Ali Cheshmehzangi 博士是建筑学和城市设计的正式教授，拥有建筑学和城市设计博士学位、高等教育研究生证书（PGCHE）、城市设计硕士学位、建筑学专业研究生证书和建筑学学士学位。他是一位城市学家和城市设计师。
Ali Cheshmehzangi 博士主要研究方向是城市以及城市转型、可持续城市化和综合城市设计战略。他同时也是是中国宁波诺丁汉大学（UNNC）建筑与建筑环境系主任和城市创新实验室主任。四年来，他一直担任中国第一座零碳建筑——可持续能源技术中心（2017-21）的主任。并且他还是日本广岛大学和平与可持续性教育与研究网络（NERPS）的特聘教授。
Dr. Ali Cheshmehzangi is a Full Professor of Architecture and Urban Design with a Ph.D. Degree in Architecture and Urban Design, a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE), a Master’s Degree in Urban Design, a Graduate Certificate in Professional Studies in Architecture, and a Bachelor Degree in Architecture. He is an urbanist and urban designer by profession and by heart.
Dr. Ali Cheshmehzangi studies cities and city transitions, sustainable urbanism, and integrated urban design strategies. He is Head of the Department of Architecture and Built Environment and Director of Urban Innovation Lab at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC). For four years, he was the Director of the Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies (2017-21), the first zero-carbon building in China. He is also a Specially-Appointed Professor at Network for Education and Research on Peace and Sustainability (NERPS), Hiroshima University (HU), Japan.
Should you pick up a topic, among the several which characterize your impressive experience that you feel more closely related to the decarbonization mission, which one you could say?
A: 从我的观点和经验来看，“转型”是实现脱碳使命最全面的研究。由于这一过程是长期的，因此存在多个层面和跨部门的过渡。例如，在我们即将于 2023 年初出版的《碳中和竞赛中的中国城市群发展》一书中，我们明确讨论了区域发展和过渡在实现碳达峰和碳中和目标过程中的重要性。此外，我们强调能源结构转型、产业结构调整和多层次发展规划的重要性。所有这些都只能通过每个步骤都得到相关立法、基准、标准等支持的过渡来实现。我们即将出版的工作是我们在 2021 年出版的早期著作《中国的可持续发展转型》的延续。因此，由于脱碳过程可能是一个漫长的过程，因此需要通过多个阶段、跨越多个空间层面和多个部门进行精确规划。
From my point of view and experience, ‘transitions’ are the most comprehensive studies in regard to achieving the decarbonization mission. Since such a process is long-term, there are transitions at multiple levels and across various sectors. For instance, in our forthcoming book, which is due to be published in early 2023, titled “China’s City Cluster Development in the Race to Carbon Neutrality”, we explicitly discuss the importance of regional development and transitions in the route to carbon peak and carbon neutrality targets. Also, we highlight the importance of transitions for energy mix, industrial restructuring, and multi-level development plans. All these could only occur through transitions where each step is supported with relevant legislation, benchmarks, standards, etc. Our forthcoming work is a continuation of the earlier book we published in 2021, which is titled “China’s Sustainability Transitions”. Thus, as decarbonization process could be a long process, it requires precise planning through multiple phases, across multiple spatial levels, and through multiple sectors.
Based on your academic and professional background, what is the main contribution you feel to provide to the worldwide urgency to reduce greenhouse gasses emission?
A: 学术界和学者可以支持对脱碳过程和温室气体减排的理论和方法论贡献。然而，学术界、实践和政府之间的联系是必不可少的，没有它，仅靠学术界就无法做出所需的贡献。在我们的工作中，我们探索案例研究示例，并着眼于实验机会、KPI 和评估过程，以及其他具有丰富文献和学术知识的重要因素。例如，我们为中国和国际的低碳和零碳项目制定了多个 KPI。通过这些案例研究，我们开发并提出了旨在帮助地方政府通过政策制定和实践采取进一步行动的发展模式。因此，我们的重点可能是政策和实践及其发展，这对脱碳过程和实现碳中和目标的机会很重要。另一个事实是，我们在学术界拥有适合数据分析的技能和知识。通过与其他利益相关者合作，我们可以成为可以提出、培育和创新实验项目的知识共享平台。
Academia and academics could support theoretical and methodological contributions to decarbonization process and greenhouse gas emission reduction. However, the nexus between academia, practice, and government is essential, and without it, academia alone cannot contribute as much as needed. In our work, we explore case study examples and look at experimental opportunities, KPIs and assessment processes, and other important factors that have rich literature and academic knowledge. For instance, we have developed several KPIs for low-carbon and zero-carbon projects in China and internationally. Through those case study examples, we developed and suggested development models intending to help the local governments take further action through policy development and practice. Hence, our focus could be on policies and practices and their development, which matter for decarbonization processes and opportunities to reach the carbon neutrality goal. Another fact is that we have suitable skills and knowledge for data analysis in academia. By working with other stakeholders, we can become knowledge share platforms where experimental projects can be proposed, nurtured, and innovated.
According to your experience which one are the main challenges China has to face to reach its “dual carbon goal”?
A: 2030 年和 2060 年目标的挑战截然不同，但 2030 年目标的失败可能会影响到 2060 年的最终目标。对于 2030 年的碳达峰，主要挑战是找到平衡城市化、工业化和产业结构调整的方法。我们预计中国将达到城市化高峰；因此，能源需求将继续增加。这种增长将意味着更高的消费和生产水平，这对中国来说将是非常具有挑战性的。我们认识到以下步骤，特别是在 2030 年之前，对于快速推进可能实现 2060 年碳中和计划的健康和可持续转型至关重要。这十年是下一步的基础。因此，2060 年的挑战可能与扩大项目规模、达到城市化高峰后的未来工业发展、减少消费和生产需求以及继续稳定的经济增长和发展有关。建筑环境改造、能源结构和产业发展等问题将是后续步骤中的关键挑战。在 2030 年至 2060 年的这三个十年中，我们预计新技术的进步、新技术的投资以及将它们整合到脱碳计划的所有运营中。中国不断增加的二氧化碳排放量和对高碳化石能源的过度依赖，在这十年乃至到2060 年仍将是共同挑战。我们预计将在以下步骤中看到范式转变和政策修订。
Challenges for 2030 and 2060 goals are pretty different, but the failures of 2030 targets could affect the ultimate 2060 goal. For the 2030 carbon peak, the main challenge is finding a way to balance urbanization, industrialization, and industrial restructuring. We expect China to reach its urbanization peak; thus, the energy demand will continue to increase. This increase would mean higher consumption and production levels, which will be very challenging for China. We recognize the following steps, particularly until 2030, will be critical to fast-forward a healthy and sustainable transition that could reach the carbon neutrality plan of 2060. This decade is the foundation for the next steps. Thus, 2060 challenges could be related to scaling up projects, future industrial development after reaching the urbanization peak, reducing demand in consumption and production, and continuing with steady economic growth and development. Issues such as the built environment renovation, energy mix, and industrial development will be key challenges in the following steps. In the three decades between 2030 and 2060, we expect more advancement in new technologies, investment in new technologies, and integration of them in all operations for decarbonization plans. China’s increasing CO2 emissions and over-reliance on high-carbon fossil energy will remain common challenges in this decade and until 2060. We anticipate seeing paradigm shifts and revisions in policies in the following steps.
China and Europe have a long history of close and fruitful cooperation about climate change and environmental protection issues. Which are the more peculiar strengths of China and Europe in the path towards decarbonization?
The continuous relationship between China and Europe has been very important before and will remain vital for future cooperation in the path towards decarbonization. The two sides should create and nurture more knowledge exchange opportunities, such as joint institutes, programmes, and multi-lateral platforms. Europe could offer a lot from its diverse experience and experimental programmes. In particular, on environmental protection issues, China could cooperate more with Europe. In China, institutional development is a significant strength. Also, Europe has strength in planning frameworks, regional development, and deindustrialization processes. On the other hand, China has strength in long-term plans, financial support, and marketing.
More specifically, in your sector of competence, which mechanisms and actions could be implemented to create virtuous synergies between China and Europe to reach carbon neutrality?
I trust knowledge-share platforms and cooperative research, practice-based, and policy development could benefit from a mutual boost from China and Europe. On one side, we see experience and rich knowledge about sustainability transitions; on the other, we see excellent opportunities for experimentation and scaling-up projects. Technologies and innovation would also play a major part in increasing cooperation between China and Europe. Opportunities for infrastructural development, renewable energies, and industrial development could create synergies between the two sides. More importantly, we hope to see progressive development via Sino-European institutes, universities, companies, and programmes. Both bilateral and multi-lateral mechanisms could help boost two-way cooperation opportunities between China and Europe. More importantly, I believe both sides could cooperate more on technological development, utilization, and integration.
Carbon neutrality is a target which required holistic approach and integrated actions by all the stakeholders. It should tackle not only technical matters, but also new economic development model and social aspects. China Europe Carbon Neutral initiative by its Scientific Committee & Expert Advisory Board aims to be a platform to gather these expertise then share potential solution. Which advices and proposal you feel to share for its development and operation?
Indeed, carbon neutrality is a comprehensive goal. All factors must be considered, including social, cultural, economic, institutional, physical, technological, and environmental aspects. We hope the CNEUCN initiative could create more opportunities for various stakeholders at both ends. We intend to work closely with governments at multiple levels, local and international industries and businesses, institutes, and communities, through which we hope to create joint ventures, knowledge exchange opportunities, and programmes for taking action for both China and Europe. I believe we have not yet exploited the common grounds between the two sides, and the more we understand our commonalities, the more we can progress healthily and collaboratively.
Chinese urbanization phenomenon was characterized by a fast and quantitative oriented development, which created also a considerable real estate speculation.
Based on your European background and the deep knowledge you have about China, how urban regeneration initiative can help to solve, or at least mitigate, those matters?
China has already stepped into the new era of a high-quality urbanization process. It means the next steps should be more holistic, human-centric, and reflective. We could learn many lessons from Europe on urban regeneration initiatives. Countries like Italy, Spain, the UK, etc., have for years developed novel regeneration strategies to find a balance between development and economic growth. We could learn from renovation strategies, infrastructural upgrading, brownfield reuse, and bottom-up sustainable urban development programmes. There is always a limit to how much we can build, demolish, and rebuild. I believe larger cities in China have already reached the level where urban regeneration and renovation have become common practices. We may not be able to reverse some of the earlier development trends, but we can aim to achieve harmonious development in new and existing built environments. Shifting away from a real-estate-oriented development to a harmonious development would require time, effort, and political will. Since 2014, China has gradually moved away from rapid urbanization to healthy urbanization and high-quality urbanization. We expect directions towards stabilized economic growth, dealing with issues such as the aging population, old urban fabric revitalization, and creating a sort of organic regeneration that could be harmonious and human-centric.
Cities are developing long-term strategies that integrate the goals of broader use of renewable resources, reduced carbon emissions and more balanced social development. How China and Europe can learn from the respective experiences and work side by side on this matter?
I think there are lessons to be shared from both China and Europe. There are excellent success stories in China, such as forestation, the development of renewable energy capacity, smart grid systems, and low-carbon experimental projects. In Europe, successful stories are related to urban regeneration, social development, environmental restoration, and ecological preservation projects. The two sides, as mentioned earlier, must find common ground between them. There are cultural, social, and economic differences that need to be taken into consideration. Thus, we hope to have context-specific solutions through comparative studies and, more importantly, collaborative projects, initiatives, and technological development. On social development, in particular, we hope to see more opportunities for bottom-up projects so that people can participate in future sustainable development. There could be opportunities for planning framework development, industrial development, trade, and business audits, energy mix integration, etc. China and Europe could play a key role in developing new planning paradigms, higher-level standards, sustainability assessment tools, etc. I believe challenges and opportunities are quite different between China and Europe, but I also believe we can invest more in collaboration on a larger scale and longer-term initiatives. We need to plan jointly how cities and communities could become healthier, more resilient, and more humane.
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China Europe Carbon Neutral Technology aims to support and substantially contribute to China’s path towards carbon neutrality in a holistic and inclusive way by gathering all the stakeholders and creating solutions for each challenge.
China Europe Carbon Neutral Technology will play an active and innovative role in providing services to conceive, shape, design and accomplish the transitions needed to achieve carbon neutrality.