EU Research and Innovation for Cities of the Future
The joint event organised by the URBAN Intergroup and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) on “EU Research and Innovation for Cities of the Future” took place on Thursday afternoon 21st of March 2019 at the EP in Brussels.
This big event showed how EU Research and Innovation actions are driving sustainable urban development to address major urban challenges. The objectives of the event were to present the main highlights of the draft High-Level Expert Group report on “Innovating Cities” and to invite participants for comments. Moreover, the participants got the possibility to learn more about the substantial contribution of EU funded Research and Innovation projects /initiatives /actions to knowledge-base and innovative solutions for sustainable cities.
The joint event mobilised R&I communities, members of the European Parliament, city leaders and policy makers, academia, the private sector, industrials, innovation firms, NGOs, the civil society, European institutions and UN agencies representatives.
Digital public services for age-friendly cities and communities
The URBAN Intergroup and the Intergroup on Active Ageing, Intergenerational Solidarity and Family policies jointly organised an event on co-creation of digital public services, in the framework of the Horizon2020 project Mobile-Age, which took place on 29 January 2019 at the European Parliament in Brussels.
Members of the European Parliament, representatives of the European Commission, local politicians and academia provided some highlights on common challenges and solutions for conceiving urban and rural planning with the lens of age-friendly concepts and practices. The event was also an occasion to share tools and insights paving the way to European strategies putting citizens’ needs on the agenda of European policies.
The Horizon2020-funded Mobile-Age project, together with older persons, local governments, social care service providers, and researchers, has developed and tested a co-creation methodology and a set of practical and accessible mobile applications in pilot sites across Europe (Bremen, South Lakeland, Zaragoza and Region Central Macedonia).
Lambert Van Nistelrooj welcomed the Mobile-Age’s approach based on co-creation: “considering the social dimension is key, we may be technology-driven, but we need to step back and use a more participatory approach”. As Chair of the Intergroup on Active Ageing, Mr. Van Nisterlrooj underlined that “this is something we – at both the URBAN Intergroup and the Intergroup on Active Ageing, Intergenerational Solidarity and Families issues- value a lot”.
Closing the event, Jan Olbrycht, President of the URBAN Intergroup, underlined that “as politicians, we must think about what can we do for the people, how we can improve their lives by reinforcing trust and using trustworthy technology.” As Chair of the URBAN Intergroup, he expressed his satisfaction on the event: “I am very happy of our deep and optimistic debate with Age Platform and Mobile-Age at the European Parliament. We did not speak about technology, but mainly about people! Firstly, we need to identify people’s needs by working with them. We then need to identify issues and concerns that affect people most, in order to meet their expectations. Only then, accessibility to different services in cities should be improved. This is the positive approach presented by the MobileAge project!”