In globalization, cities are all connected, so do social and governing issues. Global cities study is always a focus in the multi-disciplinary academic discussions. Hong Kong and Shanghai are the two leading global cities of Asia, where the most vibrant interactions with the foreign world can be found historically and contemporarily. It is well known of the “mirror identity” of these two modern cities. No matter in academic or policy level, Hong Kong and Shanghai are always put into comparative studies as they share similar challenges and opportunities in their urban developments.
To advocate collaborations and policy innovations for better future global cities planning, The Department of Asian and Policy Studies (APS) of the Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK), and the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) co-organised the cities’ first ever “Joint Education Field Studies on Global Cities Governance”- a platform to bring our future generations, Shanghai and Hong Kong, together to brainstorm the future of our cities.
With the generous support from the from the national grant “The Ten Thousand People’s Scheme” (萬人計劃) by the Ministry of Education of the PRC, we successfully held the Joint Education Field Studies in Shanghai from June 9 to 14, 2019, and in Hong Kong from July 15 to 20, 2019. Through the 6 invited talks, 5 official exchange and sharing seminars, and 16 site visits in the two trips, more than 80 students from the two universities joined together to learn more about the city planning and development of the two cities.
At the Opening Ceremony in Shanghai on 10 June 2019, Ms Xue YAO, the Deputy Director of the Office for Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan of SJTU, Professor Yingjie WEI, Assistant Dean of SIPA, and Mr Sam Chun Wai CHOI, Lecturer of APS delivered inspiring opening speeches.
They pointed out the common leading roles of Hong Kong and Shanghai in regional development. The “Hong Kong 2030+: Planning Vision and Strategy” policy paper echoed with the national planning of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area outlined in 2019. Meanwhile, Shanghai Government also proposed the “Shanghai 2040: A Comprehensive Urban Planning”, which followed with the development of the Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone blueprinted in 2016.
They both emphasized the unique opportunity of initiating the EdUHK-SJTU collaborations for students and scholars to explore global cities governance, share experiences, seek potential co-operations, and advance policy innovations for better future cities planning.
The student representatives, Ms Lina TAO of SJTU and Mr Yi Chung NG of EdUHK looked forward to the student exchange and city exploration on the topic of city governance. They were ready to share ideas to brainstorm for policy innovation over future city imagination.
At the Closing Ceremony in Hong Kong on 20 July 2019, Professor Darryl JARVIS, Head of APS, Professor Wei XIE of SJTU, and Mr Sam Chun Wai CHOI, Lecturer of APS celebrated the fruitful and rewarding joint field studies throughout this summer.
They highlighted and thanked for the promising support from the Ministry of Education of the PRC. It showed as a strong recognition of the initiation of scholastic collaborations and student exchanges between EdUHK and SJTU. Global cities governance is a vital and spotlighted issue in policy studies and urban planning. With a vibrant outlook for the inter-Universities partnership, APS and SIPA will continue this meaningful joint field studies and search for further co-operations on research, teaching, knowledge transfer and policy advocacy.
The student representatives, Ms Pui Gi SZETO of EdUHK and Ms Quan JIN of SJTU concluded the unique experiences throughout the joint field studies. With the profound understanding of the cities by tracing their developments from the past to future, they have a plenty of reflections over knowledge and practices.
Some featured activities are highlighted as follows: