GUANGZHOU, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- UN-Habitat chief Joan Clos has commended China's commitments to urbanization, climate change and urban innovation.
He said China's urbanization is "an empirical demonstration of the contribution of well-planned urbanization to prosperity, development and the new urban paradigm shift."
"Never before in the history of mankind have we witnessed such a rapid growth in global urbanization, especially in China," Clos said Tuesday at the opening ceremony of 2017 World Cities Day in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province.
Clos, executive director of UN Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat), noted that "the dual process of industrialization and urbanization in China has driven an unprecedented process of growth, innovation and job creation."
"The Chinese urban policy of distributing qualitative urbanization to the interior of the country is commendable to balance the natural tendency to urbanize in the coastal areas," he said.
"This policy is improving development and prosperity chances to all the regions of China, and the commitment in the next years to further urbanize rural areas goes in the same positive direction," the UN official added.
Urban initiatives in many Chinese cities on electric mobility were important ways to address issues relating urbanization and climate change, he said.
Electric buses, electric cars, as well as electric motorbikes and bikes are contributing to make China a leader in these sectors, and this commitment is going to translate its effects into the improvement of the urban environment very soon, he elaborated.
On urban innovation, he said China's advancement in solar, wind and other renewable energies positions China as technology leader in these sectors, believing the country can "contribute very much" to urban innovation.
A former mayor of Barcelona, Clos highlighted the role of cities in modern economy. "As the world economy is moving towards a knowledge-based service economy, the role of cities is, if anything, increasing consistently."