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[Beijing Forum 2016] Global Megacities and Regional Coordinated Development in the Civilized World

NOV . 08 2016
Peking University, November 4, 2016: On the afternoon of November 4, the second panel of Beijing Forum “Global Megacities and Regional Coordinated Development in the Civilized World " was inaugurated in the Four Seasons Hall, Bafang Garden, Diaoyutai State Guest House. Prominent experts and scholars from home and abroad exchanged ideas about the issues of Megacities. Professor Yeh, Anthony G.O., Qiu Baoxing, Robert D. Yaro, Fu Bojie and Peter Wallace were invited to give lectures.

The session began with the opening speech entitled “Mega City Region Governance and Urban Planning”, delivered by Professor Yeh, Anthony G.O. from the University of Hong Kong. Then Qiu Baoxing, Chairman of China Society of Urban Studies,offereda brief review of “
Experiences of Megacity Dispersion” comparing different model Satellite Cities between France and England, and elaborated that the development of New Town lied in thespecialization of its own and the complementation of Satellite City, rather than the expansion of boundary.

The third speaker, Robert D. Yaro, is the former president of Regional Plan Association of USA. He focused on the topic of “Promoting Equitable Development in Megaregions”, and stuck to the point that US megaregions encompassed 70% of American’s population and an even larger share of GDP. He then introduced the merits and pitfalls of megaregions. In term of its value megaregions were expected to attract the majority of the additional residents as well as immigrants, and to become a crucible where a more diverse society is in embryo. Also, “anchor institutions” like research universities and government research labs would be contained. Nevertheless, in order to tackle the limitations—the lack of transportation infrastructure and governance systems, megaregions need to unlock their economic and social potential.

Professor Fu delivering a speech

Later, Professor Fu Bojie from Peking University addressed a speech on “Environmental Effects of Urbanization”. Fluttered his concerns about the environmental changes involving water sources, greenhouse gases, climate change and biodiversity change etc., caused by increasing urbanization.

The last speaker, Peter Wallace, City Manager of Toronto, took a holistic approach to the development of Toronto, explained why Toronto became the most diverse and multicultural city in Canada. Wallace pointed out that a diverse economy meant a resilient city. Torontois suchcity as it is unique in being strong in many different sectors with globally leading companies that drive the growth of local economy.Be that as it may, the challenges of issues like balanced growth and infrastructure, local mobility and regional communicationstill remained difficult, as Wallace said.

After the coffee break, speakers and audience had a direct communication focusing on the key challenges and future development of megacities. Both questions and answers were profound and insightful.

Reported by
: Wu Mingying

Edited by: Wang Qian