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U.S. Lessons for China: Learning to Manage Cities


May 16, 2012

The United States has lessons for China about how to establish great cities.

The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) is partnering with China University of Political Science and Law to help Chinese city officials learn what works and what doesn't when it comes to how cities operate.

David Grossman, director of international programs at ICMA, says Chinese managers he's met are eager to learn how to transform cities into livable communities.

"They realize that their economy and their political environment is transforming, and that involves all aspects of the community. Government alone cannot drive the ship any longer, and they're acknowledging that."

ICMA's China Center recently became one of the organizations participating in the U.S. State Department's EcoPartnerships program, which aims to find ways to address energy and environmental challenges. The project will provide education, training and forums in China.

While his organization has a lot of expertise to bring to the table, Grossman says, the learning is not a one-way street. He thinks insights into Chinese city management will benefit U.S. city and county managers as well.

"The urbanization process at the scale that's going on in China, it's unprecedented. We stand to learn as well as to impart information."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton formally recognized the partnership at a signing ceremony in Beijing.


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