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INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research

NORWAY-CHINA Innovation Platform on Sustainable Urbanisation

Alternative title: Den norsk-kinesiske innovasjonsplattformen på bærekraftig byutvikling

Awarded: NOK 4.3 mill.

URBAN-NORWAY-CHINA contributes to cooperation on sustainable urban development between Norway and China, based on student assignments, learning between cities, and Nordic Edge China. Students participate in Chinese urban laboratories, contribute to a database of success stories of EU-China cooperation in sustainable urban development, and gather these experiences in a research and innovation agenda on the same topic. The students present their results under Nordic Edge China. Furthermore, we have organized study visits, knowledge exchange and training programs for partners and decision-makers in the Chinese city laboratories and the Norwegian smart cities of Trondheim and Stavanger. We organize an annual Nordic Edge China event (China / Stavanger / online), with sessions on open urban innovation; roundtable discussions between cities, business and research; workshops on the value of partnerships between cities; and development of scenarios for cooperation on sustainable urban development between Norway and China. We communicate the results through 3 peer-reviewed scientific publications with Norwegian and Chinese authors; an annual report with facts and references, guidelines and procedures, narratives and good practice, which will be openly available on the project website, to promote upscaling and replication; a website, social media and newsletter with news about the project and its partners. Due to COVID-19, all activities in 2020-2021 have been converted to digital formats. Major events such as Nordic Edge China and the summer schools were canceled in 2020. In 2021, Nordic Edge China was implemented digitally.


URBAN-NORWAY-CHINA supports cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary cooperation between Norwegian, Chinese and international students and experts within the EU-China Partnership on Sustainable Urbanisation, in particular H2020-funded projects TRANS-URBAN-EU-CHINA and URBAN-EU-CHINA. The project enriches these innovation activities by connecting students to them, through courses, assignments, exhibitions and similar actions. Beyond H2020, the project connects to the new Horizon Europe programme, and in particular the EU Mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities, and the New European Bauhaus initiative. URBAN-NORWAY-CHINA will: (1a) Organise Experts in Teamwork-inspired courses with students from NTNU, China and other international universities, to contribute to Urban Living Labs and Reference Cities, the EU-China Research and Innovation Agenda, and the Evidence Base on climate-neutral and socially innovative cities. The students analyse and help develop existing Living Labs and demonstration projects; create knowledge boards for data gathering, knowledge sharing and creation among urban authorities, real estate developers, public service providers and citizens; and extract their main success criteria, document processes and outcomes. Where possible, the activities are hosted on-site in Chinese cities, with study visits, interviews with decision makers and stakeholders, field work and desktop research. In 2021, we used Norwegian cities for field studies due to international travel restrictions. Online activities are organised when on-site ones are not possible to perform; (1b) In 2022, the courses are supported by a cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural student think/do tank on how to create climate-neutral cities that are sustainable, inclusive and beautiful. The students can participate individually or as groups in this think/do tank, based on their local context and experiences. The students' work is disseminated during Nordic Edge (Stavanger/Asia) and the World Urban Forum (Katowice, Poland); (2) Organise expert workshops, learning sessions, study visits and other joint activities between Chinese, Norwegian and international decision makers and planners. In 2022, online activities are combined with on-site sessions and exhibitions with experts and students during Nordic Edge and WUF, if COVID-19 restrictions allow; (3) Host an annual Nordic Edge event during the general Expo and/or Nordic Edge Asia, with industry workshops on cooperative innovation; roundtable discussions between cities, industry and research; workshops on the value of city-city partnerships; and foresight workshops on Norway-China sustainable urbanisation cooperation; (4) Communicate and exploit the results through an open-access summary report with projects results, insights and guidance for scaling and replication; 3 peer-reviewed scientific publications with Norwegian and Chinese authors; an annual open-access report including facts and references, guidelines and procedures, storytelling and good practices to enable replication and scaling up; a project website; and contributions to the social media and newsletters of project partners. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all project activities are for the time being held online, and we are experimenting with digital formats to best fulfill the goals of this project.

Funding scheme:

INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research