National Planner of the Year and Executive Director of Planning at Place Design Group, Chris Isles will discuss Australian best practice planning and innovation around Smart Cities at Austrade’s International Smart Cities Forum, AWIC 2016 in China.

Representing the best of Australian planning and urban design, Isles will be joined by Australian Federal Government Ministers, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and Minister for Trade and Investment Steven Ciobo.

The Austrade-led mission is working to advance Australia's diplomatic and economic interests and promote the international competitiveness of Australian businesses in China.

According to Isles, given the rapid urbanisation experienced by China, smart city thinking will position the country to lead this exciting evolution of cities. He observes that Australia has the opportunity to play a critical part in this process by providing key thinking and technology.

Isles adds that the trade mission is a perfect opportunity to share key learnings and ideas between the two countries.

Thanks to the unprecedented increase of an affluent middle class, and the recently revised China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), there are many commercial opportunities; however, to responsibly capitalise on these opportunities, it’s important to consider the critical need for an international smart cities approach.

The AWIC 2016 program will feature trade and investment seminars, roundtables, site visits, product showcases and opportunities for networking with Chinese business, industry and government.

Isles will be releasing a wrap-up report, post-mission which will provide valuable insights into opportunities for international investment, trade and smart cities planning approaches from across the globe.

The second ‘Australia Week’ in China is currently in progress, and will tour multiple cities from 11 April to 15 April 2016.