“Less Ego More Eco – Towards Shared Sustainability” Forum


Urbanization has been gaining a prominent position in the cultural and institutional debate in China. The “Middle Kingdom” is now entering a completely new phase of its development, characterized by the rise of the so-called megacities, as a consequence of the impressive number of people who massively move from rural areas to bigger cities. As stated in China’s 12th Five Year Plan, urbanization is becoming one of the necessary keys to open the doors of a more modern, developed, better-serviced country.

However, this target can’t be achieved without a proper model, and it is indeed necessary to take into account several crucial factors which altogether contribute to its effectiveness.

The real challenge this country is called to face, and that can’t be postponed anymore, is how to combine striving for modernization with a sustainable and viable way to achieve it, and on which actions should be taken to implement it.

This was the main topic at the heart of the forum “Less Ego More Eco – Towards Shared Sustainability”, organized by Progetto CMR and held today at the Institute of Culture of the Italian Embassy in Beijing. The conference was officially opened by H.E. Alberto Bradanini, Italian Ambassador in China, followed by keynote speeches delivered by Chinese and European Officials, who gave the audience the chance to better understand the approaches taken by institutional bodies to the topic of sustainable urbanization: Mr Xu Bo, Deputy Secretary-General of Beijing Municipality, Mr Laurent Javaudin, First Secretary of the European Delegation to China, Mr Ren Zhiqiang, Chairman of Huayuan Property and Mr Gu Wenxuan, Deputy Director of the Committee of Experts of Urban Economic Development Service Center.

The following round table discussion gathered together high-level experts and professionals of the different fields related to the Real Estate market, in order to give a full and in-depth vision from several perspectives. The need to take different approaches was pointed out by the moderator of the panel discussion, Mr Massimo Bagnasco, Chairman of Construction Working Group in the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, who said: ”This rapid urbanisation exerts pressure on the sustainability of the economy, society and environment.  These challenges were identified at the highest level, through the EU-China Partnership on Urbanisation signed by President Barrosso and Premier Li Keqiang on May 3rd 2012”.

The forum dealt with a series of relevant topics related to the urbanization process, like the potential measures to be taken to develop a sustainable path of urbanization, which actions and reforms should be undertaken by the institutions to get a viable balance between urban and rural areas, the tight relationships between public and private sectors in the Chinese Real Estate market, and the potential future scenarios of development in China.

The list of speakers included well-known Chinese developers, like Mr. Ren Zhiqiang, as well as European Developers, like Mr Oliver von Sachs, Director General of Euro Sino Invest; representatives of Real Estate associations and institutions, as Mr. Zhang Xuezhou, Vice President of China Real Estate Chamber of Commerce, and Mr Yu Heyue, Eminent Building Consultant of the Counselors’ Office of the State Council, and of the academic world, as Mr Mao Qizhi, Vice Dean of the School of Architecture of the Tsinghua University. Mr Massimo Roj, CEO of Progetto CMR, joined the discussion showing how architecture could play a crucial role in the effective realization of innovative sustainable cities and on the pressing need for a new, fresh approach which emphasizes shared common interests instead of the pursue of egoistic, personal goals.