The mission aimed to deepen Victoria’s relationships in China, but also to build a sound understanding of policy trends, identify business opportunities, communicate with industry experts and explore collaboration opportunities.

In Jiangsu Province, a forum co-hosted by the Jiangsu Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Liveability Victoria International and the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities focused on water sensitive urban design, responding to China's massive 'sponge cities' program. The sponge cities program is investing in projects across China to turn cities into sponges, soaking up storm water, filtering pollutants and in some cases providing water for reuse. 

In 2016 and 2017, the “China-Australia Sponge City Summit” and the “China-Australia Sponge City Academic Exchange and Technological Cooperation Forum” was held in Kunshan. This year, China and Victoria again gathered to discuss new products and technologies for sponge cities, and jointly explore emerging solutions suitable for the highly urbanised areas of southern Jiangsu, and to assist in the better construction of sponge city in Kunshan, Jiangsu and across the whole of China.

The 2018 Jiangsu-Victoria Sponge Liveable City Technical Exchange and Collaboration Forum was run over two days, where over 180 participants engaged in in-depth exchanges about the construction concept, planning management, and technical implementation of sponge cities through keynote reports, results sharing and technical exchanges.

In Sichuan Province, the mission had a wider-ranging remit, exploring the creation of liveable cities more broadly, as Chengdu and other cities in Sichuan move towards a greener, more sustainable development direction than the east coast of China.

At the ‘Sichuan-Victoria Liveable City Exchange Forum’, representatives of relevant government departments, business, industry experts and scholars from the two sides gathered to share experiences and initiatives in creating liveable cities. The forum focused on discussions around water resources management, innovative water treatment solutions, environmental protection, architecture and planning, green building and urban design, site creation and urban activation, as well as water-sensitive cities.

The delegation also visited places such as the Chengdu Planning Exhibition Hall, Tianfu Greenway, Chengdu Hi-tech Zone Management Committee as well as the first stage of Chengdu's green path project, and projects in neighbouring Suining and Deyang which demonstrated the massive scale of Sichuan’s ambitions. 

In both Jiangsu and Sichuan provinces the Victorian companies received a high level of interest in their products and services.

The delegation in China included representatives from the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, Deakin University's Institute for Frontier Materials and nine companies representing water management, cleantech and urban design services from Victoria. The companies who participated were:

  • Water Technology
  • Coolth Inc 
  • REALM
  • Earth Systems
  • SOMe engineering
  • Enviss
  • Hux Connect
  • Woods Bagot
  • HASSELL

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