THURSDAY, NOV. 7, 2013 -- The Portland delegation's visit to China ended over the weekend. For Mayor Charlie Hales and First Lady Nancy Hales, the end of the journey took them to Kunming,
Thurs. Oct. 31, 2013 -- Mayor Charlie Hales spent much of yesterday in meetings with Party Secretary Dr. Fengyue Zhou, a ten year city planner and now head of Chenggong district of Kunming. The top concerns they shared were sustainability, green building and growing wisely. Dr. Zhou asked Portland to share some insight on how to build a truly sustainable city. Mayor Hales said both Portland and Chenngong can magnify their impact by serving as prototypes for other cities in their respective countries.
The Chenggong district of Kunming had 100,000 residents ten years ago. Today, it has 300,000 and is designed to accomodate one million in another decade. Mayor Hales discussed the District's plan to preserve parkland, provide safe and attractive multi-modal experiences and invest in high tech, bio-pharmaceuticals, local agriculture and top level medical facilities.
Mayor Hales presented Portland’s commitment to low carbon livability and green city development to Dr. Zhou. Chenggong is one of only eight “low carbon districts” in China and the first to embrace "green building." Chenggong is striving to replicate and adapt Eco-districts based on Portland’s pioneering work. Mayor Zhou said smart urban planning is the key to our success as a city.
Our favorite pic of the day: the slide that reads: What is it about Portland?
Wed. Oct. 30, 2013 -- More photos from Mayor Hales' trip to China. He met with the mayor of Tongli at an art exhibit of Portland artist Grace Lim. Her work, Trails of Bliss, was shown in Portland before being shiped to our sister city, Suzhou! He also talked a little business with the owners of the Mark Spencer Hotel -- Portlanders Alix and Wei Nathan. Mayor Hales also clearly never misses a chance to learn about other city's infrastructure.
October 29, 2013. -- Mayor Hale's China Venture continues with many meetings to strengthen our relationship with Sister City Suzhou, China. Mayor Hales had a one-on-one meeting with the mayor of Suzhou, where they discussed their strong relationship and opportunities for an even stronger future. He and his wife, Nancy, enjoyed an elaborate feast with Sister City Association members. It had a local flavor, as Rogue beer was served! The Mayor also met with the president and designer of the Portland's own Lan Su garden. The delegation toured a garden and saw the smallest bridge in China It's said to be the model for Portland's own Lan Su garden. On a visit to the Suzhou Daily newspaper, the mayor enjoyed seeing a story from five years previously, when Portland amd Suzhou celebrated their 20th year as sister cities!
MONDAY, OCT. 28, 2013
Mayor Charlie Hales and his wife, Nancy, pose at banner celebrating Portland’s Sister City relationship with Suzhou,China. The Mayor said a few words at the ceremony. The Mayor also visited Taicang Port and visited with the Vice Director, Tony Gao.
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 23, 2013 – Mayor Charlie Hales and a delegation of Portlanders are heading out this week to China.
The trip runs from Oct. 25 to Nov. 3. The missions are:
• To discuss green cities and environmental programs.
• To support sister-city relations, and sister-school relations with Portland-area schools.
• To visit with Chinese foundry owner Huo Baozhu, who donated a large elephant sculpture to Portland and who has offered to donate more as a fundraiser to support homelessness intiatives.
“This sort of mission is vital,” Mayor Hales said. “As a Pacific Rim city, our economic vibrancy, our artistic community, and even our environmental initiatives are linked toAsia. Trips like this can promote better understanding on a wide array of topics.”
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber -- who led a mission to China in October 2012 -- said such missions create a vital link between the nations.
"China is a critical trading partner with Oregon and we are committed to growing that relationship to ensure a bright economic future," Gov. Kitzhaber said. "I strongly believe Oregon’s products and expertise in green building and clean technology can help China meet its goals and open a whole new platform for exports and investment."
Among those taking the trip are Portlander Robert Fraser, a travel agent and president of the Portland Suzhou Sister City Association.
“This trip is a wonderful opportunity for our delegation to meet Suzhou leaders in business, education and culture and to exchange ideas which often lead to opportunities for mutual cooperation,” Fraser said.
“We will experience the rich history and culture of Suzhou and come back to Portland with a better understanding and appreciation for this city, which is known as the' Venice of Asia,'” he said. “We can better appreciate what Suzhou has to offer Portland and what Portland has to offer Suzhou. We have already seen this happen with the establishment of the Lan Su Chinese Garden; Skybridge, a center for educational exchange, and the Confucius Institute at PSU dedicated to promoting Chinese language and culture. There will always be new exciting opportunities born from these visits.”
The trip is being paid for by a variety of sources, including the hosting cities. Although final figures are not yet available, it is believed that the trip will cost the city of Portland less than $300.
Itinerary for the Trip
Friday, Oct. 25:
PDX to Shanghai.
Mayor Hales, his wife, Nancy Hales, and chief of staff, Gail Shibley.
Saturday, Oct. 26:
Visit the city of Suzhou, China.
Sunday, Oct. 27:
Travel to areas around Shanghai and Suzhou.
In Suzhou: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Oct. 27-29.
Meetings: businesses, government officials and companies that work within Portland.
Visiting: Schools that have sister-schools in Portland. (For instance, Lincoln High); cultural sites; Suzhou Ballet (the troupe might visit Portland). There are about 20 Portlanders are on the trip to Suzhou.
Wednesday-Friday, Oct. 30-Nov. 1:
Mayor Hales, Nancy Hales, Gail Shibley: To Kunming,China.
Portland and Kunming have entered into a memorandum of understanding about planning and sustainability for green cities.
Funded by grant from The Energy Foundation.
Friday, Nov. 1:
Mayor Hales and Nancy Hales flying to Xi’An
Staying with Huo Baozhu, a foundry owner who donated an elephant statue in the park blocks. At a Portand City Council meeting this summer, he pledged to donate more, with proceeds to benefit programs for the homeless. Huo met Mayor Hales when he was on City Council.
Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 2-3:
Flying to Shanghai
Meeting with stakeholders. Arranged by the Portland Development Commission. Funded by The Energy Foundation.
Sunday, Nov. 3:
Fly back to Portland.
While inXi’An, the mayor and first lady will visit foundry owner Huo Baozhu. Huo owns Five Rings Cultural Relics inXi’an. It is licensed by the national government to reproduce Chinese antiquities. In 2002, he gave Portland the reproduction Shang Dynasty bronze mother and baby elephant sculpture, in gratitude for treatment he received here for his leukemia. He believes it helped keep him alive beyond his Chinese doctors’ expectations.
The elephant sculpture is on display in the city’s North Park Blocks.
Huo also donated a bronze statue of ancient Chinese physician Sun Simiao to the Min Zidell Healing Gardenon the campus of the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland. In addition, he donated a 6-foot-tall lantern to the Garden of Surging Waves in Astoria.
In June of this year, he offered to donate more works for the city to auction or sell, so the money could be used to benefit the homeless.