Our Water project: 'An endless flow and infinite dialogues'
"An endless flow and infinite dialogues," Ding Bo, vice president of Shanghai United Media Group (SUMG), said at a forum on Thursday, alluding to a project with the aim of enhancing intercultural exchanges between Shanghai and other foreign cities.
The project, named Our Water, is sponsored by SUMG and the Shanghai International Culture Association, under the guidance of the Information Office of the Shanghai government.
Every year, Shanghai will have a dialogue with one foreign city, with the first round lasting five years. Many topics based on water will be discussed.
Paris is the first guest of the project, as 2024 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between China and France. Many issues pertaining to urban renewal, waterfront governance, ecology, culture, and economy and trade were explored by Sino-French celebrities at Thursday's forum.
"It is an interesting project about water," David Kibler, deputy consul general of Consulate General of France in Shanghai, said. "There are many similarities between the Suzhou Creek and the Seine (in Paris) in the aspects of life, sports, social contacts and more."
Professor Eric Jerome Daniel-Lacombe, French architect and urban planner, pointed out that this was his first visit to Shanghai. "This place is full of imagination," he said, citing the examples of the Bund and Suzhou Creek, which drew his favor.
He admitted that Paris is working on solving the river pollution problem for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In the speech earlier, Li Xiaojiang, National Engineering Survey and Design Master, touted Shanghai's achievements on water environment and waterfront governance along Suzhou Creek.
He said that there are many things, like public areas and architecture, along the Seine that Shanghai can learn from to make the local waterfront space more inclusive and elegant.
Li mentioned that Shanghai's actual resilience is facing the challenges brought by climate change, including rising regional sea levels, frequent occurrence of destructive super typhoons and a significant increase in precipitation extremes.
In his turn, Professor Daniel-Lacombe shared Paris' experience on flood prevention and control along the Seine.
More activities, including waterfront concerts, workshop and documentary filming and exhibitions, will be held in the two international metropolises before April next year.