This programme was designed for 15 representatives of regional (Beijing, Shanghai) and national water authorities in China. In 2013, the Chinese government launched a national programme (Sponge City), to improve water uptake and discharge capacity in the major Chinese cities. By 2017, there were 30 national Sponge City pilots. Binding legislation will probably be in place from 2020. As a result, many cities are making plans, in which more and more Dutch companies and knowledge institutions are involved because of their good reputation in urban planning and integrated water management.
The pace of change in China is very fast and knowledge is being acquired very quickly. It is important for the Dutch water sector to stay in touch with these developments. Dutch parties contributing to the programme were: Waternet, Rijkswaterstaat, Arcadis, Deltares, Nijhuis Industries, the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS), the UNESCO International Institute for Water Education and the Rotterdam Climate Initiative.
Besides attending the AIWW, delegates visited various projects in Amsterdam (Amsterdam Rainproof and Amsterdam Dune Water Machine) and Rotterdam.
‘ Viewers of an Al Jazeera news item about the Chinese visitors heard Kong Yanhong of the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design say, ‘We are hoping to work with the Netherlands much more.’
Embassy representatives : Stella Shao, Huang Mei
RVO.nl representative : Marianne van Male