The ecocit network was brought together with three aims:

  1. To develop a multi-disciplinary community of scholars in the UK, China and beyond that share an interest in developing research on the socio-economics of sustainable urban design and development.
  2. To encourage and support this community to create joint applications for research grants.
  3. To develop a wider platform for researchers, as well as for the broader public, to engage with and develop the concept of eco-cities.

The network has achieved considerable success in developing the politics of eco-cities, planning and standards, as well as capability in UK and Chinese firms through:

  • Collaborations, building strong links between academic institutions, industry and policy-makers in China and the UK
  • Network conferences and workshops
  • Wider sustainability conferences and workshops
  • Virtual, WebEx-based, seminars
  • Research projects
  • and Industrial Projects

The quality of the links developed by the network is reflected in the invitations to present researchers’ work at the highest levels in Chinese and UK workshops, in joint research applications, for example ‘Eship in cities’, ‘Business models in energy in India and Kenya’, ‘The business of eco-cities’ etc., and in invitations to work with the Chinese government.

Following his participation in 15 workshops with Chinese collaborators in May 2010, Yijiang Wu, a PhD student at Imperial College Business School, was invited by the Chinese practitioners to join their team to commence field work on Ecocity projects from July to September 2010.

The work will help to build up links between Chinese practitioners and the Innovation & Entrepreneurship research group in Imperial College Business School, and will involve a number of workstreams:

Workstream 1

Organising the 1st China Tianjin International Eco-city forum.

Coordination with national government, including the China minister of housing and rural/urban construction bureau, the Secretary-General of China international economic and exchange center, the Under-Secretary-General of United Nations, and the Mayor of Copenhagen etc. Work will consist of meetings and discussions with different parties, forum proposals, and feedback etc.

Workstream 2

Developing the 1st white book to be published by Tianjin Government in China – “Navigating Ecocity – Tianjin Ecocity’s Index System and Model of Decomposition and Implementation”.

The draft covers the content of eco-city comparison studies (Dongtan, Caojidian, Wanzhuang, and Changxin etc.), the history and culture of Chinese urban development, and the role of key participants in Chinese urban development, including government, industries and public sectors etc.

Other potential workstreams

Establish an eco-city R&D platform through collaboration with the project director of Masdar eco-city (i.e. discussion about the application of eco-city development tools).

HaiNan Ecocity Strategic Planning Project (103km2): research in eco-environment, eco-society, and eco-culture.