China a few years ago embarked on a major airport spending spree and is aiming to maximize these massive infrastructure investments. 

The Atlanta and Paris airports are welcoming Shanghai into their annual dialogue on how to position airport areas for economic, social and environmental sustainability. 

Shanghai will be the first outside airport admitted to what has been mostly closed collaboration since Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Charles de Gaulle airport signed a memorandum of understanding to exchange best practices and promote mutual investment in 2011. 

The main component of the partnership has been the annaul Sustainable Airport Areas conference, bringing together airport and planning officials from all over the world in Atlanta and Paris, which alternated hosting responsibilities. 

From June 30-July 2, the group will travel to the area around Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport. Hubstart Paris Region, a joint marketing alliance bringing together governments and economic development entities at Charles de Gaulle, and Shanghai’s Zhuqiao Airport Industrial Park are the organizers. 

Atlanta will send speakers but is less involved in the arrangements. 

Shelley Lamar, Hartsfield-Jackson’s planning director, will speak on the first day of the conference, as will Jon Tuley, a planner at the Atlanta Regional Commission who has been helping drive the development of the Atlanta Aerotropolis Alliance, a recently launched organization that aims to maximize the development potential of the airport area. 

Claire Angelle, Atlanta’s international affairs director, is also slated to attend. Ms. Angelle was instrumental in the formation of the France-Atlanta initiative while working for the French consulate general in Atlanta. The Atlanta-Paris collaborations were formally launched through that multidisciplinary forum. 

The event in Shanghai comes at an auspicious moment for the Pudong area, as the government is using a new free trade zone there to test out policies toward increasing financial and customs liberalization. 

But it won’t completely the France-Atlanta connection won’t lie completely dormant for 2014. 

Atlanta is hosting the Airports Council International North America conference in September, and the airport plans to have a France-Atlanta business networking event and a one-day Sustainable Airport Area seminar following the event, Ms. Lamar told Global Atlanta

Global Atlanta covered last year’s SAA in Paris for Airport City, its news portal highlighting Atlanta’s aerotropolis aspirations.

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Read more: Grand Bargain: In Paris, Local Governments Slowly Embrace Airport As Catalyst for Growth

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...