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VIEWPOINT: Putting knowledge into practice

2nd Asia-Europe Young Urban Leaders Dialogue (AEYULD): Transforming Lifestyles, Designing Sustainable Cities

 
 
   

"Whoever comes to the Shanghai Expo this year would find a specially designed space that showcases urban best practices.  This clearly delivers a message that sustainable development is more-than-ever important.  The AEYULD took this opportunity to promote the theme of ‘Transforming Lifestyles, Designing Sustainable Cities’. 

Through a series of interesting and informative workshops and discussions, the dialogue allowed us to share creative views, ideas and solutions related to all aspects of sustainable urban planning. 

Just like what I said before the dialogue: "Good urban planners must first be good learners”.  I was so surprised to learn a lot from the other participants at the workshops, including new practices such as Mobile Learning and Sharism , as well as the latest technologies for public transport planning, such as Legion

On the last day of the workshop, we had a chance to work in small groups and to design our own projects.  This was the most interesting part of the whole dialogue.  Our group proposed a public transport system design for a town in Vietnam, which is based on a real case introduced by Thao Luong. 

Through discussions, we investigated the natural resources of the town, its increasing migrant population, age structures, and needs from local residents.  Based on these, we crafted a tailored public transport system composed of clean energy buses and taxis, and public rental bicycles.  Additionally, we also proposed special walking and cycling lanes and speed limits throughout the town. 

By developing this plan, we put our knowledge on sustainable urban planning into practice.  The significance of the AEYULD is that it is a workshop that focused more on practice, interaction, and participation.  By attending the dialogue, I shared my expertise on coastal management to other participants, and in turn, their comments and suggestions were invaluable to me. 

I would wish to meet up with people in the future via ASEF workshops and contribute more on leading sustainable urban planning and management."

About the Author
Haibo Huang, a Chinese national, is a PhD candidate at the University College Cork in Ireland.  He joined the
2nd Asia-Europe Young Urban Leaders Dialogue held at the Madrid Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo (26-28 July 2010) and  represented the Department of Geography and Irish Institute of Chinese Studies of the University College Cork. He is currently researching on adaptive coast management to climate impacts.

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