ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
“Asia- Pacific: Partner for a Common Future”
The 7th Asia-Pacific Weeks, to be held from 7 to 18 October 2009, will be concentrating on the themes of “mobility” and “energy” under the motto “Asia-Pacific: Partner for a Common Future.” Consciously rejecting the idea of a “competition between continents” or a “clash of civilizations,” the 2009 APW are drawing on common values, responsibilities, and the need for action to contribute to the dialogue between Asia and Europe, in order to arrive at common solutions to the global problems we will confront in the future.
Along with communication and the environment, mobility and the generation and efficient use of energy are interdependent key factors and main issues affecting today’s urban populations and their everyday lives.
According to the global population report of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), roughly 5 billion people – or 61% of the world’s population – will be living in cities of more than 20,000 by 2030. In Asia alone, which has an urbanization rate three times that of Europe, the urban population will double in the next 20 years, rising from 1.36 billion (2000) to 2.64 billion in 2030. In view of the growth and the increasing prosperity of European and especially Asian metropolitan regions, complex challenges must be overcome if urban infrastructure is to survive and to function in the future.
At the same time, urban areas are growing faster than their populations, since industry, housing, and workplaces are moving to the transitional areas between the city and the surrounding countryside in ever greater numbers; workers and property are cheaper there, and the laws regulating these are not as strict. As a result, it is important that we take a closer look at these transition areas.
Technological advances, transport options, and their speed have a huge impact on mobility, on land, on the water, and in the air. It is therefore necessary that we develop innovative concepts and technologies for integrated urban and regional planning with new transportation systems that link the individual transport networks in a useful way. Mobility is not just an issue for urban development; in Asia, for instance, especially in western and central China and in India, the goal is to ensure regional mobility within the country by linking less developed areas to growth regions. For cost and environmental reasons, mobility must be made sustainable and energy-efficient.
The development of innovative transportation models enabling individual, energy-efficient, and barrier-free movement and/or forms of public transportation that meet specific local needs is thus a vital task. At the same time, we must keep in mind the increasing importance of commuting, since people are traveling ever great distances to work, long-distance travel for business and pleasure, and telecommunications options as an alternative to mobility.
Because mobility requires energy – an increasingly rare commodity – and produces harmful emissions, the relationship between mobility, energy, and the environment is becoming more and more complicated. As a consequence of the breakneck pace of development in countries like China, India, Thailand, and Vietnam and the simultaneous decline of fossil energy sources, energy generation, savings, and efficiency are playing an ever greater role also when it comes to heating and air conditioning for buildings. Solar energy and geothermal heat, along with energy-efficient construction, provide useful alternatives to the growing consumption of wood, coal, gas, and oil. Germany and Berlin are already offering effective – although often still too expensive – solutions in this area. German and Asian partners should take advantage of the 2009 Asia-Pacific Weeks to work on the joint use of this expertise and on tailoring its further development to specific
The themes of mobility and energy comprise both physical movement within space and its cultural and social prerequisites, achievements, and consequences. At the same time, speed is dependent on the energy used to overcome distance in both the physical and metaphorical sense.
Dynamism and upheaval distinguish today’s Asian-Pacific region in the cultural sense, too – with the region constantly reinventing itself at dizzying speed. As part of the Asia-Pacific Weeks, the House of World Cultures will be showcasing two contemporary artists, Qiu Zhijie (China) and Tadashi Kawamata (Japan). Qiu Zhijie’s work on the Yangtze Bridge in Nanjing reflects the rapid changes taking place in the People’s Republic of China, while an installation by Tadashi Kawamata thematizes approaches to public and private spaces. Another focus of the program in the House of World Cultures is a series of readings by contemporary young Chinese writers. Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum of Contemporary Art will be showing selected works by the artist Paul Pfeiffer, who grew up in the Philippines. They interrogate topoi like identification, historiography, and the universal transferability of pop cultural motifs across time and geography. A program of guest performances at Radialsystem V concentrates on Australia’s lively dance and music scene and uses delay and acceleration to explore the effect of different speeds. The program’s centerpiece is
Again in 2009, your gateway to Asia is in Berlin: the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, and the strategic partners of the Asia-Pacific Weeks, Berlin Partner GmbH, the Asia-Pacific Forum Berlin, and the House of World Cultures, invite you to turn your eyes to the Asia-Pacific region in October 2009!
Find out more about the Asia-Pacific Weeks at www.APWberlin.de!