ULI Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips joined a panel of international experts in China to advise local and national stakeholders about addressing major urban development challenges confronting the city of Tianjin, including rapid urbanization. Phillips participated as a member of the World Economic Forum’s steering board for its new Future of Urban Development Initiative, which chose Tianjin as its first partner city. The meeting was held concurrently in Tianjin with the WEF’s Summer Davos gathering of business, government and civil society leaders, and Phillips engaged in a number of other sessions important to ULI’s members.
Phillips joined the steering board of the urban development initiative in June, as part of a partnership between ULI and WEF. Phillips and nearly 20 other global leaders in the fields of architecture, urban planning, design and development are guiding the initiative’s work in studying and making recommendations about the challenges and opportunities of urbanization, changing demographics, infrastructure, housing needs, and other related urban issues, with a particular emphasis on emerging markets and developing regions.
The board focused on describing the project’s progress and laying out near-term steps for implementing its recommendations, as well as discussing how to apply the knowledge gained across the region.
Tianjin was one of 28 China cities recently analyzed by ULI for investment and development prospects; Tianjin scored an “above fair” rating for both categories. The board’s work in Tianjin will involve examining how the city can transition from a manufacturing to a service hub, and how the city can creatively address congestion from its explosive urban growth. ULI Asia Executive Director John Fitzgerald represented ULI at a Tianjin forum in June.
The next Future of Urban Development Initiative partner city will be announced in Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in 2013.
In addition to participating in the Future of Urban Development Initiative, Tianjin served as the 2012 host for WEF’s sixth annual Summer Davos gathering, formally known as the Annual Meeting of the New Champions. Held Sept. 11 to 13, the Summer Davos has become the foremost global business gathering in Asia, with business, government and civil society leaders from 90 countries attending.
Photo of church in Tianjin by qejecit.