The French tramway
On March 3, 2017 at 9:00 am, the Tianjin Institute of Planning and Design (hereinafter referred to as the Tianjin Institute) and the Sino-French Architectural Communication Society (SFACS) jointly organized the conference "How the Tramway Makes the city better "held in the academic hall of the Tianjin Institute. Mr. Thomas RICHEZ, a well-known French tramway expert, was invited as an intervenor and about forty executives and employees also participated. Xiurong Tian, deputy director, has been mandated by Long CUI Director of the Heping District Planning Office and has attended the entire conference. He was accompanied by Wei ZHANG, a professor at the Tianjin Academy of Architecture and by Xiaoying WANG, Deputy Secretary-General of SFACS.
The report was moderated by Jixin ZOU, vice president of the Tianjin Institute. Thomas RICHEZ’s lecture lasted an hour, during which he presented the case studies of 12 trams he studied in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. He also shared the concept of the technically avant-gadiste "French tramway" and the most popular, the results of the work and the main points. Then, a very deep, lively and concrete academic discussion was conducted between Mr. Thomas and the employees of the Tianjin Institute. The subjects that have been dealt with are the cost of the tram, the cost of operation, the capacity, the automobile techniques and the comparison with other means of transport: the metro and BRT. Then, Mr. Jixin ZOU representative of the Tianjin Institute,issued Mr. Thomas RIZHEZ the letter of nomination "Think Tank Academy of Tianjin Institute". Subsequently, engineer Jizhi SHANG of the Institute of Road Transport Planning & Design of the Tianjin Institute (hereinafter referred to as the Transport Institute) presented Mr. Thomas the planning conditions for the transport rail and construction.
This is the first cooperation of academic exchanges between the Tianjin Institute and SFACS in the form of conference. SFACS is a non-profit association committed to promoting cooperation and exchanges in the field of architecture and urban development between China and France. Based on the members of the expert commission and the cooperative organizations, SFACS organizes each year the summit forum at the international level, which revolves around the architecture and development of the urban trade, other organizations research, exhibitions, publications, academic and technical inspections and archi crossover exhibitions etc. After a decade of development, SFACS has become a platform gathering together international cultures, industries and technical resources. Hoping that both parties could have more communications and opportunities for cooperation through this conference. 
The morning conference was perfectly finished. As both sides wanted to share more experiences, in the afternoon, Mr. Thomas discussed more deeply with Bingcheng YIN, General Engineer of the Transport Institute and Yibing REN, Deputy Director of the Institute of Planning & Design Of public works.
Discussions between the two sides were then held on the following situation:
1. Although railway construction in Tianjin City currently attaches great importance to the metro, tramways are still the best means of transport for prosperous neighborhoods or neighborhoods where subways are not practical to build, and few historical transmission, actual needs and current conditions. The Tianjin Institute has remained very interested in the planning and construction of the tramway, hoping for more communications with Thomas RICHEZ and IFADUR (Franco-Chinese Institute of Architecture and Urban and Rural Sustainable Development) for better cooperation in planning and design. Mr. Thomas will propose after his return to France the preliminary services and the form of collaboration.
2. In 2007, the transport bureau drew up "new-style railway planning in the central commercial district"with the aim of planning three tram lines crossing four districts: Hebei, Nankai, Heping and Hedong, concentrated on the street Heping of District Heping Avenue River. "Translohr" from France's Lohr will be chosen as a vehicle.
3. Apart from the above planning, Jixin ZOU and Bingcheng YIN consider that neighborhoods like Grande Avenue Five of the Heping District, Economic Airport Zone, New Xiqing City etc. are also the ideal areas to build the tram.
4. Yibing REN proposed that the construction of the tramway should be incorporated into Tianjin's urban general planning, taking advantage of the opportunity to review the general urban planning of Tianjin.
5. Jixing ZOU proposed that the Heping District Government (or other regional governments) mandate the Tianjin Institute and Richez_Associates to conduct a feasibility research on the Tianjin Tramway Planning.