Home » The Urban Way » China Europa Forum » Run-up to the Third Biennial Meeting of the China-Europa Forum

Mostra/Nascondi il menu

The Urban Way

Run-up to the Third Biennial Meeting of the China-Europa Forum

From Rome to Canton: constructing together the inhabitants’ workshop

The IAI relaunch the dialogue

In 2007, the IAI participated for the first time in organizing workshops for the Second Biennial Meeting of the China-Europa Forum.

This initiative, created in 2005 by the Charles Leopold Foundation for the Progress of Mankind and funded by the foundation ever since, brought together 850 participants, including 300 Chinese and 550 Europeans. Close to 20 socio-professional categories were represented, with a particularly strong presence from nonprofit organizations and inhabitants' cooperatives, thanks to the IAI's organization of a workshop in Rome on the much-debated theme of the right to housing.

The 2007 encounter was built around two key events: the workshops that were spread over 23 cities in 8 European countries and the plenary sessions in Brussels. It provided a comprehensive overview of the challenges facing Chinese and European societies.

Discussions over the key question at the Roman workshop, "I nhabitants of urban centres: Citizens as builders of the cities of the future?  revealed the need for long-term investment.

It was for this reason in particular that the IAI, in agreement with its Chinese partners, decided to follow up on the dialogue: two years later, on the occasion of the Third Biennial of the China-Europa Forum in July 2009, the moment has come once more for a new major encounter.

Beyond any individual involvement in a workshop or a biennial encounter, the IAI network is therefore committed to supporting the Forum globally and in a sustainable manner, notably in view of creating the World Assembly of Inhabitants  which will take place in 2011; the presence of the Chinese point of view at the World Assembly of Inhabitants is important given the current challenges that the country faces.

Although communication problems may well still exist, dialogue remains the method that will enable light to be shed on the diversity and profound differences between China and Europe, and the uniformity of the challenges which both societies face. But a dialogue that gives true expression to the two societies can only be built over time, a process that will continually make the dialogue more deep-reaching.

Inhabitants of Canton Workshop

The Inhabitants of Canton Workshop which takes place in late July 2009 is organized as a socio-professional workshop, i.e. it groups together people and institutions of the same milieu, who are desirous of deepening their mutual understanding and reflecting together on their role and responsibilities within society.

It will be designed as a reference space around the theme "the right to housing and the city", with the organization of debates and the presentation of comparative resources on China and Europe, which will allow concrete suggestions for future cooperation to emerge.

The workshop will be organized into work groups and work sessions, made up of Chinese and European participants who are representative of the diversity of their societies.

The starting point for dialogue will be participants’ individual experiences: an innovative method of organizing and summarizing discussions will add value to the exchange of experiences among participants and allow complex themes to be tackled clearly and concisely while respecting the different points of view.

The workshop leaders, Cai Suisheng of the Guangdong Real Estate Association for China and Cesare Ottolini of the IAI for Europe, will be responsible for guiding this process.

Find out more about the China-Europa Forum (1)

The China-Europa Forum, launched in 2005, is an independent initiative aiming to represent all elements of society. It is an informal process which, by its novelty, magnitude and utility, has raised the interest of public and private institutions. It also represents all parts of European and Chinese society in reflecting on the future: the future of each society, the future of relations between them and, more widely, the future of a profoundly interdependent world, in which China and Europe will have to assume their responsibilities as major actors.

It is in this spirit that the Forum's Charter was created, proposing a code of ethics, objectives and work methods (http://forum-china-europa.net/spip.php?article155 ) to meet the four great challenges facing China and Europe and which were identified at the two previous Biennial Meetings:

Building a sustainable development and a harmonious society: How do we make current models evolve and invent new sustainable paths while the economic rationale still seems dominant?

Values, openness and identity: How can each of the societies defend their values and identities, remain true to them, and make them a force to be reckoned with in the future, underpinning a renewed code of ethics within the context of globalization and the so-called multicultural confrontation? How do we stay true to ourselves, while at the same time being open to developments in the world?

Participative and integrated government: Society's old hierarchical and divided management methods are no longer adapted to the nature of the problems to be resolved, which call on cooperation between actors. Nor do they reflect the aspirations of societies for increased participation and exercise of responsibilities and a larger role in the decision-making process. How do we invent a type of governance that is adapted to the needs and aspirations of the 21st century and that will enable more citizen participation?

China and Europe in the world: If China and Europe find that they have challenges in common, there is a good chance that they are common to the whole world. In any case, the interdependence between societies and the biosphere are such that China and Europe cannot aspire to independent development, or development based on competition. Whether they like it or not, they are destined for dialogue and cooperation.


Workshop at the 2007 China-Europa Forum: I nhabitants of urban centres: Citizens as builders of the cities of the future ?


Workshop WS 28 at the 2007 China-Europa Forum

http://www.forum-china-europa.net/spip.php?article221  (conclusions and minutes of the workshop - available in EN, FR and Cinese)

http://www.forum-china-europa.net/spip.php?article218  (resource documents on the workshop theme - available in EN, FR and Cinese)

Workshop S28a at the 2009 China-Europa Forum

http://forum-china-europa.net/spip.php?article388  (available in EN, FR and Cinese)

To contact the IAI on this subject:


Appeal: become a volunteer translator from/to Chinese, English, French, Spanish or Italian:


(1) Information take from the website http://forum-china-europa.net