Could Suzhou Industrial Park be a model for Africa’s urban future?

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Staff from the Department of Urban Planning and Design at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University met with visitors from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, and Southeast University, Nanjing, to share knowledge on the development of Suzhou Industrial Park.

The SIP, where XJTLU is located, is one of the most successful industrial parks in China and home to several Fortune 500 companies. Professor Xingping Wang (pictured below, left) from Southeast University noted that, “There will soon be as many as 80 industrial park projects in ‘One Belt One Road’ countries.”

“Africa will see one of the most tremendous urbanisation and industrialisation processes in the world,” said Associate Professor Nebyou Yonas Gabore (pictured below, right) from Addis Ababa University. “Such massive development projects require more studies on international experiences and African development models,” he said.

The guests were provided with detailed information on funding mechanisms of Chinese industrial parks, stakeholder involvement, industrial organisation, and legal frameworks, and discussions were held on land use planning in Africa, with specific examples from Ethiopia.

Professor Wang is currently leading a special project of the 13th Five-Year National Key Research and Development Program on strategic international scientific and technological innovation and cooperation.

He introduced the aim and methods of this project, entitled ‘Research and demonstration application of the planning and technology cooperation in overseas industrial parks’, and discussed potential collaborations with international universities and organisations.

Professor Xueming Chen, head of the Department of Urban Planning and Design at XJTLU, emphasised that internationalism is one key feature of their programmes of study, and that staff in the department welcome future collaborations in research and teaching.

story provided by Yunqing Xu; edited by Danny Abbasi

For more information about the Department of Urban Planning and Design at XJTLU, visit their official webpage.

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