China is not only a very interesting market in macroeconomic terms but it also holds great business opportunities for German architects, engineers and planners. That is why the Network for Architecture Exchange NAX has been promoting the professional exchange of German and Chinese architects, urban planners and engineers for several years. NAX is an initiative of the Federal Chamber of German Architects which supports German planners on their way abroad and promotes the brand ‘Architecture made in Germany’ worldwide. In 2018, NAX wanted to build on the success of its urbanisation congress in Beijing in 2016 and conducted a delegation trip to Beijing and Shanghai for the second time to once again present German architectural services with a broad program.
Thanks to the support of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the support of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI), this delegation trip took place between 30/10 until 3/11/2018 with a delegation of NAX partners and member offices and was accompanied by BMU sub-department head Dr. Ulrich Hatzfeld.
Below, you will find a brief overview of the events. More detailed reports and photo galleries can be found through clicking on the links of the individual events.
The week-long program was kicked off by a panel discussion in the German Embassy in Beijing on the topic "Architecture, Culture and Cautious City Making – Ideas and Inspirations between Germany and China” (30/10). Moreover, NAX took part in the workshop "Industrial Legacy, Sustainable Future" of the Urban Transitions Alliance (UTA) of its partner ICLEI, where 30 German and Chinese representatives taking part in the UTA program exchanged information on the sustainable transition of urban regions.
The itinerary also included a visit to the trade fair Fenestration Bau China – including a Meet & Greet with BMI Secretary of State Gunther Adler at the booth of NAX partner JUNG (31/10) as well as a visit to the urban planning museum of Beijing.
The core event of the delegation trip in Beijing was a multistakeholder-workshop (1/11) on the topic of “Cautious Urban Renewal- Innovative Urban and Environmental Planning for Megacities in China“ which started on the evening before with a Connecting Evening with Pecha Kucha presentations by the workshop participants and continued with just about 60 participants on the following day. During the workshop, the municipal representatives of the three Chinese cities of Tianjin, Shijiazhuang and Xiangyang presented the current situation of urban regeneration projects in their cities and explained the challenges they are faced with and where they would like support from German planners. Afterwards, the German delegates joined the city representatives for in depth discussions of possible solutions in smaller groups. The second part of the trip led the delegation members to Shanghai. Here, the prelude was a Networking dinner (2/11), where the delegation members mingled with representatives of the Chinese building industry as well as participants of the roundtable scheduled for the following day at Tongji University.
The core event of the trip in Shanghai was then the above mentioned Roundtable "Urban Regeneration" (3/11) at the reputable Tongji University, where NAX, in collaboration with the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at Tongji University CAUP, invited architects, planners and other experts to join a roundtable on "Sustainable Urban Renewal 'From Macro to Micro'". Round about 30 participants accepted the invitation to the Chinese-German Innovation Lab and discussed various issues, such as how urban wastelands can be revived, how urban greenery projects can make Chinese megacities more liveable and what it takes to create sustainable urban planning in the future.
The trip was rounded off through professionally guided excursions on urban regeneration trends and developments in both cities.
Also, the NAX exhibition “Contemporary Architecture, Made in Germany“ was presented during the trip to a larger audience at the same time within the scope of the workshop at the German Centre Beijing and at the German Embassy in Beijing.
Photo: Heated debates at the workshop “Cautious Urban Renewal- Innovative Urban and Environmental Planning for Megacities in China“ in Beijing, © NAX