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Mr. Lu Haifeng: Building Green Model City for Facilitating the Local Implementation of SDG11 and the New Urban Agenda
Source: | Author:gfhsforum | Published time: 2018-11-09 | 3718 Views | Share:
Mr. Lu Haifeng, Secretary General of Global Forum on Human Settlements, President of Shenzhen Better City Institute

On the eve of World Cities Day 2018, more than 400 representatives from over 40 countries gathered at this elegant UN Conference Center in Bangkok. On behalf of the Global Forum on Human Settlements, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all the participants, and extend our thanks again to UN-ESCAP, GOBA and other partner organizations for their great support to this year’s annual session.

The city is a home for human beings as well as a carrier of economy, society and civilization, which includes many dimensions like space, economy, society, environment and culture. As the quality of cities features integration and multi-dimension, it is necessary to underscore the significance of both hardware and software, efficiency and equity as well as the need to benefit the present and future generations. Simply put, a high-quality sustainable development of cities means a better life for the present and future generations. 

In light of the IGMC concept and the philosophy of Tao follows nature, the sustainable city should be like a tree, which shows in the following 5 aspects:
1. Best technology with photosynthetic energy: By absorbing solar energy through photosynthesis, it provides the best renewable energy in a simple, efficient and continuous way;
2. Environment-friendly by sequestrating carbon and releasing oxygen: It offers refreshable breathing for life, purifies air quality, and helps to control atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration; 
3. Circulating resources without making any waste: It is good at synthesizing organic matter, recycling water and nutrient, keeping ecological balance, and making life go onward in an endless succession;
4. Even interconnection in the leaf vein network: Reaching a single target through multiple paths, it provides a flexible urban traffic network mode. 
5. Inclusive and equitable: Every leaf has equal opportunities, and there's no polarization and social segregation. It can matter-of-factly realize the goal of leaving no one behind. 
In light of the IGMC concept, the greener cities resemble trees

Based on this, I wrote a poem and shared it with everyone.

Green Cities Resemble Trees 

Gracefully erect, the trees are towering, 
Like Tao that closely follows nature. 
Uninterruptedly from them energy is emanating,
For daylight provides the source of power. 
Blessedly rained and dewed, they thus tend to cultivate, 
In a robust cycle they turn over and over again. 
They oblige loads of carbon to sequestrate, 
While nursing numerous breathing lungs with fresh oxygen. 
The leaf vein network is balanceably level, 
Reaching each cell through every different way. 
Happily it conveys synergy from petal to petal, 
And ushers rustling wind to merrily stay.
As long as Green Cities resemble trees, 
The world will teem with happiness forever. 

Now I briefly share the International Green Model City Standards 3.0 (IGMC Standards 3.0) with you. 

The IGMC Standards 3.0 is an advanced tool for assessing and guiding sustainable urban development. Released in Quito, the capital of Ecuador during the Habitat III Conference in 2016, it is a set of effective strategy documents including the evaluation and certification system compiled by renowned international experts on the basis of summarizing the rules and many successful experiences of Chinese and foreign urban planning and construction. It bears universal significance and reference value. There are already a number of well-known green cities such as Copenhagen, Stockholm, Vienna, Freiburg, Singapore, New York, Portland, Vancouver, Curitiba, and Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city that have fully or partly integrated the strategies of IGMC standards, achieving a higher level of sustainable development.

Rooted in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda, the vision of "IGMC Standards 3.0" is based on six basic principles: Safety, Sustainability, Equity, Identity, Prosperity and Happiness, and is carried out through the 18 categories of the six dimensions of spatial planning and development, basic services, environment, economy, society and culture. Furthermore, the 18 categories are further elaborated in terms of definitions and aims, key strategies and methodologies, key indicators, scoring systems and best practices. It is written in both English and Chinese.

Major roles of IGMC Standard 3.0 are the following:
A. Assessing sustainability of existing urban areas, identifying opportunities for improvement and transformation; 
B. Helping governments formulate policies and action plans as well as guiding them in planning and construction for stronger competitiveness and promoting implementation of SDGs and the New Urban Agenda; 
C. Guiding the process of urban sustainable development projects for improving overall performance and efficient investment; 
D. Appraising projects at planning or design phases to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement and avoid various risks; 
E. Providing a timely urban sustainable development training manual for relevant stakeholders.

The IGMC standard is rooted in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and has a close relevance with SDG11. In addition, there is a close correspondence between the IGMC Standards 3.0 and some indicators of SDG11, and the target 11 indicators are embodied to facilitate implementation at the local and community levels.

International Green Model City Initiative

The International Green Model City Initiative was launched by GFHS at the United Nations Headquarters in April 2011, in close collaboration with various international organizations including UNEP, concerned national and local governments. The IGMC Initiative stimulates forward-looking and responsible governments, businesses and social forces to work together on exploring sustainable urban development alternatives and urbanization models. The Initiative never stops improving itself to keep up with the times.

The IGMC Initiative has been registered with the United Nations as a voluntary commitment of Rio+20. It aims to use IGMC Standards 3.0 as one of a variety of advanced planning tools by providing innovative concepts, integrated strategies and methodologies, benchmarks and monitoring framework as well as demand-oriented solutions for assessing and guiding sustainable urban development, conducting pilots, in conjunction with other approaches, to facilitate sustainable cities and human settlements for all, and to create a shared platform for dialogue and cooperation among the global stakeholders for the sake of establishing a new partnerships in support of the implementation of SDGs and NUA. 

The IGMC Initiative has advisory committee and expert committee, and has dedicated offices and coordinators to carry out the work. Some well-known cities and enterprises have joined the IGMC Initiative, such as Vancouver (Canada), Cape Town (South Africa), Mannheim (Germany), Seberang Perai (Malaysia), Cuenca (Ecuador), Liuyang National Economic & Technical Development Zone, Wuyi County of Zhejiang Province, China Railway Real Estate Group, Vanke, Country Garden, Mission Hills. Some of them have also been on the list of IGMC pilots.

Based on IGMC Standards 3.0, we have developed an IGMC Global Online Assessment and Certification System at, an online method to make assessment and certification, collect and analyze data as well as serve IGMC members and promote IGMC standards. The system makes the complicated assessment and certification on cities and communities a simple and easy one for all. The English and Chinese versions have been put into trial operation in June this year, and welcome to experience. We also jointly invested in the design and production of the IGMC 3-D animation film, which will be premiered at UNCC tonight.

As an ancient Chinese saying goes, “A workman must first sharpen his tools if he is to do his work well”. The IGMC Initiative's principles and standards provides a comprehensive strategy, technical support and assessment and certification tool for implementing SDG11 and the New Urban Agenda at the local level, improving urban transformation and upgrading and sustainable development. Welcome to join the IGMC Initiative and apply for the IGMC pilots. Together, we build and share the IGMC new partnership, create and enhance the value of cities or projects in order to improve the green low-carbon towns including the distinctive towns and achieve a high-quality sustainable development of cities, delivering a better life for the present and future generations.