, 1.75 times fasterthan the world’surban population .
  • as much as 80 per cent of national grossdomesticproductisgeneratedwithinurban areas, usuallythroughindustrialization and foreign direct investment.
  • Environmentaldegradationis a major challenge in the region.
  • Risingenergydemands are currentlybeing met by the burning of fossil fuels thatpollute and generateincreasing volume of greenhousegases (GHG) emission.
areas for cooperation are numerous
Areas for cooperation are numerous
  • Urban planning
  • Urban transportation
  • Urban networks: (sanitation, water, electricity, telephone)
  • Life styles
  • Urbangovernance
  • Heritage (architecture, etc…)
and there is a large diversity of actors
… and thereis a large diversity of actors
  • Governments (bilateralcooperation)
  • International agencies (WB, ADB, EU)
  • Inter-city or inter-regionscooperation
  • NGOs
  • Universities and research organisations
… but
  • Cooperationactivities are oftenisolatedfromeachother (transport and environment? …
  • European organisations are active in thisfield, but isolatedfromeachother.
  • Ex: Vietnam.
    • Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands, etc…
    • As itisoften the case in international cooperation, activities are segmented: organisations, actorsseldom talk to eachother.
… and
  • Results (projects, researches) are seldomshared.
  • There issometimes a tendency to reinvent the wheel.
  • In a context of budgetaryconstraints, thereis a need for a bettersynergy.
  • Probably a tendency to focus on large cities and neglectsmallertownswhere the needs are huge.
3 improving cooperation between europe and asean a few ideas and proposals
3- ImprovingcooperationbetweenEurope and ASEAN: a few ideas and proposals
  • There are no one-size-fits-all solutions, but great, innovative and exciting ideas need to be shared;
  • There are alreadymany types of cooperations, but they are oftenspecific, related to one or a few particularfields.
ideas 1
Ideas (1)
  • Establishing bridges
  • There is a lot of talk about « best practices » but how are theseexamined, tested and transfered?
  • Whileitisprobably impossible to gather information into a single format or mechanism, woulditbe possible to establish bridges:
  • - betweenprojects?
  • - between (European and ASEAN) actors?
  • - betweenresearchersfromdifferentfields?
establishing bridges cont
Establishing bridges (cont.)
  • Companies are involved in urban issues in many aspects: transports, sanitation, etc… How to sharefindingswiththem? How to benefitfromtheirexperience?
  • Example:
  • Siemens Singapore in April 2009 has set up a Siemens city of the future exhibition and solutions center to profile innovative solutions and technologies for city management of future smart, safe and mobile cities.
ideas 2
Ideas (2)
  • Training the urbanactors
  • Urban management cannotbeonlyseen as a « technical » issue. Challenges are increasinglyinter-connected: transport systems have a strong impact on the environment, etc.
  • More projectsaddress the issue of training the actors of urbandevelopment.
  • Sustainabledevelopmentshouldbebetterincorporated in SEA Urbandegrees and programmes.
  • Cooperationbetweenuniversitiesshouldbestrengthened.
ideas 3
Ideas (3)
  • Articulatingresearch and cooperation in urban management
  • Toooften, researchisseparatedfromprojects (althoughwe have counter-examples in this session).
  • Need to betterarticulatebothactivities, and
  • Important role to beplayed by universities in South East Asia.
ideas 4
Ideas (4)
  • Taking a long termapproach
  • Citiescannotbecome « sustainable » in one day or one year.
  • Transforming the citiesis a long termprocess, socooperation in thisfieldshouldalsotake a long termapproach.
  • From ODA to partnership ?
an example of cooperation vietnamese officials testing new modes of transportation in lyon france
An example of cooperation: Vietnameseofficialstesting « new » modes of transportation in Lyon (France)

Source: INSA report, Lyon, 2011



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