At the 14th edition of the International Conference on Green and Energy-Efficient Building in Zhuhai, China, on April 2 and 3, 2018, the Sino-French Pilot Eco-City Prize was awarded to five cities across the country, in the presence of Qiu Baoxing, president of the Chinese Society for Urban Studies (CSUS) and former vice minister of construction, Étienne Crépon, CEO of the CSTB, and Patrick Nossent, President of Cerway. The prize recognizes the cooperation between pilot cities and French and Chinese experts in the development of sustainable cities. It aims to encourage new cities to engage in the initiative. The work of five cities was reviewed and rewarded by the national jury, which met on March 29 in Beijing. The five pilot cities also received HQE™ development certification from Cerway for their urban development. These distinctions are the first step in the implementation of the partnership between the CSUS and the CSTB, signed in March 2017 for about 10 low-carbon eco-cities.

Five cities received the Sino-French Pilot Eco-City Prize. From North to South: Jilin, Panshi, Qingyun, Jingzhou and Foshan. On March 30, 2018, a sixth city joined the initiative.

This award distinguishes the design of the urban project for five local authorities developed by a team of CSTB sustainable development experts in collaboration with urban architect David Mangin (2008 Grand Prix de l'Urbanisme, the French urban design award) and Florence Bougnoux, his associate and a specialist in sustainable cities (SEURA architectural firm).

> Partnerships and project organization

The three key principles of the initiative proposed by the CSTB, under the coordination of Cristina Garcez, director of urban strategy, are as follows: multi-scale spatial approach closely associating urban and technical solutions, co-construction with local stakeholders and respect for local identities, including ecosystems.

Realistic proposals that satisfy the main principles governing eco-cities, regarding the factors that have the most impact on the quality of life of residents and environmental protection:

  • Mobility and priority for the development of public transportation and environmentally friendly modes
  • Ecosystems and ecological water management
  • Integration of existing neighborhoods and populations with rehabilitation/conservation of heritage and local identities
  • Energy strategies, low carbon and the circular economy (waste, sorting, recycling, short distribution channels, etc.)

The urban project respects the diversity of the cities. The French approach is founded on sustainable, holistic urban planning. It is based on a careful examination of Chinese cities to integrate existing populations and ecosystems and take into account the history, culture and qualities of regions on several levels. It resulted in realistic and tailored proposals for each pilot city.

This partnership-based approach to urban projects was supplemented by a pilot HQE™ development audit led by Cerway (CSTB Group). The audit process will help these cities to ensure the quality of the project organization and management over the long term. Their goal is to obtain HQE™ development certification for their comprehensive approach to quality of life, environmental protection and economic development.

Focus: five winning projects

Qingyun: city with two rivers

Jingzhou: living on the water’s edge

Panshi: Eco-valley of Lotus Mountain

Jilin/Chaluhe: agro-city

Foshan: biodiversity in a dense urban area