60 Years of Planning: Achievements and Challenges – Annual Conference of China City Planning 2016 Successfully Held in Shenyang
The Annual Conference of China City Planning 2016 (shortened as the Conference hereinafter) was held from Sept. 24 to 27 in Shenyang. The theme of the Conference was “60 Years of Planning: Achievements and Challenges.” The conference was jointly sponsored by the Urban Planning Society of China (shortened as UPSC hereinafter) and the Shenyang Municipal People’s Government, co-organized by the Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Construction of Liaoning Province, and hosted by the Planning and Land Resource Bureau of Shenyang. Experts and scholars from urban-rural planning research and practice, and related fields throughout the country participated in this academic event of the widest influence and highest authority in the field of urban-rural planning.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the UPSC, also the 60th anniversary of New China’s urban-rural planning construction, and modern urban-rural planning discipline. In the past 60 years, confronted with the unprecedented rapid process of urbanization in the world, urban-rural planning in China has played a vital role in multiple aspects, i.e., implementing national and regional development strategies, leading the rational layout of urban-rural space, enhancing the urban-rural development quality, effectively allocating urban-rural land and spatial resources, maintaining social public security and public benefit, promoting the urban and rural harmonious development, etc.; and it has also gained a series of remarkable achievements in the fields of enrichment and improvement of the discipline’s knowledge system, the construction of a sound legal system of urban-rural planning, and promotion of institutional development, talent cultivation, etc.
As stressed by Shi Nan, Vice President and Secretary General of the UPSC, on the one hand, Chinese urban planning should make conclusions regarding the historic experience of past 60 years, and seek to create greater prosperity towards the future, as well as actively establishing its own language system, sharing Chinese experience with foreign counterparts; while on the other hand, it should soberly recognize challenges that we are facing today. As the social economic development is entering a “New Normal,” with new features emerging in patterns and trends of urban and rural planning development, urban-rural planning has entered the crucial stage of implementing the Several Opinions of the Central Committee of the CPC, and the State Council on Further Strengthening the Planning, Construction and Management of Cities, and strategies on the ecological civilization construction and the establishment of a spatial planning system proposed by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. Therefore, urban-rural planning is confronted with great challenges in aspects of taking an active role, establishing system, constructing discipline, cultivating talents, etc.
The Conference was composed of a Plenary Session on the first day, following further exchange in parallel sessions. A themed exhibition of “60 Years of Planning” was also held during the Conference, which showcased achievements of Chinese urban-rural planning from all perspectives over the past 60 years. On the Plenary Session of the first day, Shi Nan hosted the opening ceremony, with speeches made respectively by Joan Clos, Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Program, and Guo Fuchun, Deputy Secretary General of the Liaoning Government who represented Xue Heng, Vice-Chairman of Liaoning People’s Political Consultative Committee, and Pan Liguo, Mayor of Shenyang’s Municipal People’s Government. The Chinese Association for Science and Technology had sent their congratulations messages to the UPSC for the opening of the Conference and the 60th anniversary of the UPSC. Chairman of the International Society of City and Regional Planners had also sent congratulation messages, figuring out that UPSC had made considerable contributions in promoting urban-rural planning theoretical and practical creations in the past 60 years. From a global viewpoint, China’s urban-rural planning had taken a leading role in multiple fields including ecological city, high density urbanization, high-speed railway, large infrastructure, smart city technology, etc., and it is promising for China to explore frontier fields during the next 60 years on renewable energy, artificial intelligence, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
A cutting edge summit focusing on planning reform and leading academic research
The Plenary Session of the Conference has always been the cutting edge summit, which leads the direction of academic research. Focusing on urban-rural planning reform, the Plenary Session of this year specially invited Huang Yan, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, to make a report named Requirements of the Historical Development Stage: Urban-Rural Planning Reform. The Plenary Session also invited six experts to provide keynote speeches on Chinese urban-rural planning discipline development, spatial research and urban-rural planning development, “One Belt and One Road,” economic situation of China in 2016, urban governance, location oriented policy, etc. The six experts invited were: Sun Shiwen, UPSC Executive Director, Head of the UPSC Academic working Committee, Professor of College of Architecture and Urban Planning at Tongji University; Duan Jin, UPSC Executive Director, Deputy Head of the UPSC Urban Design Academic Committee, Professor of Architecture School at Southeast University; Liu Weidong, Director Assistant and researcher of the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Zhang Liqun, researcher of the Macro Economy Research Department of the Development Research Center of the State Council; Yang Hongshan, Professor of School of Public Administration and Policy at Renmin University of China; and Zheng Siqi, Professor and Head of Heng Long Center for Real Estate at Tsinghua University.
A sharing summit covering frontier topics and promoting cross-boarder communication
As the most influential and authoritative academic event in the urban-rural planning of China, aside from the Plenary Session, the Conference also established 46 parallel events, including 28 special sessions, 19 free forums, one theme forum, one high-end forum, and two special forums. Topics of the parallel sessions covered the latest research and practice among wide fields of urban-rural planning, focusing on prospective topics such as the regeneration of un-protective blocks, health-oriented urban design, etc.
The Conference of this year acquired 2,856 paper submissions, out of which 1,213 papers were involved in the Proceedings of the Annual Conference, and 232 excellent papers were shared in the special sessions. These papers presented fully reflected the latest outcomes in perspectives of urban-rural planning research, planning management, planning and design, planning education, etc. And scholars from various professional aspects were also invited to the special sessions, to share frontier research outcomes of central issues and key projects through 37 special themed reports. Moreover, winning papers of the “Seventh Qiushi Theoretic Paper Award of the UPSC” and the “‘Western Light’ College Students’ Summer Holiday Planning and Design Competition” projects were also presented during the special sessions.
Propelling urban-rural planning profession and discipline construction and assisting the growth of scholars
Devoting to propel profession and discipline development of urban-rural planning, so as to help more talents standing out, the UPSC awarded the China Urban Planning “Lifetime Achievement Award,” the National Award for the Best Scientific and Technical Workers, National Award for the Best Urban Planning Science and Technology Workers, Outstanding Workers of Urban Planning Society of China, Outstanding Students of International Youth Planners’ Workshop 2016, First Prize of the Fourth Session of “‘Western Light’ College Students” Summer Holiday Planning & Design Competition, and the Seventh Qiushi Theoretic Paper Award of the Urban Planning Society of China. Notably, Professor Liu Jian, Managing Chief Editor and Director of the Editorial Department of China City Planning Review, was awarded as the “Outstanding Worker of the UPSC” for her contribution and achievement on the development of urban planning in China.
The establishment of awards above highlighted the excellent effort that UPSC made on seeking, supporting, and cultivating scholars. Since assisting young scholars’ growth has always been regarded as a source of inheritance and development of the urban rural planning career, the Conference of this year has continued this tradition by launching the “Young Talent Promotion Project,” and established seven young planners’ sessions in the following communication procedure, hoping to provide a research and communication platform for young scholars, and accelerate their enhancement of theoretical research and practical application, thus empowering the planning reform under the new situation in China.