Today more than 50 per cent of the Chinese population lives in urban areas. In Germany, urban areas accommodate almost 75 per cent of its population. In both countries, cities have largely contributed to economic development, wealth and personal prosperity, which also has led to various environmental degradations (such as GHG emissions, air pollutions) and associated health problems. To address these global and local challenges, both countries have committed to foster a sustainable urban transition. Thus, in order to foster sustainable urban transitions, there is an urgent need for transformative interdisciplinary research.
The three-year Sino-German joint research on "Exploring and Assessing Sustainable Transition in Chinese and German urban areas" (EAST) aims to study urban transition pathways with a special focus on energy, transport, and buildings and sector coupling and to evaluate the transition pathways in both Chinese and German cities, to understand similarities and differences of sustainable urban transition pathways in both countries, and to provide evidence-based policy recommendations for sustainable urban transition in both countries. In order to achieve these objectives, EAST project will enrich both qualitative and quantitative analytical approaches of sustainable urban transition research and apply these approaches on a set of case studies in Chinese and German cities.
The project is jointly funded by German Research Foundation (DFG) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). It is rooted in a strong Sino-German academic collaboration across several leading institutions and different disciplines. The project will be led by the Wuppertal Institute and Beijing Institute of Technology. Other partners include the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Tsinghua University in China.