International Low Carbon Conference

Home to fifteen million people and one of China’s major manufacturing centers, the bustling metropolis of Shenzhen was the ideal location for the third International Low Carbon Conference, held from June 17-18, 2015. The focus of the conference was on sustainable development, and brought together city delegates and business leaders from across the world for a chance to discuss realizing a low carbon future in China and the rest of the world.

The conference provided panel discussions, workshops and presentations from a variety of experts who exchanged ideas on how to improve sustainable development and reduce carbon emissions in cities on an international scale. One of the key focus areas was the implementation of technology to support low carbon cities, and how this can open up business opportunities in the field of sustainable infrastructure development.

Siemens’ speaker Lenny Shen was present at the event to present the release of the Shenzhen CyPT study. The City Performance Tool can simulate the impact of technologies in cities across the world, providing concrete statistics to help decision makers plan infrastructure developments for the future.. This is particularly interesting for Shenzhen – a city that, less than 50 years ago,  was a village with just 30,000 inhabitants.

This growth has resulted in Shenzhen becoming known as the “instant city”,  making it a particularly relevant location for such a conference. After receiving Special Economic Zone status in 1979, it’s grown enormously – with electronics manufacturing cultivating the city’s growth. Now home to 15 million people and with 26 skyscrapers standing at over 200 meters, Shenzhen is a megacity on the Sham Chun River.

Industry has played a major role in the city’s development, but has also led to rising CO2 emissions. Technologies such as the CyPT, and other tools that can help city planners to reduce a city’s carbon footprint, help Shenzhen and other cities to improve environmental friendliness, and create green cities of the future.

Solutions are already in place to help transform Shenzhen into a low-carbon city – some of them as ambitious as the growth the city has experienced in recent decades! Last year, a lauded proposal was put forward to turn Shenzhen into a green, three dimensional city. Titled Cloud Citizen, the plan is to turn Shenzhen’s bay area into a green financial district, with a combination of functional high-rise buildings and green spaces. The 4 Tower in 1 masterplan is another green project, aimed at combining practical working spaces with green areas – in this case, a rooftop water garden. Solar panels are also implemented to enhance the building’s efficiency.

Nevertheless, there’s still a way to go to ensure a low carbon future. And this is true not just for Shenzhen, but for the rest of the world. Hence the International Low Carbon Conference, together with parallel events such as the Best China Low-carbon City Voting, and the Creative Low-carbon City Design Competition, prove crucial in ensuring a green future for the world.